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Producer samples 300 hamburgers in desperate search of ‘good hamburgers’

Producer samples 300 hamburgers in desperate search of ‘good hamburgers’

Posted August. 17, 2013 03:42,   


A hamburger that is dried up like mummy is still kept in producer Lee Seong-hwan’s file cabinet. “I bought the hamburger at a fast food store on March 26. It has yet to be decomposed of.”

The key words of the story behind the investigative reporting on “Good hamburgers (aired on July 19)” told by producer Lee Seong-hwan are gas (farting), box and Lee Young-don. Producer Lee Seong-hwan is not a big fan of hamburgers. The hamburger was not a food of choice for him ever since he was young. He bought a volume of hamburgers that he could eat throughout his entire life for a one-month period. “The hamburgers that I ate and just bought would amount to 200 to 300 in total.”

One day morning when he was sick and tired of greasy taste of hamburgers, he and his junior teammate were on their way to a place to gather news on. They both instantly come to stare at one direction. The duo’s views converged at the signboard of a “kimchi jjigae gourmet restaurant,” not the sexy backside look of a beautiful lady. “Let’s sooth our taste here,” the two concurred. As they had to eat hamburgers for their lunch, they did not care for boiled rice much, and only scrambled to eat spoonful of spicy kimchi stew.

“When we ate (hamburgers) day after day, I gained two to three kilograms of weight instantly. As I could not find a ‘good burger’ despite passing of time, I started to lose weight due to sense of restlessness. But the biggest problem was gas (farting) however.”

Hamburgers that accumulated in his body generated a massive amount of gas inside his stomach. “In the car on our way to a provincial region to gather news, I farted repeatedly, saying to my junior teammate, sorry…’ Then, it was bothering for me to keep saying sorry, and he just opened and closed windows.”

They also made painstaking efforts to discover the ingredients of patty placed between the hamburger buns. Under the Food Hygiene Act, hamburgers are categorized into instant cooking food, and a fully cooked hamburger is not required to have a label disclosing its ingredients. “We came to realize that if we find the packaging boxes, we would be able to solve the puzzle. But it was not an easy thing to do either,” Lee said. Especially, they could hardly find boxes of hanwoo (Korean beef) patty. Would it have been due to thorough “management of distribution routes” by sales branches? The team meticulously searched garbage cans around sales branches. Lee’s junior teammate even vomited while searching too hard garbage cans at the back of a franchiser burger store.

Let’s return to the story of “mummy hamburger” in producer Lee’s file cabinet. Early this month, Lee and his production team agonized over a way to present to viewers “the hamburger that remains to be decomposed for more than three months” by adding elements of entertainment show through studio recording. How much preservative does the hamburger in question contain? It was a mystery that was beyond the boundary of imagination. While deeply agonizing, producer Lee said. “Executive director Lee (Lee Young-don, host of the show on Channel A), what would it be like to taste it?....” He cleverly inserted “sample it” in the script, and added a note (Sorry, Executive Director Lee…).

At last, recording of the show started. Executive Director Lee boldly split the dried up hamburger into pieces and put them in his mouth without hesitance. “This is it,” producer Lee exclaimed in his mind. Comments by the executive director perfectly matched producer Lee’s expectations. “Well. This tastes nice.” Before the recording was over, producer Lee silently ran away and went into hiding at a conference room.