?Russia? invades family kitchen

There?s conflict brewing in our house. To use a metaphor from current events, if our kitchen was Ukraine, then healthy foods are Russia.

And we?re talking about a Russia with serious weapons of mass reduction: low calorie, high protein, low carb, high fiber, low fat weapons. Weapons with no artificial preservatives or high fructose corn syrup. Weapons that don?t come with barcodes!

This has been going on for a while now. At first, I didn?t really notice it. We?d buy wheat bread instead of white, whole grain pasta instead of Spaghetti-O?s. Sour cream was traded for Greek yogurt, and the percentage on the milk carton kept getting lower.

Then things got weird.

As I was standing in the grocery store checkout line last week, innocently minding my own business, I looked down to see a plastic bag of frozen pink slabs rolling along the cashier?s conveyor belt.

Salmon. Someone had snuck salmon into my shopping cart.

Apparently while I was on the other side of the store admiring lawn fertilizers, Hanna was fishing in the frozen food aisle. This, however, wasn?t the worst of it.

Now, I should precede the rest of this story with the disclaimer that Hanna and I have a very happy, very healthy relationship, which consists of love, mutual respect and the desire to see each other happy.

That said, I think Hanna used the salmon as a decoy?an almost literal red herring?to distract me from a much more sinister, subversive item she had secretly stashed in the shopping cart:

While she was assuring me that I didn?t have to eat the salmon if I didn?t want to (I didn?t), a bag of crumpled, dark green vegetation was sliding right past me, unnoticed.

Kale.

Kale is a leafy product that is touted for its high content of calcium, vitamins and a number of other words that would work well for Marvel villain names, such as carotenoid, lutein, zeaxanthin and sulfora?phane.

It is also said to prevent the development of cancer. But then again, so is dying.

Kale?like its more reasonable cousins cauliflower, cabbage and broccoli?comes from the family of vegetables called the cruciferous vegetables, the consumption of which is known to produce post-digestive decompression amplification.

This, however, is not my complaint against kale. In fact, as a man, I find post-digestive decompression amplification humorous. Post-digestive decompression amplification is basically the universal language for ?Did you hear that??

No, my protest against kale is that it tastes a lot like a dandelion leaf with B.O.

The kale, Hanna argued, could be used as a healthier snacking option: we could bake it in the oven to make kale chips.

Michelle Obama likes kale chips, Hanna said.

Given the record of other things Mrs. Obama likes?Mr. Obama, for example?perhaps we shouldn?t use her as our standard of taste, I replied.

But the kale found its way into our kitchen anyway, and has since infiltrated many dishes that, to my knowledge, never previously contained a dark green leafy ingredient.

So if our kitchen is Ukraine and healthier foods are Russia, that leaves me as a weary citizen who is just Putin up with it.