What’s with the kale thing? I grew up eating kale, one of the vegetables in regular rotation at dinner at my mama’s table. Like spinach, kale was always eaten sprinkled with vinegar, never Blue Bonnet on the kale. Kale came in a box, already chopped and frozen like a brick in a block of ice. I presumed that was kale in its natural state. Little did I know at the time it grew from the earth in leaves.
Like everyone else who eats food, I have become increasing aware of the kale epidemic. There are now kale chips and kale smoothies and kale gelato. I hold no grudge against kale, but I don’t get the excitement, like suddenly someone discovered that it’s a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, the fountain of youth, and a path to nuclear disarmament. It’s just there, dull green leaves, ever so slightly bitter, but boring.
So last night I did a little online research, curious about clean food diets versus paleo versus anything else that touted a new, improved healthy life. Kale is the common thread—everything I read included kale. But here’s the thing—there is controversy about everything else. Some say don’t eat fruit because fruit is just basically sugar and sugar is the enemy. Grains, legume, carbohydrates, and fats can kill you. Nothing GMO, non-organic, or animal based. And here’s the newest wrinkle, courtesy of the clean food regime—don’t cook anything. Also don’t process it in any way (for example, don’t mash apples to make applesauce). So I kept crossing things off my shopping list. And why bother with recipes? All I need to eat is raw, unadorned kale.
I’m figuratively girding my loins, heading out to Whole Foods with resolve. I will pass by the bakery with that fabulous croissant bread pudding. I won’t even go down the potato chip aisle. Even the salad bar will be off limits, because those wretched red peppers marinated in olive oil could kill me. I will bravely buy a large quantity of organic, non-GMO kale and head home, triumphant.