It’s a funny thing the introduction of the Burrito has had on youth culture in America, and the world beyond. It has done what the Falafel wrap and shawarma have trailed off in attempting.
It is not like the Burrito is a new invention. Spanish colonialists had documented the Burrito in the 15th century as they marauded the Mexican people, as small, hand held foods distributed by vendors in the street.
The evolution continued, moving from Mexico, over the border, to neighboring villages and towns, finally making it’s way to Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco. Now, it is a worldwide phenomenon, an emblem of youthful indulgence and hedonism.
Think back to those late nights, where alcohol seems to outweigh the blood and matter in your body, and it is without the mind that the legs move you to where you need to be. Everything is in a haze, swirling around you as if on wheels, but the bright lights pull you in; or the solid van offers you a place to lean; whatever the lure, you had found what you were looking for: someone to sell you a burrito.
Trolling the Mission in San Francisco after the bars have closed, or simply sitting in the parking lot of any taqueria at half two in the morning, and you will surely see the place overrun with young, mostly drunk patrons; people who in most cases have arrived with some assistance from a friend, and will surely be hunched over a toilet in the next hour or so.
So, the question is, what’s the problem? Burritos are tasty, cheap and filling. True, but the issue stems not from the food itself, but what the idea of the food does to young, bar hopping lush.
In looking through alcohol poisoning records, the earliest data I was capable of finding came from the mid-1990s, and all of it was centered around college students, or for the catch-all phrase, twentysomethings. What does that mean? In all honesty, nothing. As I mentioned earlier, Burritos had been on the market in some fashion for centuries, but, I feel there is a correlation between burritos and drinking yourself blind that is being overlooked.
It’s the dependence on that bundled treat at the end of the night that prompts a few extra drinks. It’s the idea that Burritos are saviors, the personal resurrection of your favorite god that prompts the idea that whatever you do to yourself there is that flavorful band-aid to repair all ills. This idea prevails in the young population, which has caused a spike in after hour violence, alcohol poisoning and transference of STI’s.
Are Burrito’s a crutch? An enabler? Or just an innocent bystander caught in the middle of youthful antics. All of the above, really. But, does that mean we should stop eating them? Of course not, it merely means we should think about how good they taste when we pour those drinks down our gullets, and how all of that loveliness is forfeited, not to mention to handful of dollars spent on it, when it finds its way into to the gutters in that vicious upheaval.