Monday, March 17, 2008

The PERFECT Hamburger!

My wife buys the burgers from our local grocery store and they are thin and frozen but something magical happens when I throw them on the grill. They thaw, then sizzle, and sometimes catch fire if there is too much fat in them but it really doesn’t matter. I would complain and send back that burger if it came to me in a restaurant but coming off my grill it is the PERFECT hamburger.

I know people who spend a lot of time with the hamburger itself by putting secret ingredients into the raw ground beef, mashing it together into a thick burger, and THEN slapping it on the grill. Some consider grill time the key by perfectly flipping it at the right time, creating a cross pattern on the burger and just the right amount of brown to pink. Others believe it is the type of grill itself that makes the perfect burger: charcoal vs. gas. Others now want turkey-burgers or veggie-burgers.

Popular Science Magazine now has the perfect hamburger for you. The Bun is vitamin enriched through genetically “enhancing” the wheat gene. The Bacon you might want to throw on it now can be grown in a dish by adding glucose and amino acids to pig stem cells. The cheese now comes from engineered cows and by adding an enzyme to the cheese that takes out a bitter taste. The beef is from enhanced steers is leaner and tastier. The ketchup is from tomatoes that are engineered to be 10% sweeter. Even the lettuce is packed with high vitamin C content by combining it with a rat gene that is a vitamin C maker. (Yea, you read that right, a RAT gene in our lettuce). They call this the perfect hamburger.

Okay, now I don’t have a problem with genetic engineering like a lot of people do. In fact we have been doing it for decades and the effects on the population has not been Frankensteinish, the effects have been more production for farmers, cheaper but better for you food, food that will last longer, starving countries now having a crop to grow in their climates, and many other benefits. But the perfect hamburger has nothing to do with its genetic makeup. The perfect hamburger has more to do with the people you share it with than with its condiments.

The perfect hamburger can be burned at the edges, thin, store-bought, and even dropped on the ground, brushed off, and put back on the grill again to have the bugs burned off it. The perfect hamburger is the one you share with friends and family in a back yard party, in a tail-gate party, or sitting in front of the TV watching American Idol together. The perfect hamburger is best served with a heavy dose of love and acceptance, the BEST kind of genetics.

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