The Coast News Group
Small Talk

Younsters are growing through the ranks

I just read a press release on some brilliant, splendid students hereabouts who are doing a wonderful thing to help children far across the globe. It makes me proud to hear of such things and heartened that such gracious, caring youngsters are preparing to take over our world.

This particular pair discovered a part of the world where the youngsters are suffering badly from poor nutrition, a lack of Vitamin A in their diet.

To remedy this deficiency, they will be sending these families kale seeds. I so applaud this plan and am warmed at the idea of giving the gift of health to children everywhere. But I can already hear the conversations that will be coming from around those dinner tables in Southeast Asia.

“Oh, look, sweetie! We have something new for dinner just for you.”

“Can we have dessert now?”

“No, no dessert until you try this new crop we have grown.”

“It looks icky and it’s a weird color. What is it?”

“It’s called kale and it is so very good for you. It will make you big and strong and help your eyesight.”

“Do I have to eat it? Can’t I just get contact lenses?”

“Stop being silly. Come on, now. Just try a bite. I know you will love it.”

“What if it makes me barf?”

“Try a bite. Just one bite.”

(Sounds of chewing, then spitting and gagging.) Ack! Ick! Ptooey! Yuck! That’s like the bottom of puddle on a July afternoon! It’s bitter, prickly and it’s stuck in my teeth! I’m not eating any more!”

“You have to. They said it is a delicious veggie, high in antioxidants and vitamins A and C. You need it to keep you healthy. I roasted it with garlic and it is very good for you!”

“It tastes like the tail of my goat! I even heard dad say it smelled like the bottom of somebody’s feet while it was cooking.”

I know these student altruists’ hearts are in the right place, but did it have to be kale? I’m thinking some sugar snap peas, a zucchini or even some chard might do the trick and go down better. If not, and they expect youngsters anywhere to voluntarily ingest kale, they might do well to include some battery-powered juicers along with crates of pineapples, mangos, oranges and strawberries.

Oh, and they might want to include several barrels of ranch dressing.

Jean Gillette is a freelance writer who tried to feed a child a vegetable once. Contact her at [email protected].