The Instigator
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The Contender
Con (against)

Lighting marshmallows on fire is the best method of toasting them.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/13/2017 Category: Funny
Updated: 10 months ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 352 times Debate No: 100872
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (1)
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My starting points for the argument are as follows:

Lighting marshmallows on fire to toast them:

1. Give them flavour.
2. Is quick.
3. Provides entertainment.
4. Can be accomplished with matches, thus saving firewood and helping the environment.


First I'd like to thank my opponent for the opportunity to be here to debate this topic today. I am sure we are in for a civilized debate.

1. give them the flavor of what exactly? matches? assuming you waited past the lighting of the match which kicks off a lot of gross fumes from the sulfer then after you light it on fire you are no longer getting the flavor of the match. so if anything you are removing flavor.

4. there are many ways of toasting a marshmallow that don't involve "firewood" such as torching, or if you really wanna get into it, HEAT (not fire) toasting just over a hot burner. [which anecdotally I think are quite delicious]

3. ok fine. I like setting things on fire too for the entertainment factor.

2. speed, what a small price to pay for a much higher quality slow roasted over a roaring campfire marshmallow. rather than the very much BLACK exterior you end up with, not to mention the ice cold center that never cooks when its on fire.

FURTHERMORE your definition is flawed. Light it on fire to toast it? that's called burning it. the definition of toasting requires the use of RADIENT heat, not direct flame.

*drops the proverbial mic.*
Debate Round No. 1


Thank you to my opponent for accepting this debate challenge. And I appreciate the link to the cat transcendence video in the comments, although thoroughly unrelated. :)

I will respond in like manner, discussing each numbered point and moving through the numbers. Additionally, I would like to include a website link, included here:

1. Marshmallows taste better burnt:

2. Ingredients in and non-toxicity of matches:

3. Ingredient in match-head is edible:

Back to the discussion:

1. You have a good point about the flavour relating to matches. Even with match-heads having minimal to no toxicity, arguably better methods do exist to toast marshmallows. Your point is taken there.

4. I suppose I ought to have mentioned the purpose of using matches was to minimize firewood, but I'm glad you understood that. Of the methods you listed, I would personally choose to torch a marshmallow. Or, to be even more environmentally considerate, a magnifying glass could be used, in combination with the sun's rays, to light a marshmallow on fire.

2. I will combine points 3 and 2 here, with my question being: How can you enjoy that entertainment factor without the speed? And when you say "a much higher QUALITY slow roasted over..." you use the word "quality." By looking up the definition of "quality on, I found that, as an adj., it means "Of superior quality." And as a noun it can mean a "grade of excellence." Lastly, "superior" means "Of higher grade or quality." This is not to bore you with definitions. Rather, my point is that your argument of slow-roasting a marshmallow giving it a "superior" quality is entirely opinion-based. However, I understand that my argument is quite opinion-based as well. But by saying that speed makes an inferior marshmallow, that may be too much. :)

It is important to keep in mind that, as I have seen through experience, lighting a marshmallow on fire does not automatically burn it. Several seconds of burning are needed, generally, to blacken the exterior. And you have a point with the cold centre, but would that cold centre add more texture, or at least make the marshmallow more interesting to eat?

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary,

Definition of toast

transitive verb

1: to warm thoroughly
2: to make (food, such as bread) crisp, hot, and brown by heat

*Glances at the mic. on the floor, shrugs and walks away. Then, takes two mics. out of pocket and drops them beside the first.... Walks away....*


I Find your links dubious.

The Huffington post? yeah, fine, they placed marshmallows in their top 10 best burnt foods.

Your NatGeo linked video, on top of being hilarious, actually mentions several ingredients aside from just potassium chlorate. This includes glass and sulfur.

Your final link states the effects of eating potassium chloRIDE, not potassium chloRATE which is in match heads, and actually involves bleach in making it.

I am going to conclude that there is no direct evidence for any harm to be done by using a match to toast a marshmallow.
Since I think overall I am not going to have the necessary chemical understanding to argue that point.

Forward to the discussion:

4. I don't care how this turns out. From now on I am always toasting my marshmallows using the flavor of the SUN through a magnifying glass. Such an elegant concept. I'm blown away.

2.Yes, my statement was very much an opinion. I should have expanded on what I meant by higher quality, as in golden brown exterior coupled with a fully melted interior vs. the black exterior and cold center I described next.
This portion of the discussion is inherently opinion based since it depends on how you like to eat your marshmallows. As I enjoy a good smore, a cold center will act as a ball breaking my crackers. You may enjoy eating the marshmallow strait off the stick and that texture may be enjoyable. in my opinion, might as well not toast it at all if your not going to melt the inside.

