Red meat edition
I like steak.
There is nothing bizarre or unusual about this. There are many people who enjoy a good steak, even if we may have wildly different ideas about what that perfect steak should be.
For the record, my preference is for a well-marbled ribeye grilled over a wood fire and cooked just long enough to ensure that a good veterinarian couldn’t bring it back.
I recognize that other people have different views on what they prefer for their steaks. While I may question the judgement of the person who reaches for the A-1 without taking a bite or who asks for a steak to be cooked to the consistency of old shoe leather, as long as basic health and safety rules are being followed I tend to adopt a live and let live approach.
Heck, there are even people out there who would prefer a nice piece of chicken or fish — or even a salad — in place of a steak regardless of how it is prepared.
I know, I find it just as shocking as you do. While daydreaming about the start of the grilling season and thinking of the package of ribeyes in my freezer awaiting drier weather, I got to thinking about steaks and my senior year in college.
Cafeterias and other food service on college campuses are typically run by giant national companies. Invariably they have to deal with many different dietary restrictions as well as cultural food preferences. What is a delicacy in one part of the world would send people running if served somewhere else.
A perennial issue when dealing with institutional food service companies is how to “improve” the quality of meals.
I use quotes there because, “improving” is a highly subjective term. For those of us who were happy with a breaded chicken patty sandwich or the occasional burger bar, going vegan is not an improvement. Likewise I am sure they would not want an all bacon menu, no matter how awesome that would have been.
A committee was set up to get feedback from students. Having nothing better to do, I volunteered to serve on it and quickly noticed that virtually everyone else there represented a very vocal foodie fringe group that approached their food choices with a fanatical zeal. I have noticed that the fringier the folks, the greater the belief that the world needs to bend to meet their very loudly expressed worldview rather than meeting up somewhere in the middle.
I also noticed that while the fringy folks were monopolizing the conversation expressing their passionate heart-felt beliefs, there were a number of others who were simply silent. Never being one to sit on my hands, I waded into the discussion calling for a more balanced approach to prevent the bean sprout brigade from dictating meal choices to the rest of us. This drew others who had been silent into the fray, and by the end, a true discussion was taking place. The result was a more balanced approach, with special steak nights added.
Currently, there is a great deal of political rhetoric out there with groups loudly demanding to have a say in such things as classroom curriculum or how governments should respond to once in a generation challenges. While the fringe folks are almost always the loudest voices either in the room or on social media channels, it is important to remember that they represent only their particular point of view.
The challenge for all leaders is being able to go beyond the people who are shouting the loudest and take a balanced and measured approach.
I wanted to give a huge shout out to the cast and crew of “The Man Who Came to Dinner.”
The student performers did an amazing job bringing the characters to life. A special shout-out goes to seniors Aubry Chaffee, Dexter Kraemer and Brooke Meyer for their lead roles. They easily stole every scene they were in such as the end of Act II when Meyer sat quietly sipping her drink while surrounded by a sea of chaos.
This is not to take away from any of the other performers who helped put on a fantastic show. Great job to everyone involved.
Brian Wilson is News Editor at The Star News.