What’s the issue with kale?


I have nothing in particular against kale. In fact, I quite enjoy it. What’s not to like? I have to respect something so tough, wrinkly and bitter …

To be honest, the thing I take issue with is trendiness. The moment something becomes trendy, I never want to see it again. I know not why this is. It’s just the way I’m wired.

I also dislike the gentrification of basics. You know: when foods or fabrics or household goods or whatever start out plentiful and cheap enough that they become basics, readily available to people who don’t have so much money. Then next moment they are being featured in trendy blogs and being flaunted around meadows with … I don’t know, blackboards and mason jars and witty sofas and the like – and suddenly nobody can afford that stuff any more. Least of all the people who needed it.

Kale, a humble vegetable, went through this process. One moment it was a lovely easily-grown vegetable that appeared on the plates of the thrifty everyday person, next moment it was appearing in the sodding mason jars of the rich and famous, in the form of ultra-trendy smoothies (ugh) and oven-dried ‘chips’ * and the like, and nobody could a) find it, and b) afford it any more.

(I am being a real hypocrite here, because I can afford it. In spite of the fact that being sick is very, very, very expensive, we can still lash out on a bunch of kale every now and then. And if I can ever get the energy to sort out my garden, I could try growing it, I suppose.)

But I will forever be reluctant to eat or do anything that smacks of ironic poverty, which seems to be the absolute height of trendiness these days.

Poverty is poverty. It is not nice or quaint or picturesque, it is horrible: and I’ll have nothing to do with people who find it so adorable that they have to splash cutesy versions of it all over their Pinterest.

So that’s my beef with kale (hah!). I’ll eat it – and I’ll bloody drink it if I have to – but I’ll only be really comfortable with it when, inevitably, it passes from major fad to common-as-muck again. As it should.

I look forward to that day.

* If a seagull won’t eat it, it does not qualify as a chip.


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