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Take Burgers Beyond Beef for the 4th of July

Americans love hamburgers, but you may be inspired by these alternative stars like tomatoes or cheese for your Independence Day cookout.

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For a variety of reasons, the traditional American cookout is changing from an all-beef burger affair to a more inclusive one.

Red meat is beloved in America, the nation that brought the world McDonald’s. But it’s not without controversy. U.S. dietary guidelines suggest less red meat in our diets, but how much is too much? And demand for beef raises environmental concerns, too: Critics note that industrial cattle production has a larger environmental impact than other meats.

Beef consumption has actually waned a bit in the U.S. in recent years, dropping to 24.1 billion pounds in 2014 from 28.1 billion in 2004. But 24 billion pounds is still a lot of beef, and Americans love their steaks … and their burgers.

That’s particularly true on summer holidays like Independence Day, when many people consider firing up the grill just as important as gazing at fireworks.

Americans aren’t the world’s only burger fans, of course—and naturally, a patty doesn’t have to be made of beef to be a burger. Take a moment to feast your eyes on this gallery of burgers of all kinds from across the globe, courtesy of our Your Shot photo community.

Note: A version of this post appeared on The Plate on July 3, 2015.