The Great Hot Dog Debate: American Icon or Culinary Disgrace?

According to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council (yes, that’s a thing), Americans will eat a whopping 150 million hot dogs this Fourth of July. That’s enough to stretch from D.C. to L.A. five times, in case you were wondering about the length of those weiners. 

To many, this statistic is positively revolting. And yet, this suspect blend of tube-shaped mystery meat remains a national icon. From the hot dog carts of New York City to the beanie weenie bowls of America’s youth, hot dogs are woven into the fabric of our culture. 

But this is 2019, the year of CBD-infused acai bowls and Impossible Whoppers. Is the hot dog still America’s national treasure, or is it time for this pseudo-sausage to be impeached? Here at Nebo, we have strong feelings either way. Here are a few.

*Disclaimer: Nebo does not support factory farming — in fact, we’ve written a lot about how much it sucks. Thusly, all positive statements made about hot dogs in this post are based upon the premise that said hypothetical hot dogs are ethically sourced, not factory farmed.* 

The Great Hot Dog Debate

Via Giphy

Pro: They represent the diversity of America 

There are as many ways to top a hot dog as there are stars in the flag: Fenway Franks with relish, brown mustard and onions, intricately pickled Chicago Dogs, and spicy Sonorans with salsa and pinto beans are just a few local variations on the dog.

Source: Giphy

Con: They’re compensating for something

What is the hot dog hiding behind all of those toppings? A small chin? Corporate malpractice? Or perhaps... it’s a lack of flavor.

Source: Giphy

Pro: They’re symbolic of our great nation 

The coming together of many meats is representative of the great melting pot that is America. Hot dogs are made with a blend of many things, including water, spices and... uh...

Source: Giphy

Con: Wait, what are they made of???

We don’t really know what these meat tubes are. Not for sure. In fact, the name “hot dog” comes from a running joke at Yale in the 1890s: that the mystery meat of their favorite sausage just might be dog.

 Source: Giphy

Pro: They’re the ultimate portable meal

The dog’s long and narrow design sits elegantly in the hand. Plus, it comes with an edible plate in the form of a bun. 

Source: Giphy

Con: One just isn’t enough food 

And yet, one hot dog is somehow too many. 

Source: Giphy

Pro: They’re cheap

Paying four bucks for a weiner? Fuggedabout it! Hot dogs cost nothing. Anyone can be a baller with hot dogs.

Source: Giphy

Con: They’re cheap

You get what you pay for. In this case, ground cartilage and a splash of hot dog water. 

Source: Giphy

Pro: They have an all-American origin story

The history of the hot dog is shrouded in mystery. But legend has it that they were introduced by German immigrants selling “dachshunds” from carts on Bowery in NYC, where they remain a staple snack.

Source: Giphy

Con: They look like weiners

Much like the Washington Monument, hot dogs are one of our nation’s great phallic symbols. 

Source: Giphy

Pro: They’re highly memeable

America loves memes so much, we voted one into office. Then we pulled ourselves out of the darkness with this overplayed Snapchat filter. #Merica 

Source: Giphy

Con: They’re full of surprises

If you’re not turned off to hot dogs yet, here’s one last fun fact. Here are six things Americans have found inside of hot dogs, according to TIME.

  • The tip of a razor blade

  • A large ant

  • A pill

  • “What looks like insect larva”

  • A hot dog written on with magic marker

  • A clump of hair “or something rat-like”

Dog bless America! 



Written by Chelsie Rivera on July 1, 2019


Add A Comment

I am happy to find so many useful information here in the post, we need develop more strategies in this regard, thanks for sharing. I think we need to bring more ideas for this purpose.

Key K says:

Hot Dogs are disgusting. Having this food represent your country is a disgrace. Terrible processed heavily salted meat tubes in a refined wheat flour bun.... condiments made from sugar and chemicals... artery clogging and diabetes all in one. This isnt even real food. Its factor processed death, literally. And people wonder why North Americans have such high rates of heart disease and digestive problems...

I love hotdog. This kind of food I can eat whole day.

good snack i loved , thanks for the share about it.

Cbuckley 1 kb4y45y
Written by
Chelsie Rivera
Associate Director of Content