Kale of Duty Why I choose to eat nothing but kale, ever, for the rest of my life.
I moved to Los Angeles two years ago and learned right away that I was unprepared for West Coast life. Before even buying my plane ticket I should have listened to the old Beach Boys song and cultivated a bushy, bushy blonde hairdo. I thought it was just a surfer thing, but everyone here has one: the mayor, the specialist who came to install the “edible wall garden” on my composting shed, the police officer who ticketed me for my backyard pizza oven (I burn lawn clippings in there), everyone! The other biggie: My diet of grains, meats, vegetables, and homemade fruit leather was far too varied. Apparently all I ever need to eat for the rest of my life is kale. And I swear to you on the tub of Sun-In hair lightener into which I dunk my increasingly bushy head each morning: I will achieve a kale-only diet.
In case you’re not aware, kale—a bitter, cabbage-like vegetable often seen being swallowed by Gwyneth Paltrow—is now the only food worth the trouble of digesting. Kale sautéed with red wine vinegar and garlic. Kale salad, soaked in fresh lemon juice with toasted kale shavings and a side of kale. Where I grew up, “loaded nachos” referred to tortilla chips heaped with chili, cheese, sour cream, olives, and guacamole. In most parts of Los Angeles it means kale.
Kale has something for everybody. The elderly eat kale to prevent age-related macular degeneration, and because the guy stocking it in the produce department seemed like a very nice young man. Health conscious parents empty out their kids’ Cheetos bags and fill them with sea-salt-dusted kale chips, then tell their kids the old kind of Cheetos were just a dream. Elite athletes like Alex Rodriguez and Troy Polamalu incorporate nutrition-rich kale into their training diets, and Jose Canseco allegedly puts kale directly into his ass after working out.