Monday, November 21, 2011

The Problem with Salad as We Know It

I had an epiphany last night. I finally sussed out the basic problem with salad.

There's too much damn lettuce.

On a volumetric basis, the ratio of lettuce to the other (tasty) stuff is about 20:1.

But it gets worse: On the Piltdown Standardized Taste Scale (revised, 1994), the ratio of stuff you just have to plow through* (lettuce) to the stuff that has flavor is closer to 1000:1.

The goddamn lettuce is the problem. Lettuce is promoted by the Benevolent Loyal Protective Order of Lettuce and Other Filler Leaves Grower's Association and Marching Band, and their powerful Washington lobby. They have influenced the FDA, the USDA, the FDIC, and both patriotic hard-working and thoughtless lazy-ass Americans alike (I'll let you guess which category I belong to) that the basis of a salad is always a buttload of crap lettuce topped off with just a paltry, meager handful of anything genuinely interesting.

This is plain wrong. And I have three reasons why:

First, lettuce provides nothing worthwhile nutritionally.

Second, after mowing through a pile of lettuce the size of a toss pillow in search of something -- anything -- worth eating exhausts my jaw muscles and brings on a bout of TMJ.

Finally, I'm regular. I don't need a mass of watery, fibrous rubbish queasily gurgling about my lower gut to accomplish what I normally do. Two or three times a day (photos available upon request).

Jack won't stand for it any more. Jack is going to put down his high heel, put his fist on his hip, and declare a "low lettuce" lifestyle. The stuff is not worth eating.  It performs no function and gets between me and the things I care to eat.

Someone puts a bowl of lettuce in front of me with a meager few interesting things hidden away like some goddamn Easter eggs peppered about a 20-acre meadow, and I'm handing it back with a "what the f*** is this crap? I ordered a chicken salad, not a goddamn lettuce salad."

* Fine, Howard & Howard, 2006, Lettuce: WTF Is This Tasteless Crap In My Salad!,  Journal of the American Dietary Association, 09;302(10):1107-1109. doi:10.1001/jada.2006.1301


  1. That does it! I am going to open a "Low Lettuce Salad Bar" ... thousands will flock to it because they all agree with YOU>

  2. Just order chicken salad and tell them to hold the salad.

  3. Why not use spinach- tasty, nutritious, healthy fiber, very beneficial for your eyes. Goes well with Italian food and a variety of dressings. Lovely color and last but not least- it goes well with a nice cheap Trader Joes wine:)

  4. Yes, it is clear that I have to 1. broaden my salad horizons, and (b) just say no to lettuce-based salads.

    Thank you for letting me unburden myself on this critical matter.


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