October 10, 2013

They’re Coming to Make Me Eat Kale, Ha-Ha!

Kale Joy! A bargain at $5.00 an ounce

Of late many self-employed food bullshit artists have concluded that we should eat more kale. Why anyone would want to eat even a little kale is beyond me. Kale, considered dispassionately, is something that you’d want to dry and stuff into a tick mattress if you were out of paint soaked rags and seaweed. Kale is not, strictly speaking, a food.

And yet, and yet, there it is. Oozing in piles of of leafy green intestine cleansing fronds in what can now only be described as the weed section of the produce aisle at your average Whole Foods.

How kale actually got into our national food chain is a mystery almost as deep as how the flavor of pumpkin (backed by “Spice!”) has been infused into foods and beverages starting October 1. Both kale and pumpkin exemplify items from the somewhat vegetable kingdom that would be better going straight from farm to compost without passing through humans.

And yet, and yet, here we are .... one more mile down the road to hell courtesy of those post LorenaBobbittized vegans within whom there is not a teaspoon of testosterone in a trainload.

Not only is kale the original EmoTwink vegetable, it is now been shown to be (Isn’t it always?) deadly to man(!), lambs(!), and the environment(!). As Melissa McEwen points out in "Just Kale Me,"

“Before scientists were blinded by kale’s health food halo, they studied its horrific effect on livestock. Farmers had been mystified by the births of lambs that already had goiter. Researchers experimented with kale on sheep and rabbits with grisly results. Turns out kale does contain a goitrogen, thiocyanate, which is chemically very similar to deadly cyanide. Some young lambs were stillborn, their brain development stunted by their goiters. The consumption of kale had blocked their thyroid’s ability to function properly even in the presence of proper iodine consumption. With many Americans consuming little iodine, especially those obsessed with health foods who eschew iodized salt, the effects could be devastating.”

Ah, cyanide and stillborn little lambs! What can be more “Heart and Earth Friendly”? What? Kale, it turns out. McEwen continues:

“As kale becomes more and more popular, it raises the question: how will we feed the world’s almost 9 billion people on kale? The Food and Agricultural Organization at the UN doesn’t track kale production and consumption yet, but they will have to start. At current rates of growth, by 2350, almost all the world’s cropland will be devoted to kale. The consequences to the environment will be devastating.
“Large-scale industrial commercial kale production requires clearing massive amounts of animal habitat and killing animals that invade the fields of kale. In the world of leafy greens production, any life that’s not a leaf is a potential liability. After the spinach-related e.coli outbreak, farmers can’t take the risk of co-existing with other plants and animals. Will the world look like the Salinas Valley looks like today? A sterile dry wasteland where any signs of life are promptly shot or poisoned?”

Killing for Kale!. That’s the wave of the future and it is not an amber wave under spacious skies. Nope. It is a wave of pale and sodden progressively "good-for-you" greens slopped onto your aluminum plate in the prison chow line on Planet Vegan. You remember that putrescent puddle of gurgling spinach guts in spinach water that was once glunked on your plate in the high school cafeteria? This is the same thing only with extra thiocyanate. But hey, its KALE!, so count yourself lucky. Think of all the children of the elite and super rich that are going to bed tonight without any.

Of course it is not enough that the progvegan aliens will poison your guts and your planet by convincing you that kale’s the thing, first they will rob you.

How will they rob you? By transforming the fresh feisty poison of common kale into the gold dust of kale, Kale Chips!

Kale Chips are the philosopher’s stone of kale. They prove that the depravity of vegans can always, ALWAYS, make a vegetable worse and more expensive at the same time. You may well have seen these “chips” hanging in their foil coffins from J-hooks in the stores. They currently retail at around $5.00 a bag for about an ounce. Yes, five bucks for one ounce. For all those who skipped multiplication, that’s $80.00 a pound for ...... kale! A jaw-dropping price that says, at least to me, that the owner of said store wants to keep all his kale chips in his private collection.

On the other hand, it might be better, in light of the downside to kale that transcends its vile nature and threatens your liver, your planet, and your little lambs, to locate the growers and producers of this green harbinger of tomorrow’s turd today and burn them out. Much like one once burned out witches. Tied to a stake with a bunch of dry kale chips at their feet they’d make a fine beginning to an old fashioned barbecue. Not as food, mind you, but as entertainment. Who knows, with enough kale-fueled auto-da-fés we might even put the amber waves of grain back where they belong. Under our spacious kale-free skies.

Of course you can always take the extreme position that McEwen does,

"In the end the best thing you can do for yourself, your family, and the world is to avoid kale and its cousins. This post contains over fifty peer-reviewed references to science, so think about that next time your so-called friend serves you a massaged kale salad with delicious flecks of parmesan reggiano. Remember there is no documented need for kale in your diet and you can get all the nutrients you need from delicious nutritious cow’s liver."
That is before, of course, she admits that she was just making all those alarming things about kale up:
Yes, Kale does contain chemicals, all foods do. In very large amounts or in certain vulnerable people could cause problems. Many of the studies I chose involved animals with a diet almost completely based on kale, which I think anyone will agree is a bad idea. Most also involved varieties not sold for human consumption and consumed in ways that humans might not consume- uncooked, un-marinated, etc. A lot of the rest involved just scary language about various chemicals and studies involving isolated chemicals.
As you can see, McEwen is clearly a transgendered gurlboi in transition from an American to an Amoronican, and is really, really, really just kidding when I comes to the killing fields of kale. Unfortunately for her and all the other sexually vague vegans, when it comes to burning the $80 per pound kale chip producers at the stake, I'm not kidding. Somebody's got to draw the line in the grocery line.

