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Friday, July 31, 2015



I can't believe I almost let the week pass without acknowledging the observance of National Eat Your Vegetables Day, which is celebrated on June 17th. As holidays go, it ranks just below Athlete's Foot Awareness Day but above Politician Appreciation Day. Somers has the perfect weather for growing a little "victory garden" with lettuce, beans and spinach. After a siege by bugs, birds and bunnies, ours went down in a resounding defeat.

I think that if people knew what was actually in vegetables they would think twice about extolling their virtues for an entire day. For instance, Did you know that Broccoli contains folic acid? Picture that stuff eating away at your insides. Carrots contain something called zeaxanthin. Look it up on Wikipedia- it looks exactly like that caterpillar that ate all my rhododendrons.

What do you think the first Belgian who noticed something sprouting out of the ground in Brussels did? He stuck it right in his mouth, although it tasted awful. He probably didn't even know that it contained sulforaphane, which sounds like one of those drugs that they sell you to cure pimples, but in a low voice at the end of the commercial tell you will probably kill you. "Do not take sulforphane if you are pregnant, know someone who is pregnant or just look pregnant." (By the way, there is a drug for people who are always pregnant, but don't take it if you have pimples.)

Americans love to overdo something, and recently it's kale. Every party we go to I have to set ten minutes aside so my wife's friends can fawn over their kale salads and how much they love kale. A year ago no one ever heard of kale, and this year it can just about cure cancer. I don't want to upset the kale community- everything has its own community these days, and if you say something disparaging they rise up in a twitter rant as if they were Charlie Sheen. But the bottom line is that for all the fuss, kale looks like something that you should pull out of your lawn before it takes over the place.

I don't think a banana is a vegetable but I feel it is my public duty to warn you away from this offensive little item. I read somewhere that the banana has a high concentration of plutonium. Or was it potassium? What's the difference- whatever it is is the same junk that turns the smelly thing pitch-black after it sits on your desk for fifteen minutes. I actually slipped on a banana peel once and it wasn't as funny as I thought it would be.

Even the most popular vegetable in America is not immune to the perils of dangerous additives. I tried to buy a bag of potato chips recently at the supermarket, and all they had was sour cream and onion mesquite barbecued kettle-fried sea-salt jalapeno cheddar-flavored extra-vinegar with recycled carburetor parts potato chips. But they were gluten-free I must admit.

All this is more than enough evidence that vegetables should be removed from the bottom of the food pyramid and replaced with beer. If I went to Egypt to see the pyramids, and saw that they were constructed using vegetables, I would be sorely disappointed. However, if I found out that they built using beer, I would hardly be surprised.

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