Although I don’t have a Tee Vee, I do know that kale has “arrived.” I am reminded of kale’s super food status by an automobile commercial during Red Sox games which says “kale is the new Brussels sprout.” Just plug the word “kale” into a search engine and see for yourself; I won’t repeat all the wonderful and miraculous health promises that are being made on kale’s behalf.
They might not be true.
Please don’t misunderstand my cynicism. I think kale is an excellent green vegetable. It is probably better to eat than Doritos. I love kale and I’ve dreamed about it. Unfortunately, when something reaches a certain level of popularity, it becomes a commodity and sometimes commodities are abused and taken for granted. Commoditization of anything can lead to overproduction and an inferior product.
I don’t want to eat an inferior product and neither do you.
Since kale is a leafy vegetable, the growing medium is important. Dark green, leafy vegetables absorb and accumulate nutrients and other products from the soil in their leaves. This means when you eat kale leaves, you are eating the good and bad things from the soil.
The solution is to buy organic, local kale! Field grown kale is abundant right now and more farmers are growing kale throughout the year with the help of a hoop house. Don’t buy mystery kale from unknown fields treated with unnatural fertilizers and chemicals.
Better still, if you have a garden, consider growing kale. It’s easy to grow and can handle both heat and cold. Carla Emery, in her “Encyclopedia of Country Living” says kale is “likely to be the hardiest vegetable ever raised.”
I grew two kinds of kale this year: Red Russian and Lacinato. I like the Red Russian better because the leaves are tender and delicate. The Lacinato, which is sometimes called “dinosaur” kale, has leathery, wrinkled leaves, like a dinosaur. The woodchuck who made a brief appearance in Uncle Bob’s garden liked dinosaur kale.
The previously mentioned automobile commercial, in its obnoxious tone, reminds us that “what is new today is overused tomorrow.” Apparently, kale’s super food status is tenuous at best and that’s just fine. I’m going to keep eating kale whether it’s trendy or not.
You eat kale too.