Kale to the Chief!

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The calendars of every country have certain days labeled as particular holidays , traditions or other celebratory events. We are alerted to these months in advance as we stroll the aisles of our favorite stores, finding shelves laden with decorations that cause us to exclaim: “ALREADY?!”

We associate certain months with particular foods. Valentine’s Day brings visions of chocolate. Think November and we can already taste the turkey, dressing and cranberry sauce. If I say October, you instantly think of colorful little pieces of candy corn, as well as healthy servings of kale on your plate, right?

October 4th is National Kale Day, and like candy corn, you either love it or hate it. Recently, I saw a recipe for kale which states: “Kale is best prepared by lightly frying it in coconut oil, which makes it easier to slide from the skillet into the trash bin.”

Still, many of us eat it because
it will make us “cool,” intellectually
superior, or we will live forever
because it is packed with every heal thy vitamin and mineral imaginable.

Kale (also known as leaf cabbage) is not as new as one
might think. Until the end of the Middle Ages, kale was one of the most common green vegetables in Europe. Curly-leaved varieties of cabbage already existed along with flat-leaved varieties in Greece in the fourth century B.C., where it was also used medicinally. Kale was brought to North America by the colonists in the 16th century. Later, Russian kale was introduced into Canada, and then into the United States, by Russian traders in the 19th century.

During World War II, people across the U.K. were encouraged to cultivate kale (and other vegetables) in the Dig for Victory campaign. The vegetable was easy to grow and provided important nutrients missing from their diets because of the harsh rationing.

So be kind to kale, and it will be kind to you.

I don’t dislike kale. In fact, I will cook it occasionally (in coconut oil), and even serve it to dinner guests, unless they present me with a Get out of Kale Card.

Now, what I am really anticipating is February 14th of next year. It will be National Quinoa Day!

Michael B Wright is a house-husband, chauffer and gopher who leads an existence fraught with guilt from living in a 55+ community while still being an adolescent on-the-inside.


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