Columnists, Opinion, Vantage Point

‘Steak-gate’ concerns have some meat to them

So Donald Trump says and does a lot of ridiculous things. Well, “ridiculous” may not be the appropriate word for everything – “racist,” “aggressive” and “destructive” are better suited for a lot of his actions that concern the American people.

But “ridiculous” is definitely apt for one story that popped up in the news across the country a couple of weeks ago – the fact that Trump ordered a $54 steak well-done and smothered it in ketchup at his DC hotel.

This incident caused outrage among self-proclaimed foodies who perceived a ruined high-quality piece of meat. Most chefs agree that cooking a steak well-done dries it out, giving it an unpleasant texture and weakening the chemical process that brings out the most savory, “meaty” flavor. Only 8 percent of Americans eat their steak well-done.

If I were Trump, or a Trump supporter, I might use this as another example of the media overhyping a trivial matter that has absolutely nothing to do with his governing ability and the liberal slacktivists on Twitter whining about something that has no impact on American lives.

There is, of course, a degree of truth to this, but “Steak-gate” is a different matter.

There is a reason people get specifically upset over food and what the president is eating. Food is an extremely personal matter, not only a basic need. But what we eat also communicates information about upbringing and priorities. It’s a method of expressing culture and disseminating values.

If you’ve ever had an argument with a vegetarian and refuted all of their valid points, even though you agree with them on the ethics, you understand this primal passion with which people approach food. Something makes us throw away rationality at the suggestion that it was wrong to eat our moms’ signature chicken parmesan or roast beef or steak (medium rare).

American politics shows up in our cuisine. Some insist on local, slow, organic, farm-to-table foods. Others embrace the access, convenience and affordability of fast food culture. Fusion restaurants across the country remind Americans of our heritage as a multicultural nation.

These food cultures illustrate specific values. Americans got worked up about Steak-gate not just because food issues tend to flame people’s passions, but because they saw true implications

about Trump’s values and governing ability in how he eats his steak.

It outs Trump’s perverse understanding of the association between wealth and quality. Many Americans voted for him because they believed him to be a successful businessman. But he seems to like expensive things – a $54 steak – for the fact that they are expensive, not for quality. He spent good money on something, but immediately degraded its value.

Basically, Steak-gate is an outlet for the frustration over Trump’s corrupt business dealings and backwards values. Americans are facing the prospect of expensive but valuable social services like healthcare being cut in favor of extravagant, almost purely symbolic spending on military. Most people can rarely afford to savor such an expensive piece of meat and, if given the chance, would have eaten it medium-rare and ketchup-free.

 

 

Annie Cappetta is a junior majoring in ecosystem science and policy and political science.

 

Featured image courtesy Flickr user Basheer Tome

March 8, 2017

Reporters

Annie Cappetta


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

It wasn’t long ago when the Miami Hurricanes’ Class of 2020 included the top three rising senior pro ...

Six new Hurricanes football players arrived on campus and began classes Monday, a group including a ...

The Atlantic Coast Conference Baseball Championship schedule is set. The No. 4 seed Miami Hurricanes ...

The first regular season of Gino DiMare’s head-coaching era ended Saturday at Mark Light Field. But ...

The Miami Hurricanes’ hopes for hosting an NCAA regional were damaged a bit on Friday night by a 12- ...

Researchers at the University of Miami are transforming weather forecasts by creating a seasonal for ...

Imagine simulating diabetes, lung cancer, or heart disease on a device no larger than a credit card. ...

Alabama’s new abortion law puts the issue of women’s rights in the spotlight for the upcoming 2020 e ...

The University of Miami is shaping the future of education by using innovative approaches that drive ...

Six short films created by University of Miami film students will be screened in Los Angeles this we ...

Four Miami Hurricanes were among those recognized by the Atlantic Coast Conference Monday for their ...

The University of Miami football program announced Tuesday that it has agreed to a home football gam ...

Top-seeded Estela Perez-Somarriba of the Miami women's tennis team started her NCAA Singles Cha ...

The Barcelona, Spain, native caps his sophomore campaign with a team-high 21 singles wins. ...

The University of Miami track and field program garnered 20 entries in the 2019 NCAA East Preliminar ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.