Him: You feedin' turtles?
Him: The only people who buy kale are feeding turtles, far as I know.
Me: Oh...the kale...no I thought I'd--you know--eat it? In some soup, with white beans. I heard it has a lot of vitamins.
Him: Yeah. It's loaded with lutein, great for turtles.
Me: Uh huh. Well, what's good for turtles is good for me, maybe?
Him: You should get a turtle.
The above conversation took place 10 years ago. Since then kale has become a Food Super Star. It's been touted as a cancer-fighting, Alzheimers-avoiding, anti-oxidant, vitamin-loaded rock star. I have a friend who is a world class distance runner, and every morning she makes herself a kale smoothie. On Saturday I attended a grad student potluck and fully 20% of the food there was some form of kale salad. I happen to enjoy kale salad, but in large quantities? Gee whiz it makes me crave spaghetti and meatballs.
JUST when kale reached its peak, though, it got its come-uppance. It can be too much of a good thing, and my friend needs to stop overdosing on this veggie pronto. No longer the perfect food, it's kind of the Lance Armstrong of veggies: the too-good-to-be-true-hero. I feel like I've been through this before: the cranberry scare, the spinach scare, the grape scare. Eventually we eat these things again in moderation.
The grad students who brought all of that kale to dinner? They also produced cupcakes decorated with fondant fir needles, sugar acorns, and an edible squirrel. Eating these things undoubtedly cancels out any of the effects of the kale; I'm sure of it. Have a squirrel, go ahead.