7.I'm going to throw this article in here
Which states that when burning food, the more charred black it gets the more of certain compounds called Advanced Glycation End Product Effects (or AGE's) are released in that food. The article states as follows, "Because these compounds cause oxidative stress in your body, AGEs potentially speed up the aging process and contribute to both diabetes and kidney problems."

5. I think that the definition for quality is wrong in the dictionary.
*gasps from the audience*
My argument is that you should never use a word to define itself. For example; how much utility is the definition for QUICKLY, if I only define it as (adj) TO MOVE QUICKLY. It is a deficient definition.
*This is not the actual definition, "quickly" has a very good definition describing it*
When you use a word to describe itself its called a circular definition.

6. Now I will agree that Merriam-Webster may not specifically use the word RADIENT in the definition of toast.
However the Oxford definition does.
*Now watch carefully as I take this up a notch*
Merriam-Webster is the U.S. dictionary and Oxford is the English (british) dictionary. So far throughout the discussion you have been using the spellings for CENTER and FLAVOR as CENTRE and FLAVOUR. Meaning that you use the Oxford dictionary in your day to day life. Merriam-Webster's defines centre as a chiefly british variant of center and does not include it as its own word and definition, thus not a proper word in the eyes of Merriam-Webster.
Either abandon the Merriam-Webster definition for toast argument, or admit you have been spelling your words wrong.

*reaches in backpack, pulls out thermos, sets aside. pulls out hockey stick, proceeds to use hockey stick to fling mic's from ground at opponent. sips tea from thermos*
Debate Round No. 2


Very true: My Huffington Post link lacked argumentative value.

After viewing your link and conducting a bit of my own research, I have concluded that your point holds true regarding potassium chloride being a separate chemical to potassium chlorate; besides this, potassium chlorate is not edible, so my point is doubly disproven.

4. It seems that I ought to have used the magnifying glass idea in the first place. That would reduce the reduction of materials used in the fire-making process, as well as providing, potentially...more entertainment. "Flavor of the SUN:" now that sounds fantastic. And thank you for that.

2. Now THERE is a great description. And yes, you did previously mention that comparison of the well-toasted marshmallow to the one having a cold interior, but it is more understandable once that specific meaning of a "quality" marshmallow is made. With that in mind, have you considered freezing your crackers in ice before using the ice-cold marshmallows? That way the crackers are much harder to break. But I digress, as this portion of the debate is entirely opinion based. So we continue...

7. Interesting to note that I did read that article in my previous research, as well. That seems to be valid logic, and I don't have the science to refute such an argument against health effects of burnt marshmallows. However, I will ask one question: Does the average number of burnt marshmallows someone would likely consume in a year pose a health risk, even if the burning were intentional? And here is an entirely random article about negative health effects of commonly-consumed food, bacon (Yes, I admit this adds almost nothing to the argument.):

5. Extremely valid point there. In order to make my argument, I would need a separate definition of "quality." As a side note, I am now in love with the term "circular definition," as I have often considered the implications of such descriptions as are called "pragmatic" definitions. Assuming any of that makes sense. In other words, I am grateful for your introduction of the term "circular definition," as I can now use that myself, and it will prevent me from making such errors.

6. *Level 2 discussion engaged.*
*Pushes lever to notch 3...."Level 3 discussion engaged."*

I admit to my usage of British spellings, such as "flavour" and "centre." Despite that, I was raised in the U.S.. I tend to use British spellings, however, since I find them to be more...artistic...than the American versions. As a side note, I also use the term "soda-pop" instead of either "soda" or "pop," so it's correct either way.

Back to the discussion, however. Perhaps I ought to abandon the definition for toast argument (DTA), but would you not agree that, technically, the British spellings of words were the original versions? If this holds true, then could it be that using the Merriam-Webster definition, and subsequently, Webster's definitions, is using words that were introduced as new and separate from the British spellings, and on purpose, if I remember right? And does that mean that you have been misspelling your words incorrectly? It seems to depend on the context of origins. But correct me if I'm wrong.

*Tries to peer in opponent's backpack as opponent removes thermos and sets it aside. Breathes sigh of relief, realizing it is not an explosive, despite the shape. Eyes widen after realizing what is about to occur with the hockey stick. Attempts to duck but is hit in the head by one mic., with the other flying inches over head and knocking MC off the stage. [gasps from audience] ...eyes close, but not before security is called on tea sipper.*
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Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 4
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