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Paleo and Kale, Status Symbols

Khai Kahi Jewelry, New York

Food is Fashion.  Food is the new black.  Paleo and Kale, Status Symbols.

Paleo and Kale, Status Symbols

“Throughout the year, we are lulled to sleep by the routine: familiar bodies, familiar environments, familiar tasks, familiar friends. The more they become known to us, the less we pay attention.  As our world becomes increasingly known, it also becomes increasingly dull to our senses. And so we go on searching for novelty. We turn our attention to the new, the spectacular and the flashy. But this soon becomes familiar and we’re back where we started.” *

A better approach is to look at the familiar with what Rumi called “fresh eyes.”

God bless America, even our most routine moments are actually outrageous. Here I am, sitting in my comfy kitchen sipping a delicious cup of fresh ground politically correct free trade coffee.  Breakfast was a protein smoothie laced with kale,  my son chooses from organic eggs or irish oatmeal sweetened with local apiary honey. I’m what you might call a overachiever, class “A” health nut, fit foodie, maybe even a food snob wannabe.

Fully awake and looking at today with “fresh eyes”.  As things stand, I have it great.  I am living the American Dream.  I count my blessings and I am completely aware I’m fortunate, because I have choices.  I realize that there are folks very near me that have fewer choices.  I wonder what more I could possibly do to fix this.  I donate, volunteer and shop local.  Yeeesh, shakin’ my head…that sounds awful.  It’s pathetic, beat me with a wet noodle, it’s clearly not enough.  Mental Note:  I gotta work on that.

Onward.  A while back, I noticed.  There is no denying, the food you purchase is a reflection of your position in society.  In America, food has become the premier marker of social class. It used to be clothing and fashion, but not anymore. Nowadays, food is a way to upgrade the image of yourself and has a lot to do with upward social mobility.

Even more complex than our obsession with nutrition, is that Americans see food choice as a matter of personal freedom, an inalienable right. Americans love freedom:  Paleo, Gluten-Free or Big Macs. They want to eat where they want, in the car or alfresco. And they want to eat when they want.

Paleo and Kale, Status Symbols

Unfortunately, those who are able are willing to pay a hefty premium for pure and/or healthful foods (if they are convinced the product is more healthful). Free-range chickens fetch twice as much $$ as a large factory-raised gluten-free chicken.  Wait?!  Since when, do we have to worry about gluten in chicken? Mental note:  Save that for another blog post titled “Backasswords Labeling”.

Paleo and Kale, Status Symbols

Along the same lines, Kale and Collard Greens used to be a fresh affordable staple for every household.  Heck, I remember when Kale was used mainly as a decorative garnish on deli platters, keeping the ham from touching the turkey.  No longer, fit foodies like it in smoothies, using it everywhere and putting it in everything….and big surprise….that drives the price up.  I admit to being part of the problem, I really like kale, I buy it a lot lately.  Looking at the bigger picture, these foodie trends end up hurting low-income families.  The kale is easy to swallow, the guilt…not so much.

Paleo and Kale, Status Symbols

Really, the problem is much bigger than what I buy.  A vicious spin bike.  They tout its benefits to us, we buy it, tell our friends and they buy it….and voila´ the COGS are in motion, and the price goes up $$.  We know who loses (those who can no longer afford healthy greens due to the price increase)…but, who wins?  Kale farmers? Doubtful.

Perhaps one day I’ll find a way to change the mega media landscape and have my own prime-time network, but in the meantime, there are measures that we can and should take:

Whatever your platform, tell more of the story. Whatever you do, aim higher and dig deeper.  Emphasize a “fresh eye” approach. Don’t get too lost in the lifestyle magazine glossies about Paleo and Kale.  Work on your health, awareness and the world around you.

God Bless America.  Have a Healthy 4th of July <3

Talk to me…

Do you remember Lady GaGa’s meat dress?

What changes have you noticed in your supermarket?


* Exuberant Animal – excerpt credit