What the Kale?!

Over the weekend, I heard an interview on NPR of Mimi Sheraton - a famous food critic - and instantly loved listening to her. She was hilarious, interesting, and refreshingly honest. She happens to be on a one-woman campaign to end the "cool" culture of Kale that has placed the vegetable in everything from smoothies to pizza to brownies, and to remind everyone of its traditional use (to be made palatable by cooking it in some sort of fat...?!?!). She also loathes that kale has become "a fashionable food... a symbol on menus that wannabe gourmets are in an 'in' place." 

But what I loved most about her interview was how, even as a passionate food lover herself, she doesn't relate to the preachy side of healthy-food culture. She explains:

"What I regret very much is a certain moralistic, messianic tone of people who advocate responsible eating — which I would advocate too, but there is a certain tone, that if you don't do this, if you don't eat organic, if you don't buy locally, you're a bad person — which I think is wrong. Along with that: You must cook. If you don't like to cook you're a bad person. I think if you don't like to cook maybe you're a lucky person because you have a lot of time for other things."

Not only did I agree with her perhaps unpopular perspective, I also believe that her ideas offer insight into a variety of campaigns that advocate for healthy living today. Perhaps it can be said for the way we talk about breastfeeding, or even the way we expect women to give birth. Either way, I loved her perspective and her spicy food for thought. 

Although... I really do love a good kale chip.

Thoughts?? Do you think food culture has gone too far? Do you think healthy living culture crosses the line? 


*Image by Samule Morse, Wikimedia Commons


Nurit SiegalComment