Posted by gerardvanderleun at October 10, 2013 8:13 AM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

I like kale personally but I always disregard those trendy food nutrition stories. They're usually junk and honestly, unless you're getting rickets or something, who cares?

Posted by: Christopher Taylor at October 10, 2013 9:04 AM

Yes, I'll ignore the kale just as I ignore the other overpriced, tasteless (or worse) "health food" fads. But a good deli, that I won't ignore.

Posted by: waltj at October 10, 2013 9:18 AM

I like kale too but loathe these foodies and their fads, which I just ignore.
I've also been drinking PBR for twenty years and I'm not gonna quit because some effete hipsters try to make it trendy.

Posted by: LS at October 10, 2013 10:29 AM

I grow my own kale and other greens and they are more delicious than any storebought veggies. If you've never had home grown broccoli, collards, kale or turnips you have never tasted the full, hearty and delicious flavor of God's own natural health food.

Posted by: mike at October 10, 2013 10:30 AM

The Germans have long prized kale (grünkohl) because it is one of the few leafy greens that will grow in the early winter snows. Here is the only civilized way to eat it:

Kale, Potato and Bacon Soup (Grünkohl, Kartoffel mit Speck Suppe) - An old Silesian recipe

2 lbs of kale, rinsed, woody stalks removed, chopped

2 onions, diced

2-3 lbs of potatoes (4-6), peeled and chopped into medium chunks

1/2 lb or more of thick sliced smoked bacon, chopped into medium (3/4") strips

1-2 Tblsps caraway seeds

2-4 Tblsps sugar

2-3 qts of broth, chicken or beef, commercial or homemade, or water, or a mixture of the two (I usually use 1 qt of commercial broth and 2 qts water)

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar, or more, to taste


Melt the bacon in a large soup pot over medium heat, and when enough fat has been rendered, add the onions and caraway seeds. Cook gently until the onions are soft, then add the chunked potatoes and stir them in the fat for a few minutes. Add the sugar and then the kale and stir until the leaves are just beginning to wilt, then add a good dose of salt, and the liquid.

Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for about an hour, or more, until the potatoes are soft and yielding and the kale cooked to tender rags.

Add the vinegar and adjust the seasonings, adding more salt, sugar or vinegar as your taste dictates. It is benenficial to remove the soup from the heat and let it sit for a few minutes before rendering your final verdict. The soup should have a mild sweet/sour flavor underpinned by the bacon's smokiness and the nuttiness of the caraway.

Ladle into a bowl, and top with a spoonful or two of sour cream, if desired. Coarse rye bread, if you can find it, is its natural companion.

Posted by: Metternich at October 10, 2013 10:56 AM

Home grown Beet Greens! They're the best!

Posted by: Duncan at October 10, 2013 10:57 AM

Damn, Metternich,that sounds good. I may try it.

Posted by: vanderleun at October 10, 2013 11:05 AM

That does sound good. I might have to have some of that, too.

Posted by: Jewel at October 10, 2013 11:48 AM

Could you substitute broccoli or cauliflower, which are very similar to Kale botanically, but are more palatable (to me at least)?

Also I am not a huge vinegar fan. Could I pass on that or substitute lemon juice?

Posted by: Fat Man at October 10, 2013 12:23 PM

Seen in downtown Princeton, NJ, 10:00AM this morning.
Prius (of course), with 3 bumper stickers: Obama/Biden, Coexist, Eat More Kale.

Posted by: Fausta at October 10, 2013 1:01 PM

My German mother made us Gruehnkohl 3 nights a week all winter. Same recipe as above, only mit wurst.

My wife bought a can of it last year to see if I still hated the stuff.

I do.

Posted by: Fred Z at October 10, 2013 1:49 PM

My Dear Fat Man:

You hardly need my permission to cook in any way your fancy moves you. Of course, if one removes the kale, then one no longer has kale soup.

Posted by: Metternich at October 10, 2013 2:23 PM

Yikes! $80 per pound? Just out of curiosity, how does that compare to the price of marijuana in Seattle?

If there are health concerns with regards to eating kale (which I do not eat much), I hope they do not extend to the rest of the kale family of plants (which I do): broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, etc.

Posted by: Grizzly at October 10, 2013 6:25 PM

If you substitute cauliflower, add it to the soup no more than 15 or so minutes before serving. It will develop an unappetizing amount of sulphur flavor with long simmering.

Of course, if you are a member of the Obama Administration, sulphurous food is a feature, not a bug :)

Posted by: raincityjazz at October 10, 2013 9:59 PM

Growing up in W. Va. kale and creasy greens were standard fare, hardly considered trendy at the time.

Not as good as the collards and turnip greens down south, but they grow better in the Appalachian climate apparently.

Posted by: B Moe at October 11, 2013 3:17 PM

Two lizards that I had for many years loved kale.

Me, I love steak

Posted by: Grace at October 11, 2013 5:01 PM

Spinach. Good enough for Popeye, good enough for me.

Posted by: chasmatic at October 12, 2013 12:23 PM