Squirrel Appreciation Day…Color T.V. Day…Tooth Fairy Day…There are many seemingly strange sponsored national days out there. Did you know that on October 2, kale lovers everywhere celebrated the first kale day?
Now, it’s not “official” yet, in the sense that the government has not yet signed it into the books – but there’s a Change.org petition for that here.
Some are not so sure. A recent article on NPR’s “the salt” asserts that by placing super foods like kale on a pedestal, we “make kale the health halo food du jour, we risk turning it into the Gwyneth Paltrow of the vegetable world — a perceived goody two-shoes that, deservedly or not, everyone loves to hate on.”
It’s a good point, as one can just imagine the kale jokes and the kale memes that could erupt if we continue to push its perfection. But, nonetheless, at the risk of a few jokes, kale is the greeniest of the green, the crème de la crème of all super foods. It IS perfection. Check out this tidbit from National Kale Day’s description of its favorite food: “Kale is packed with special phytonutrient molecules making it a power plant that can fight obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. In fact, just a few cups of kale daily may have the power to battle cancer, inflammation, and low moods. Add to that protein, high levels of vitamin C and K, iron, omega-3, and fiber — nutrients that many Americans are sorely missing from their diet.”
If we can get just a few more Americans on-board with kale-munching, we are doing a great service. National Kale Day, my friends, is one way to get people asking, “What the heck is kale?” and then throwing a bushel into their grocery carts the next time they see it at the store.
Beyond just being, oh, one of the most nutrient dense foods in the world, it’s sustainable. It lasts longer than many other vegetables (if you keep it cool, it can last over a week sometimes), and it usually doesn’t cost a whole lot. National Kale Day adds: “Economical but also accessible, kale is one of the easiest crops for local farmers to grow and the ideal way to celebrate local American farming. It’s happy grown in a small strip of land, in a garden pot, or can even be grown on a playground in this plant tower.”
Now, while kale is definitely king, as “the salt” article also points out, it can be a bit much to proclaim that one food can ail all of our nutritional pains: “… it can be dangerous to fixate on individual foods as curative sustenance, because your diet’s influence on your health is an incredibly complex equation.”
This is true, Green Monsters. No one super food – even kale – should be a cure-all or celebrated to the point that it’s all we eat. But amidst all of the other somewhat bizarre national days out there, especially those celebrating foods that are definitely not so healthy, we can surely sign national kale day into official celebration. If we have a national Hot Pastrami Day, then kale is a shoe-in, right.
If it results in more people trying the green stuff, we’ve done a great thing. So, my friends, show your support! Visit NationalKaleDay.org to sign the petition and get lots of great ideas about how to get more kale in your life and in the lives of others. Perhaps by next October 2, it will be a “real” thing!
Image Source: K rup/Flickr