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Top Chef: Masters 3 – Ep 4 – The Woman Likes Her Meat


Well, I guess I have been reduced to Team Beast. I must apologize to Suvir because one of two things happened this week – either I jinxed him badly by declaring my support, or he made a really bad, bad decision. I’m willing to take that bullet for you, Suvir, because, boy, this was not a very good time to climb up upon a soapbox.

Let me just say, vegetarianism is something I admire. I can’t do it, I like eating meat waaaaaay too much, but I respect anyone who does. Whether it is for the health aspect, there is no doubt that it is healthier to cut meat from your diet, or if it is the desire not to harm animals. To be perfectly honest, if I had to watch what happens to provide me with my hamburgers, chicken wings or breakfast sausage, I think I would be traumatized. In fact, I have not shared with my almost five-year-old that meat comes from animals. Chicken is “food chicken” and “bird chicken,” for now, those are two different entities for him. I like it this way, because someday he is not going to like the thought of eating animals. Denial loves company.

However, there is one thing that I have a problem with, the tendency for some to force their beliefs on to me. It is one of the prime reasons that I have become an atheist. I hate having someone else’s faith shoved onto me, and being ridiculed or pitied for resisting. I try to respect someone else’s political beliefs even if they are opposite to me. It is hard sometimes, especially when the word “birther” is involved. My personality is that if you force me, or attempt to force me, to do something I will resist and eventually probably do the opposite. I think there are tons of people like me.

For Suvir to take this moment in this challenge to lecture the room about the evils of red meat, it was ill-advised. I don’t doubt his sincerity, nor do I disagree that too much red meat is bad for you. However, you can’t go from one extreme to another like that. To transform a big ol’ bacon cheeseburger with fries into a veggie burger and crunchy salad is too much. Not many people can quit cold turkey. Unibrow was right in his take – smaller portion size. Especially when dealing with the contestants on The Biggest Loser – people who by definition are dealing with weight problems. Those kinds of problems are not just caused by menu and sloth-like living, but by the size of the menu. Get them to eat less meat first, and then push for the veggie burgers. What a country!!

Suvir double-downed on the decision when it clearly backfired and it led to his downfall. Worse yet, he forgot one of the golden rules of his industry – cook to please your customer. Burger Lady was not happy, and I think that was the clincher. Alex’s liked his dish, as did Mary Sue’s. I go back to my earlier thoughts – it’s just asking too much to take a meat addict and ask her to enjoy a veggie patty. The better plan for Suvir would be to use turkey bacon and maybe a leaner, smaller turkey burger patty. And instead of fries, go with a baked potato, or roasted potatoes. It may not be his lifestyle, and that’s fine, but it was closer to Irene the Burger Lady’s.

Suvir is right – America has a huge obesity problem. The fact that the First Lady could be mocked by some for trying to combat the problem shows how hard it is to get people to eat better. The food industry is also very powerful and it is cheaper to make food that is worse for our health. In all of our recent health care debates, one fact that was not given enough attention – if we weren’t as fat as we are, we would have fewer health problems which cost a lot more to treat than to prevent. So, point well taken, Suvir. Just the wrong way to fight that fight.

And so now he’s gone (at least unless someone drops out and he returns the way Unibrow did), and I need a new male favorite to join Beast. I am thinking Floyd who is raising money to fight cancer, or Alex who is a survivor himself. Fighting cancer is close to my heart as the disease has taken a lot from my life and I hope one day that others do not face the same sadness.


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