On the impracticality of a cheeseburger

Friday, December 9th, 2011

It’s impossible to make a cheeseburger from scratch:

Tomatoes are in season in the late summer. Lettuce is in season in spring and fall. Large mammals are slaughtered in early winter. The process of making such a burger would take nearly a year, and would inherently involve omitting some core cheeseburger ingredients. It would be wildly expensive—requiring a trio of cows—and demand many acres of land. There’s just no sense in it.

A cheeseburger cannot exist outside of a highly developed, post-agrarian society. It requires a complex interaction between a handful of vendors — in all likelihood, a couple of dozen — and the ability to ship ingredients vast distances while keeping them fresh. The cheeseburger couldn’t have existed until nearly a century ago as, indeed, it did not.


  1. BC says:

    This is silly. You can have lettuce and tomatoes concurrently and slaughter your cow whenever you want, including when the above two are in season.

    Right now we have lettuce outside and pickable, tomatoes inside, which were picked not long ago, and a herd of cows in the field several of which could be slaughtered right now.

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