1/30-2/1, No. 9
Kale sweeps Jacksonville: It is disconcerting how so many Jacksonvillians have taken up healthy eating. You can’t go anywhere in the city anymore without running into someone who has started drinking fruit smoothies, or has embarked on a vegan diet, or is suddenly concerned about antioxidents and Omega 3s, or is obsessing about foods containing beta-carotenes.
What has gotten into people? Don’t they know this is the south? You go into Native Sun or Whole Foods or Grassroots and the aisles are jammed. Beets, broccoli, chard, collard greens, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, snow peas—all flying off the shelves! They can’t keep asparagus in stock.
Pulled pork, BBQ, fried chicken, and biscuits & gravy are dropping off menus and being replaced by “Cranberry Spinach Salad,” “Butternut Squash Soup,” “Bean and Kale Ragu,” and “Winter Fruit Salad with Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing.”
M-jos is dying.
Just the other day I saw workers taking down the sign for “Pete’s Greasy BBQ” and putting up one for “Kale City.”
Cars immediately started pulling into the lot!
One fellow has begun proselytizing for kale: Bo Muller-Moore.
“Bo Muller-Moore stands in his home studio in [Jacksonville, FL]. The [Florida] man, who is building a business around the term “eat more kale,” which has been plastered on T-shirts, bumper stickers and other items, is running into opposition from the second largest fried chicken retailer in the country, Chick-fil-A. [AP Photo/Toby Talbot]“–apologies to the Newton Citizen)
People have even started eating oats for breakfast (in the form of oatmeal), as though they are horses. Used to be you could go into the Metro Diner in the morning and order something like the Rib-eye Steak and Eggs, which consists of a six ounce hand-cut rib-eye, two eggs, grits or hash browns and toast, and nobody would notice. Nobody cared, because that’s what they were eating, or something like it, something with tons of carbs, calories, and fat.
But now, everything has changed. You say out loud you want the Rib-eye Steak and Eggs, and the whole place goes hush; you can hear a pin drop; everybody’s frozen, eyes fixed on you, like you’re some sort of misfit. Now you have to slink into a booth, preferably one at the rear of the restaurant, and sit with your back to everyone. Now you have to whisper your order to the waiter and hope no one spots him bringing the food to your table.
Arby’s, McDonalds, Chick-fil-A, Burger King: these days you park in the rear, put on a hat, trench coat, and sunglasses, and sneak inconspicuously in, as though you were slipping into a girlie joint.
What is a world without chicken tenders?
It used to be that traveling freak shows displayed bearded ladies, Siamese twins, the arm- or legless, and giants and dwarfs. Now, what was once considered ‘normal’ has become what people think of as ‘morbidly obese.’ Now on the streets of Jacksonville one spots everywhere the freakishly thin.
I don’t understand all of this virtuous eating. It’s like when smoking was banned in public places. From now on, to get myself a decent meal, I’ll have to drive out to Macclenny.
But then, maybe there’s hope: I hear bacon is glutton free.