Keeping my mouth shut came up the other day as I kind of ruined my wife’s birthday treat. (It was number 85, but please do not tell anyone that I mentioned her age.) For a treat, I took her down to a fast food joint. She loves hot dogs and was debating what to order as a side. I mentioned to her that I wondered why hot dogs were called “dogs” as they were not dog meat. I went on to ask her if she knew what meat was in hot dogs. She said that she did not know. I said it could be dog meat as they are made in a meat packing plant. It is truly ground meat which could be any part of the hog or bovine after the desirable cuts such as steaks, loins or hams have been carved out. This meat is then mixed with less desirable chicken parts along with food starch, salt, ground mustard and corn syrup. The more expensive hot dogs are even stuffed in sheep guts—makes me wonder how they manage to clean out the intestines.
She told me that I had ruined her birthday and her enjoyment of hot dogs. She ordered eggs and bacon. I finally came to my senses and “kept my mouth shut” and did not tell her about how PETA said that laying hens were abused or how bacon was made. Come to think about the hot dog thing, what is the correct name of the food item? Is it a frankfurter or a wiener? In some circles it is known as a “ball park.”
That brings up another fast food item that my spouse enjoys as well. What is a hamburger made of? The last time I tasted it, it did seem to be ham. Actually, the meat used in a hamburger is the less desirable part of the beef. The more desirable meat such as steak, roast and tenderloin are cut out of the carcass before it is ground into hamburger meat.
Being around during hog killing days at the farm in Buffalo, I have seen how the meat is utilized. Every part of the hog that is edible is utilized. That includes the tongue, the ears, the intestines, the sexual parts (mountain oysters) and even the eyes. My father, his brothers and my grandpa loved chitlings. My grandpa’s favorite breakfast was brains and eggs. Sometimes I got tricked into eating the brains as I thought they were just scrambled eggs.
In spite of spouting off about the ingredients of my wife’s favorite food, our food service industry in this country is incredible. As I have stated, my living on a farm and subsisting mostly of food raised or grown on the farm, I appreciate the efficiency of not only the food providers but the food service as well. With factory food suppliers, human hands never even touch the product before it makes it onto the grocery store shelf. On a smaller scale, I went into a farmers’ market yesterday and saw an almost endless array of farm grown foods. What amazes me the most is how these businesses handle the daily loss of home grown products. Many of these fruits and vegetables have to be thrown out after a few days on shelf. Imagine having to throw away tomatoes and turnip greens after only a day or two on the market.
So back to the birthday treat. Despite opening my mouth, my wife enjoyed her meal. Whenever she doesn’t have to plan the meal, buy the groceries, cook the supper and clean the dirty dishes, she feels that it is a treat, no matter if the menu is hot dogs or hamburgers. So, “keep your mouth shut” on what she orders because that is the best way to ensure that you can “keep it open” to enjoy tasty food.