Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

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Location: Texas, United States

Friday, April 22, 2005

Fun With Beeturia

Oh, you filthy bastards!!! Don't scare me like that!!!

Had a tasty London Broil for dinner. A London Broil, for the vegans who might wander here (and they had better be few!) is a large top round steak marinated for a long time, then cooked and cut into thin slices for serving.

It was most tasty, but there was an odd sweetness to the meat I couldn't place. I assumed it was sugar or honey added to the marinade. The beef was cooked to perfection, with a dark red interior common to cow that's been just barely warmed up. Moist & juicy, still dripping from the broiler pan, it looked for all the world like meat cooked just to the Rare stage. Turns out, it was cooked more than I thought.

So, I get home after dinner, putter around the house as usual, get some websurfing done and then go to bed. I've been pounding down the Diet Rite soda all evening, so, as expected, I get out of bed about 3 a.m. to take care of a little plumbing problem.

Imagine my horror when the product of said plumbing exercise is bright red in color! Immediately, thoughts of bladder and or kidney cancer spring to mind, along with a host of other ailments that all have a end result of having my johnson carved upon. Horrorshow!

Now, I'm not a complete hypochondriac. I've pissed blood before after getting a good hard shot in the kidneys playing football, and once after getting kicked in the crotch back in grade school. Neither one of those had happened recently, so I fire up the iMac to see what I can find on the Internet about symptoms and possible causes of my apparent bodily malfunction.

After a bit of research, I'm not seeing any warning signs for anything bad. In fact, aside from whizzing in U. of Alabama colors, I'm the picture of health. WTF???

So, as a last resort, I Google up "red urine". Well, guess what! Turns out eating beets can make you pee red. The problem was, I hadn't eaten any beets. Hate the damned things. I kept thinking back to what I did eat... That juicy London Broil, dripping with red juice. Lots of red juice. No fucking way! Surely they wouldn't gaff their meat by soaking it in beet juice to give it a darker red color, would they?

Yup, that's exactly what they did. I called the restaurant to confirm their cooking methods, and apparently I'm not the only one that's made an inquiry of this nature. As it happens, only 14% of the population is susceptible to Beeturia (the excretion of red beetroot pigment betalaine in urine). So, out of a group of let's say 100 people that eat at this steakhouse, only 10-12 people will typically order the London Broil. Of that smaller group, you can only expect 1 or 2 to ever show signs of beet-juice ingestion, so they use it to color the meat, add sweetness to the marinade, and rarely does anyone notice. Pretty sly!

I wonder how many other places do this with their prime rib or other meats? I guess the pee test is the only way to find out, but it's kinda hard on your nerves!