Eat + Drink, Food & Recipes
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Can We Please Stop Talking About Kale Now?

I’m here with a simple request: Can people who talk about kale please stop talking about kale?

Don’t get me wrong. I like kale. I buy it. I eat it. I’ve bookmarked kale juice recipes, emailed them to myself, printed them out, and then immediately hated myself for doing that. Because if my teenaged Taco-Bell-loving-self could step into a time machine and visit me now, she’d shame-slap the shit out of me for being the type of stereotypical Brooklynite who cops to juicing kale.

But at least — at LEAST —  I can safely say I’m NOT the kind of person who talks about kale. I don’t care if that sounds like reverse snobbism. Because this whole kale situation is completely and utterly out of control, and it’s time someone said something.

If you fawn and gush and coo ad nauseam over kale like it’s your twin sister’s newborn or an adorable kitten, you’re most certainly an asshole. If you steer a conversation that was nowhere near the vicinity of kale toward kale, you need to check yourself and come correct next time, or don’t come at all.

Kale is the new arugula. It’s the new Lululemon. It’s the new Tory Burch. Talking about kale is the new talking about “crowdsourcing” or “Ted Talks.” It’s the new asshole status symbol. I don’t think you’re an asshole if you eat it or buy it. You’re just an asshole if you feel compelled to tell anyone (who likely doesn’t care) about your love for kale.

That makes you an asshole.

You know these people. Or at least I do. I’m surrounded by them. Granted, I absolutely live in one of Brooklyn’s rising Kale Kapitals, Karroll Gardens (a.k.a. Kale Gardens), where folks always be trippin’ over kale. One Sunday not long ago, I walked around my block just once, and I encountered not zero (unfortunately), not two, but three different people discussing kale. It’s a kult.

I recently met a girl who was talking about how she only loves to put healthy things into her body (okay, fine, whatever) and, like, she doesn’t, like, want to be addicted to sugar, coffee or caffeine, because she’d rather be addicted to kale. She said this out loud. Soberly. On purpose. To approximately 12 people. (You know, because kale’s up there with meth, coke and gambling on the FDA and AMA’s growing list of dangerously addictive properties. Rehab clinics are so packed with kale addicts that they’re turning people away. It’s really sad, y’all. The struggle is real.)

My eyeballs almost detached themselves from their sockets from rolling them so aggressively. I then strangled her and left her for dead. Those around me who witnessed it applauded me, considered it a mercy killing, and all agreed that I put her out of her insufferable upper-class misery.

A local storefront in my neighborhood had a tote bag in the window that said “Keep Calm and Eat Kale.” I gaped at the unironic, redundant Brooklyandia mockery of the situation, then I took off my shoe, screamed “STOP PUSHING YOUR ELITIST VEGETABLE AGENDA ON ME” and smashed the window (unsuccessfully because I was wearing Converse, but the intent was there).

Trembling in the wake of my rage blackout, I then lowered my head into a 10-gallon bucket of trans fats and inhaled, as a radical act of defiance. Later that night, I tearfully and fruitlessly searched for cabins in the woods, because I don’t want to live in this world anymore.

Please, just let kale be one of the many green vegetables on this Earth that you can choose to eat or not eat. Stop making it “a thing.” Stop making it a veggie vehicle for smug, sunshine-y Brooklyn benevolence. It’s a vegetable, not a Volvo. Have some self-awareness with your kale.

If a friend casually brings up kale in conversation, defriend them immediately. Let’s find a Facebook filter for kale and also maybe a life filter for it. Keep buying it, keep eating it, keep juicing it, whatever. But for God’s sake, please stop talking about kale.


Filed under: Eat + Drink, Food & Recipes


Tamar Anitai

Tamar Anitai has one husband, two cats, no kids, no car. Midwestern by birth, New Yorker by a 14-year act of stubborn defiance. Digital content strategist for a global agency, and essayist on the occasional off night. Rap game Bea Arthur. Yes, she wants see photos of your cat. @tamaranitai on social.


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