Well that was quick.
Less than a month ago I wrote a series of predictions for the immediate future; one being that the war on meat would become less than a sideshow and more of a serious movement.
Cue to current events; the war has arrived.
With the vegan movement booming, climate change hysteria peaking (meaning they know they have to strike while the iron is hot, lest they miss their chance), and meatless meat appearing everywhere from 5-star dining restaurants to Major League sporting stadiums, the anti-meat crowd is emboldened and ready to pounce. And pounce they did, and they tipped their hand as to their next step (a step I very specifically and accurately predicted, as well…thank you).
As predicted, the anti-meat morons are following the tried-and-true playbook of the greatest behavior control story of all-time; the war on smoking. One key component to the destruction of the American tobacco habit was to make smoking entirely unpleasant by making it a shameful, expensive habit which was bad for your health and the health of others.
With the onset of Memorial Day weekend, and in the backdrop of massive tainted meat recalls, meat haters launched a national campaign aimed at beginning the full court press of scaring the hell out of everyone and anyone when it comes to meat, most specifically, beef. It’s a simple strategy; get an “expert,” any expert with a title will do, to give you a hysterical quote, spread the word, thus creating a non-existent emergency, and allowing you to fix a problem that doesn’t exist, through the use of force and coercion.
Enter Brian Kellerman, a Columbus, Ohio-based food-safety consultant, quoted widely throughout a story that appeared across more than 5,000 different media outlets and platforms, in which he cuts right to the chase: “Any person who likes their hamburgers medium rare is taking an enormous risk.”
If you like your steak medium rare (or worse, rare) you are at enormous risk. And that’s not ok, is it? After all, we’re a society that uses laws, bans, and taxes to protect us from such enormous risks as smoking, trans fats, soda, calories, fast food, even Sudafed, so certainly we should be protected from the “enormous risk” presented by perfectly cooked beef.
After all, anyone with a palate knows that beef cooked beyond medium rare has literally had all of its nutrients and flavor cooked out and the meat has been turned into something that belongs on the shoe rack at Wal-Mart. For a giggle, watch Gordon Ramsay destroy a reporter who tried to trap him over a well-done steak served at one of his restaurants:
There’s also a semantics issue that gets overlooked in this conversation. A restaurant’s definition of doneness is, and always has been, different than the average diners. That’s why they always give you that lecture at the Outback steakhouse when your order your steak medium rare; “now, you realize that will be a warm, red center, riiiggghhhhhttt?” Which makes most people say “huh? Warm and red? That sounds rare to me…make it medium since that is pink with a touch of red and how we define medium rare at home.” As such, countless studies have shown that Americans’ most popular way to order beef is medium, followed by medium rare.
The problem is that the USDA defines “medium” as 140 degrees, and there isn’t a reputable restaurant in America cooking a medium steak to as high as 140. Additionally, most home cooks don’t understand the concept of “resting.” Most of us who know how to cook, remove a steak at 115 degrees for rare to medium rare knowing it will continue to cook, once removed from the heat and be a perfect 125-130 when cut into.
All of this mis-information and ignorance creates the perfect storm in which to start “forcing” people to eat their beef the right way. The shaming movement has already started…is your meat red after you cook it? You’re taking an enormous risk.
It won’t be long before movements begin again in earnest (they tried a decade ago and it never quite took) to make serving beef cooked below 140 degrees a health risk, thus forcing all major restaurants to serve only leather as beef, fearing lawsuits.
Once meat, beef specifically, becomes so nauseatingly bad, people will stop ordering it out, and will slowly start asking their friends and spouses to cook their meat at home to 140 degrees so that they don’t take an enormous risk. Then, home beef will be awful too. And less and less of it will be consumed, of course.
Now, granted, this process is going to take generations, especially in a nation that loves its’ beef as much as it loves its’ alcohol; but this is the country of prohibition just a century ago.