July is National Hot Dog Month
The National Hotdog and Sausage Council is a gold mine for all sorts of tube steak trivia, but like all good shameless self-promotion sites, the best information is between the lines. Here are some examples:
"Americans will eat 26 million hot dogs in major league ballparks -- that's enough to stretch from Yankee Stadium in New York City to Dodgers' Stadium in Los Angeles!" This is during one season. (During the whole summer, 7 billion hot dogs will be consumed in this country alone in ballparks AND other venues.) Now, at Seattle's new Safeco Field, a hot dog costs $4.50 and weighs 5.3 ounces, without the bun. The average hog farmer sells his swine for (and this is probably high) $35 a hundredweight, which means 35 cents a pound live. But then no one said life was fair.
"Editorial cartoonist Tad Dorgan [1877-1929] is credited with coining the term 'hot dog.' The story goes that Dorgan, uncertain as to the spelling of 'dachshund' sausages -- the name used by New York Polo Ground vendors -- simplified it to 'hot dogs,' and so the name was born." I checked the year on this and it looks like the date for the name "hot dog" is about 1900. DACHSHUND SAUSAGES!!?? Egad. A hundred years ago, people were less removed from the food chain than we are now, and were conseqently much less sentimental about the whole thing, but really...
"Kosher meats can come only from animals that have cloven hooves and chew their cuds -- farm raised cattle, sheep or goats. Most domestic poultry is also acceptable. " Does that mean that chickens have hooves and chew their cuds or that chicken isn't meat? If chicken isn't meat, does that mean that you can be a vegetarian and still enjoy Kentucky Fried?
"Unlike livestock in non-Kosher plants, Jewish law requires that livestock not be 'stunned' prior to slaughter." Yipes. Even for chicken - yipes.
The following is from the USDA:
Advanced meat recovery--imagine that. When they say the only part of the pig that isn't used is the squeal, they mean it.
OK, now tomorrow is the 4th of July and there are going to be 155 million hot dogs consumed on that day alone in the US. The population of the country is 270.3 million so that is just about half a hot dog for every man, woman, and child. I'd get to the supermarket fast if I were you.
The most illustrious Saint of the Day today is Saint Thomas, the Apostle--Doubting Thomas. He's the patron saint of India, builders, architects, and theologians and is to be invoked agaist blindness.
Another Thomas, Tom Stoppard, was born on this date in 1937.
It was a bad day in history for rockers. Both Jim Morrison of the Doors and Brian Jones of the Stones died on July 3--different years, of course.