What's in Your Burger?

Wait . . . Dad?


Didn't you know that McDonald's puts plastic in their bread?

I didn't. Who told you that?



Yeah. Joey's dad says that they make their hamburger buns out of plastic.



[Dad sprinkles something in his hand and closes his fist]

Check this out.


Well Dude, in my hand I have two poisons.


Uh huh. Two poisons that could kill you a million times quicker than a little plastic.


Uh huh. Do you dare me to eat them?

Wait . . . what?

Dare me to eat these two poisons?

Will you die?

Someday. [Dad licks palm, son sits frozen]  Salt dude. I just ate salt.

Salt's not poison.

Chlorine is though, right? The stuff that burns your eyes in the pool?


And sodium is a metal that is so caustic it will blow up when it touches too much air.


Uh huh. But you mix them together, you get salt.

Kay. But do you think there is plastic in chicken nuggets?

No idea.

Azodicarbonamide. That's the name of the chemical that goes into hundreds of commercial bread products as a dough conditioner and whitener. It is, colorfully enough, also used in the manufacture of Yoga mats.

Which is the first thing you read when the news hits the headlines.

By the same logic, Calcium Sulfate, a chief chemical in the production of drywall, is also used to make Tofu.

I could totally play this game all day.

I used to work for a company that made a slushie drink using a chemical called silcon-dioxide as an anticaking agent. That's glass, if any of you paid attention in chemistry class.

Now did I abstain from drinking that slushie?

Sure did.

Did I do it because I didn't want to drink glass?


I didn't drink those things cause they were gross.

When people would ask me if they were any good, I wouldn't lie. I wouldn't even bother telling them they were drinking glass. I would just tell them that they were gross. Did that stop anyone?


People wanted a nice cold slushie with a least five different types of sugar. I didn't judge. Mostly. I just smiled because they were paying me a bunch of money to embibe gross glass sugar bombs. More power to 'em, man, your leathery tastbuds just bought me a 50" flat screen TV.

Now you may think that I'm sitting on the side of big chemical, that the industrial use of man-made compounds is something that I feel is a good thing . . . 

well . . . I don't.

Not even a little.

Well . . . maybe a little.

Okay, maybe like half.

My 50" plasma screen isn't exactly made out of organic kale chips. And neither is your cell phone or about 93% percent of everything you touch every day, even if you're a kale farmer.

Industrial chemicals are killing us. Killing us. And we gotta yell at the top of our lungs for better more efficient ecologically friendly way of life. If we don't have the technology now, we may within our lifetimes, and the sooner the better. 

The wild Alaskan salmon steaks in my freezer were caught in American waters, shipped to Asia for processing, then shipped back. That's ridiculous.

Clean water, clean air, a nice place to grow tomatoes, and a more vital local economy is NOT TOO MUCH TO ASK. Super simple stuff.

But . . . it is possible to eat a double quarter pounder for lunch, and then follow that up with 5oz of grilled salmon and a spicy arugula from the garden with sliced vine ripened tomatos and a dash of pear infused balsamic vinegar.

It's possible to live a life that is both aware and indulgent.

In fact, it's the only way to have a life worth living. 

Choices, everyone. You've got em, I've got em. And I do agree that I would feel better knowing that there wasn't any azodicarbonamide in all three layers of a Bic Mac, but not because I fear the 45 parts per million doing any damage like at all, but because if you force a company to remove those particular agents, then they would have to come up a with a distribution system to get fresher buns to more places faster. I just think fresher buns would taste better. And the only way to get fresher buns faster is to create lots more localized manufacturing centers which would be good for the economy and cost the wary consumer maybe an extra nickel for every delicious bite. That's like win, win, win, sorta lose, win right there.

Where my real beef is (lol) is in using information like a wrecking ball.

Tell an anxious eight year old that his cheese burger is made of plastic and he freaks out a little, just as if you told him that you were licking poison out of your hand.

Can his life still be glorious with an ingrained fear of two all beef patties, special sauce lettuce cheese pickles onions on a sesame seed bun?

Sure . . . I guess.

But then you close a mind by turning a rational prejudice into an irrational fear.

Yet on the flip side;

Tell him that it's not the most healthy meal he could be eating, and that most foods are okay in moderation, and that fruits and vegitables can taste really super good when you cook 'em right, and then teach him how to do that somewhere along the line.

Do that, and you end up with something different on your hands. You end up with a well informed person with an ingrained understanding of balance and someone who is capable of making well thought out personal decisions.

That is how it's done here. In my household anyway.


No comments:

Post a Comment