You can’t fight fire with cows
I like my bacon chewy. I’ve never really understood the point of crispy bacon — I associate it with being burnt.
Yes, chewy bacon tastes good, and crispy bacon tastes burnt. People like to say that they like their bacon crispy, but I think that either they don’t really like bacon, or they really like saying the word ‘crispy’. Unless it’s like that thing with the dragons in Reign of Fire – possibly the best post-apocalyptic dragon movie ever (but fuck you, Christian Bale – I never liked you, despite liking lots of your movies) – where they explained that dragons feed on ash, which is why they evolved to breathe fire (or perhaps vice versa).
Besides the fact that this doesn’t make much sense chemically or thermodynamically, since most of the energy of a given food in question is being burned up as light and heat through combustion – because the energy normally taken from the chemical bonds in food will have been used up, and from an energetics perspective it might make more sense to just eat poo. Because you know what? Even after you get all your energy from your food and turn it into poo, poo still has enough energy locked up in it to burn in a bag on a doorstep. (Ash does not).
You might want to take the ‘carnivores-eat-ungulates’ argument: we lack the digestive specialization to eat grass. But cows can eat grass, so cows eat grass and turn that grass matter into cow matter, and then we eat the cows. So we basically eat grass – we just need cows to make it edible for us (by turning it into themselves first).
And if you want to run with that analogy, and the dragons are us, then fire is the dragon’s cow and ash is the dragon’s beef and a ‘fwoosh’ is a ‘moo’ and grass… could be grass — if that’s what the dragon burned — but it doesn’t have to be!
So if you were a nerd, or a stubborn and insecure script-writer, or you really liked the movie and wanted to defend its logic, then you could suggest that dragons co-evolved with their ability to cook their food, causing a positive feedback loop between an ability (and tendency) to burn their food and a reduction in their ability to digest food that was not burned.
But at that point I would step in and say, “But hey, once food became scarce, then evolution would favour the ability to get as much nutrition out of their food as possible, and so those dragons that were able to eat less-burned food would get more calories and out-compete those that wasted most of their food’s nourishment by burning it — sending the feedback loop in the other direction, favouring a behaviour of not burning food and a physiology of being able to digest food in a less-burned state. And yes, in the history of the movie dragons had gone (almost) extinct because food had become scarce because they had burned and eaten everything. This is likely meant to take the analogy two ways, we being the unsustainable dragons that were on our way to extinction. But before we metaphorical dragons could do that, the literal dragons came and started doing it for us. And while the dragons’ literal fire was pitted against humans’ metaphorical fire – which were cows — humans were losing. You can’t fight fire with cows, unless there are lots of cows and a little bit of fire, and you can get the cows to stampede exactly where you want. And now you’re saying: “But the literal dragons are metaphorical humans, so it’s really just greedy people against desperate people!” Well, I’m glad you got something out of your English degree. Some people would tell you to just shut up and enjoy a movie with dragons and a bald axe-wielding Mathew McConaughey
Of course, you might ask: why would they bother burning their food in the first place? What are the advantages of cooking the food? They didn’t get into this in the movie, but maybe it was parasites. Dragon parasites. Burn the shit out of your food before you eat it and you won’t get parasites.
This was supposed to be an article about bacon grease, but it seems I got side-tracked talking about dragons.
And that’s why dragon food tastes like burnt bacon. And maybe that’s why some people think they like it, even if you could argue that it’s less nutritious than poo.
Because dragons are cool.