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Eat Dangerously

February 27, 2018

Calculated Risks is a much less catchy title.

There is nothing safe about eating a deep fried buffalo burger from Swifty’s. Especially when you order it as rare as humanly possible. Think of all the saturated fat in that butter soaked, deep fat fried, mound of melting beef tallow. And on top of it, you need to put a little blue cheese dressing, which at Swifty’s I suspect is a combination of cheese, sour cream, and mayonnaise. All of that comes on a refined grain bun, and served alongside french fries.

But when you bite into it, the explosion of fat and flavor is simply marvelous. All of the pleasure centers of my brain light up with pure joy. And I feel as if its existence is a sign that God wants us to be happy.

I shudder to think how many calories it has. Especially if you pair it with a beer. Plus, we should never forget that alcohol is like poison. That’s not safe either. Which is why I only have one of these per year. Maybe two. It’s more likely I’ll die in a car crash on the way home than from this terribly unsafe meal.

Here’s my concern about people who want to make everything safe.

Be careful about what you wish for. The road to safety leads us potentially to several unfortunate destinations. Food safety in particular can lead to irradiated meats. It demands the full and complete cooking of egg yolks. It could result in the reduction of butter, salt, and all things delicious.

There’s nothing safe about a brownie. For some, that’s nothing but a sure path to diabetes.

This has to be said. There is too much of an emphasis placed on safety in our culture. It’s a funny thing for me to say, because I’m not entirely for deregulation of industry. However, I am fully for simplifying regulation and making it smarter.

Not too long ago there was a remarkable story in The New York Times which detailed some of the hoops that Indian Ladder Farms has to jump through during apple picking season. It’s madness. Madness.

All the same, businesses sometimes cut important corners, bad actors exist in the marketplace, and we should have some watchdogs out there to make sure everyone stays in line.

My desire isn’t for a perfectly safe food supply, it’s for maintaining the integrity and transparency of our food producers. And that’s largely because eating potentially unsafe food is one of those things that makes life worth living.

My heart goes out to American cheese producers who are constrained from following old world techniques which would allow them to make better cheeses. For that matter, I feel for all the small producers of quality foodstuffs who are trying to wrangle through ever changing layers of government regulation.

But none of this changes if we as consumers, if we as citizens, insist everything be safe. The world is a dangerous place. But it’s okay. We’ll be okay.

And by that I mean we’re all going to die. But we don’t have to panic about it.

On that happy note, maybe if you ask really nicely, the folks at Swifty’s will top your buffalo burger with an over easy egg. Now if only we could have some young raw milk cheese on the side.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Benjamin Maggi permalink
    March 1, 2018 2:19 pm

    I have been on a diet recently. However, after reading your Yelp review for the past few months I have been planning where I want to go for my birthday dinner (at the end of May… sigh!). Swiftys… for that deep friend Buffalo burger. Just about 90 days to go!

    • March 3, 2018 11:39 am

      It is basically a chicken fried steak with wing sauce. Nothing to die for IMO. How about a nice steak tartare?

  2. Benjamin Maggi permalink
    March 5, 2018 12:15 pm

    I love chicken fried steak. And, I love wing sauce. Put two check marks in the “Yes please” column!

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