If you don’t believe in God — or if you harbor any doubts whatsoever that he loves us — doubt no more: “The Saddest Leafy Green: America never really liked kale“:
Since about 2011, when Gwyneth Paltrow taught the world how to make kale chips on the Ellen show, kale has entered into the cultural lexicon as a status symbol for a generation of young adults drawn to conspicuous health-consciousness … If Beyoncé dancing pantsless in a sweatshirt emblazoned with the word kale can’t persuade the country to get over its aversion to the vegetable, it might be time everyone admitted their true feelings and just went back to spinach.
As fads go, and in hindsight, I suppose kale had a relatively short shelf life. But its end comes none too soon.
Kale is the green equivalent of quinoa. While kale tends to be more bitter and even less palatable then quinoa (Egad!), the chief molecular component of both of them is sawdust. They’re dry and impossible to swallow because the God whose exitence you doubt invented the process that allows a substance to pass from the mouth, to the pharynx, and into the esophagus, while shutting the epiglottis. This process is colloquially known as swallowing.
God also invented the Gag Reflex, which prevents the process of swallowing by causing pernicious substances that pass from the mouth to the pharynx to be summarily rejected — sometimes projected — before they can reach the esophagus and do any real harm. If you’ve ever tried to ingest kale or quinoa, you know what I’m talking about.
It seems we’re approaching something on the order of the proverbial perfect storm: The unending proliferation of fad diets is combining with epidemic levels of pathological gullibility to give every trend — regardless of its nature, its absurdity, or its (literal) tastelessness — the 15 minutes of fame Andy Warhol thought people would experience.
Can you imagine approaching a tribe of cavemen as they were out hunting for wooly mammoths and mastodons and having this conversation with them?
You: Fellas. What the hell are you doing? Do you know you could grow kale and quinoa? Then you could keep yourselves off of PETA’s shit list and improve your cholesterol levels to boot.
Cavemen: What are you, nuts? Setting aside the fact that we haven’t invented plows yet, nobody can swallow that crap.
Neither can I. But simpler needs breed pragmatism. And we’re long past both.
I’m going to continue to eat meat. I’m going to continue to avoid kale and quinoa the way South Americans avoid piranhas. And I’m going to wait for the Pre-Paleo Diet to come along to dictate that its followers eat only rocks and bugs.
If you don’t think that day is right around the corner, you’re not paying attention.
In the meantime, God is scratching his head.
Image courtesy of freepik.com.