It seems odd that a Unitarian minister would be responsible for Michigan having the best hot dogs in America, but that's the story of Kalamazoo's Caroline Bartlett Crane.

Crane began lobbying Michigan's lawmakers for high quality meat standards.

Michigan's Hot Dog Champion and Quality Standards

Bill Ward shared the story with the All About Michigan History Facebook group,

Best hot dogs in the USA are found in Michigan... This specifically has to do with meat laws that were instituted after heavy lobbying by Caroline Bartlett Crane, a Unitarian minister in Kalamazoo, BEFORE Upton Sinclair wrote "The Jungle" These meat laws were so strict that Hebrew National -- generally the highest quality hot dog in most places -- was unable to meet Michigan standards... In fact, in the early 1970s, the US Supreme Court threw out portions of the law because they were too restrictive... laws that had been effect since the 1890s,

That's why iconic Michigan brands like Koegel in Flint, Kowalski in Hamtramck and Vollwerth in Hancock flushed as they had to meet more strict quality standards than existed nationally.

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The Jungle from Upton Sinclair is a book you may remember from school in which brutal and unsanitary conditions in Chicago's meatpacking district are exposed. The novel led to national improvements in quality and standards.

Kalamazoo's Caroline Barrett Crane - Activist and Suffragist

Crane is a native of Wisconsin but was installed at the Unitarian Church in Kalamazoo in 1889. She advocated for public health and sanitation as well as women's rights during her career. She is buried in Kalamazoo at Mountain Home Cemetery on the city's west side.

READ MORE: The Origin of the Wet Burrito May Be West Michigan's Best Conspiracy Theory

The hot dog in Michigan is best enjoyed today as a 'coney'...unless you can track down some prized locations, mainly on the west side of the state that serve up hot dogs Chicago-style.

Hot Dogs and the Story of Burger King's Hot Dog Flop

When one is writing a story about hot dogs, it is appropriate to include many pictures from the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council. Did you know there is a National Hot Dog and Sausage Council? I didn't...until today. You know what I said when I found them?

Hot Dog!

Gallery Credit: James Rabe

5 'Must-Have' Chicago Hot Dog Experiences That Will Change Your Life

One look at these five Chicago hot dog spots and you will start to feel something move inside you. That's your hunger. Come eat and your life will never be the same.

Gallery Credit: Steve Shannon

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