THE BLOG

The Burger Boom Is Blasphemy

11/09/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • Lisa Guest Stress reductionist who works on-site in corporate and creative environments

Last night on Nightline John Berman interviewed a NYC meat expert and ate three hamburgers before 2pm. In the interview, John Berman hinted at the "nutritional and environmental outrage that seems to be popping up the past few years about burger makers and their practices."

The expert (do I really have to give him credit?) said, "Nobody cares about any of that. People love hamburgers and nobody cares about any of the social or environmental or health effects about this."

I am not nobody. I care about the social, the environmental and the health effects such irresponsible reporting and eating manifests.

My body cares. My soul cares. My country cares.

I don't care that McDonald's stock was only one of two companies on the Dow that went up last year.

I do care that the government subsidizes the burger industries when fruits and vegetables are healthier for the human body.

I do care that "burger makers and their practices" are corrupt and add more shame to our country.

The expert might say that people around the world see a hamburger as authentically American, and that citizenship tests shouldn't ask questions about George Washington, but about the hamburger. Is this really funny? I don't think so. Not when you read Caroline Myss's article with your eyes wide open and can quantify the losses such irresponsible behavior costs our country in the long run.

I first learned about the practices of the beef industry in the mid-'80s when I covered John Robbins' book, Diet for a New America.

I was never a big beef eater and my blood type is O+ which means I should be eating red meat daily. Ahem, no thank you.

Hearing over 20 years ago how the "industry" works disgusted me. But this is not a new subject in America. Upton Sinclair wrote The Jungle in 1906. Awareness has been growing for many decades.

What I don't understand is that after Oprah Winfrey spent over a million dollars defending a tiny little side quip on her show about her consumption of beef products after learning how they are manifested from cow to burger on plate, that she then broadcast an hour of her buddy Gayle King flying all over the country to chow down on the best burgers.

This is not an issue we should sweep under the rug. Go watch Food Inc.. After you watch that movie, tell me you don't care about the cows, our farmers going bankrupt, illegal immigrants being abused and arrested when big business brought them here to do the dirty work Americans won't do anymore.

So what if you think a burger tastes good? Wake up. You also thought smoking couldn't kill you.