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Counterpoint: Tempt Fate and Eat Raw Cookie Dough

Illustration for article titled Counterpoint: Tempt Fate and Eat Raw Cookie Dough
Image: Shutterstock

It’s the holidays, which means news outlets are Debbie Downer-ing us with annoyingly true alerts that ultimately serve to piss on our seasonal cheer. The latest offender is PEOPLE, which reminds us that “CDC Warns People to ‘Say No’ to Raw Cookie Dough While Baking for the Holidays.” Insert sad trombone sound with a “Feliz Navidad” coda.


The thing is, the Centers for Disease Control has been saying this (its Say No to Raw Dough! site dates back to at least 2016), and nothing—not even plainspoken voice of reason—is more persuasive than the pleas coming from the bowl of cookie dough that you’re just hovering over. “Eat me! Eat me! Eat me!” it bellows, flexing its pre-cookie muscles in a manner that looks as menacing as it does delicious.

Actual rendering of cookie dough’s coercion technique
Actual rendering of cookie dough’s coercion technique
Image: Shutterstock

The dough blob has a point. I’ve also never heard of anyone getting sick from eating cookie dough. I’ve been doing it and watching other people do it and hearing about other people doing it when they tell me they baked cookies earlier in the day all my life and I’ve only had and heard about good experiences. Mind you I’m no cookieologist, but I think I know what I’m talking about.

The CDC, being, you know, science-based, does point to this stat:

In 2016, an outbreak of E. coli infections linked to raw flour made 63 people sick. Flour products have long shelf lives and could be in people’s homes for a long time. If you have any recalled flour products in your home, throw them away.

I mean, okay, but there were 81 unprovoked shark attacks in 2016. Did that change the way you swam and/or showered? I didn’t think so.

And then there’s that bacterial boogeyman salmonella:

In addition, raw eggs that are used to make raw dough or batter can contain a germ called Salmonella that can make you sick if the eggs are eaten raw or lightly cooked. Eggs are safe to eat when cooked and handled properly.



I don’t really think you’re going to listen to me over the CDC, but we both know that you’re going to eat at least some of the dough produced when you’re making cookies, so let’s cut the shit here.

Some Pig. Terrific. Radiant. Humble.

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My cookie dough tastes have changed a lot over the years. Talking about chocolate chip cookie dough specifically, I loved it as a kid. As a teen, I worked at Baskin-Robbins, and would occasionally pick hunks of dough out of the cookie dough ice cream to eat. But then, by my late 20s and into my 30s, I’d buy premade cookie dough (I’m not much of a baker/from scratch person), and I’d take a bite or two, but it never did anything for me. (And frankly, neither did the cookies, because no matter how closely I watched the clock, or how often I checked them, they ended up burned. Like, 9:10 p.m., open oven, still raw. 9:12 p.m., open oven, burned. Literally!) So I gave up. In my 40s, one time I ordered some kind of Haagen-Dazs ice cream with a food delivery, most definitely not cookie dough ... but that’s what they sent. Didn’t feel like fighting, so I just ate it. And ... ick. I most definitely don’t like it anymore.

TL;DR: Anyone else find their enjoyment of cookie dough declining as they got older?