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It takes a society to make a cheeseburger

Waldo Jaquith considered making a cheeseburger from scratch. That is, truly from scratch.

I realized that my prior plan hadn’t been ambitious enough—that wasn’t really from scratch. In fact, to make the buns, I’d need to grind my own wheat, collect my own eggs, and make my own butter. And I’d really need to raise the cow myself (or sheep, and make lamb burgers), mine or extract from seawater my own salt, grow my own mustard plant, etc. This past summer, revisiting the idea, I realized yet again that I was insufficiently ambitious. I’d really need to plant and harvest the wheat, raise a cow to produce the milk for the butter, raise another cow to slaughter for its rennet to make the cheese, and personally slaughter and process the cow or sheep.

He concludes that a cheeseburger couldn’t have existed until about a century ago, when our society had developed to the point that it could bring all this stuff together in the same place at the same time.

Via The Morning News.

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