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Every now and again, everyone in North America goes nuts over a new miracle food. In the past it’s been acai berries, gogi berries, and sweet potatoes. These things turned up in everything. They were everywhere. Everyone you met could pontificate about their many, many health benefits.

Coming from Europe now, this seems strange to me. Here, people eat because they’re hungry or the thing they’re about to eat sounds like it might be nice. These are the last and worst reasons to eat in North America. Soon, I believe, the supermarkets will be drug stores, dispensing all that one needs to cure what ails you. Which is fair enough because the drug stores have decided they want to be supermarkets and sell food so unhealthy, that you’ll end up needing medication soon enough and Oh, look! How handy! You’re already in the drug store.

In North America, food is not only love, and something to do when you’re bored, it’s also medicine.

The flavour of the month this summer is kale. It’s been creeping up on me for some time now, the kale. One of my best girlfriends used to try and get me to eat it by steaming it and putting it on top of a bowl of curry, knowing that for me to get to the curry I’d have to go through the kale. I will eat it, and probably enjoy it. Now and again. Maybe even twice a month. But the way it’s currently being eaten in North America is out of control. It’s everywhere. At my favourite dirty pub, you can now substitute your fries for kale salad. In the pub.

Kale salad, in the pub.

And as if that weren’t enough, The Mom’s house is full of kale too. And other health foods that promised everything from better skin to a better life complete with one’s own gang of unicorns and leprechauns. It’s not that I dislike health food, per se, but rather that I distrust anything that makes such boastful claims. Rich in iron, rich in antioxidants, rich in fibre. It’s like the movie star of food now: beautiful, successful, rich. I wouldn’t like such a person, and I cannot possibly like such a vegetable.

It’s just so very worthy. And L’il Sis and Crazy D seem intent on buying up all of it. I don’t know if this is because they just think it’s so delicious, or if it’s some kind of twisted plot wherein they deprive the surrounding people of kale. It’s hard to say. It’s also hard to say what the purpose of any of that might be but then we’ve never been too big on purpose. As in, not having one has never held any of us back.

So the kale has landed. Along with it any number of other lovely looking veggies, but there is far too much earnestness and nary a whiff of enjoyable but bad for you food on the menu. There are no potato chips, but I was told if I ask nicely, L’il Sis will make me kale chips. I don’t know what they’re alike because I simply couldn’t bring myself to even consider eating them.

I suppose the kale is just another symptom of the main illness currently plaguing The Mom’s house, which is that there is zero in the way of moderation. Why have some when you can have all? This seems to be the theory with most things.

All I can say is that when I lived there, we tried to use something in a little discretion, or restraint. As in, if we’d had wine and popcorn for dinner two days in a row, then on the third we would dutifully eat our veggies and drink water. Those days are gone now. They’ve been replaced with kale.

If I go home at Christmas to find that they’ve started to ferment it and are feeding it to The Mom instead of her daily glass of wine, I’ll have to take drastic measures. But until then, she assures me she’s got enough popcorn squirrelled away that she’ll make it to December.

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