Brain / Salad Misery
January 14, 2020 10:17 AM   Subscribe


When I am in charge of society, we will eat at convenient neighborhood dining halls, where we can help ourselves to salad and eat it on washable plates which will then be cleaned by the well-compensated staff. Home cooking will be for enthusiasts, snacking and special occasions.

I mean, a lot of this packaging problem comes from every meal being an individual's meal.
posted by Frowner at 10:45 AM on January 14 [35 favorites]

Metafilter: This is secretly terrible for you.
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:49 AM on January 14

god im having such a Morning and this comic almost brought me over the brink into an anxiety attack (the appearance of a single carb is the tipoff about the health-overhype? oh god now i'm back in the orthorexia zone again) but then brought me back out of it because, fuck, everything's just so much. it's too much!!!! it's absurd. me and this comic could just go around in endless circles on these questions but now i'm just gonna go eat some plastic-packaged cereal
posted by gaybobbie at 10:49 AM on January 14 [7 favorites]

Woah, that's great.

(However I would like to point out that dressed cabbage or kale lasts all week in the fridge. You can make a big salad on Sunday evening and eat it all week.)
posted by suelac at 10:50 AM on January 14 [2 favorites]

/ When I am in charge of society, we will eat at convenient neighborhood dining halls, where we can help ourselves to salad and eat it on washable plates which will then be cleaned by the well-compensated staff. Home cooking will be for enthusiasts, snacking and special occasions.

That's how I eat my lunches, the salad bar downstairs from my office is $11 for a salad though.
posted by bbqturtle at 10:51 AM on January 14 [2 favorites]

Oh god this is me at the store every time. Shopping is stressful. The only bit missing is "does this include palm oil that kills orangutangs??" (Yes. It does. Almost always.But hey at least that really limits my processed food intake...)
posted by stillnocturnal at 10:54 AM on January 14 [1 favorite]

also, is the mainstaple leaf going to contain lethal e-coli and kill you just because you were trying to eat sensibly?

It does not take 20 minutes to make salad once you (which is to say, I) have a routine in place.

1. buy a farmers' market chicken
2. buy a bunch of farmers' market kale
3. rinse the kale in a big stockpot, spin it, and throw it in a ziploc (4 minutes)
3.5 water plants with the rinse water
4. boil the chicken (hour +/-, but you're doing other stuff at the same time)
5. separate the chicken meat from the broth, bones, and skin; freeze half and refrigerate half (15 minutes)
6. freeze the broth (2 minutes)
7. put the skin in a nonstick frying pan and crisp it. Throw on salt. Eat. (15 minutes to two hours, depending on whether eating salty fried chicken skin causes you to faint from happiness)
8. make chicken salad out of the unfrozen half of the meat and refrigerate. (20 minutes) (Chicken salad recipe: diced boiled chicken, diced green pepper, diced green onion, whatever else crunchy is in fridge, diced apple/grapes/whatever fruit/raisins, curry powder or some other seasoning you like, and DUKES. Tons and tons of Dukes.)
9. Daily salad: take two or three stalks of kale and rip them into bits and throw them in a salad bowl. You don't have to spend your day massaging it with salt. just rip it up. Include the stalk, too, all but the very end because experience has taught that I will chaw through anything as long as there's mayonnaise on it. Put a scoop of chicken salad on top. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Dose with olive oil and vinegar. (2 minutes)

One chicken and one bunch of kale will last one person about two weeks. Kale wears hard, and you're freezing half the chicken. Greens and chicken salad take about an hour of prep the first week, and then the chicken salad from the frozen half of the chicken, 20 minutes or so week two. Daily prep is negligible. And if you get the supplies at the farmers' market, you don't have to go to the grocery store*.

*Except to get Dukes.
posted by Don Pepino at 11:04 AM on January 14 [5 favorites]

When I had a job, I had a great routine. Eggs for breakfast, leftovers for lunch, cook dinner three nights a week, my husband cooks one night a week, leftovers / junk / eating out 3 nights a week.

Now that I'm unemployed, I am completely free! No constraints! I could spend three hours preparing the *Perfect Lunch*!

Mostly I eat toasted bread with cheese on it.

If I'm lucky, I buy a slice of pizza.
posted by rebent at 11:15 AM on January 14 [10 favorites]

1. Roasted chicken tastes SO much better than boiled.

2. If raw kale doesn't do it for you, you can blanch it for 30 seconds to soften it, then use it in a recipe such as kale pesto pasta, which I can confirm tastes remarkably good (especially if you double - or quadruple - the garlic). Alternatively you can spread the pesto on a piece of protein, or onto a sandwich/burger, or add copious amounts of it to a chicken or bean salad, or tossed with veggies or potatoes (boiled or roasted), add it to soup...
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:17 AM on January 14 [3 favorites]

Food and clothing are the absolute worst, because you can't not participate, every option is a trade off between destroying the environment, animal cruelty, human rights abuses, and spending time most people do not have. No matter what choice you make, you'll always be hurting someone or something.

Anyway, I had some soup.
posted by dinty_moore at 11:21 AM on January 14 [13 favorites]

And even more?

Would have made this in the description if I knew about it. Looks like most of his art is cooking based and has less eunni.
posted by bbqturtle at 11:26 AM on January 14 [1 favorite]

Oh this is good. I'm on a quest to minimize my use of plastic this year, and it's really hard and also often pointless. Copy-pasting from a recent Instagram post: Is "naked" conventionally grown broccoli better for the environment than organic broccoli with a plastic label? Beef has a much higher environmental impact than poultry - but what if ground beef is available at the meat counter for you to put in your own container, but ground turkey only comes in plastic? Is it worth it to get deli cheese in your own container if the deli worker has to put on a new pair of plastic gloves to slice it for you? What if you have to drive a little farther to the store where you can get tofu in your own container? And what the hell do you do when you order silk floss in a stainless steel container from Amazon and it arrives wrapped in enough plastic packaging to make ten plastic floss containers?

I'm lucky to have a decent amount of time and money to invest in this, and I'm looking at it more as an exercise in awareness than as something that will make an actual difference, but it is eye-opening to realize that there are no good choices. The panel with the stacks of salad containers is making me feel some kinda way.
posted by sunset in snow country at 11:27 AM on January 14 [9 favorites]

Between the comic and sunset in snow country's comment, I feel very seen. I know these things are systemic and we need to advocate for high-level change, but I still feel like I need to be doing more as an individual as well. The Whole Foods near me (the only close place that has bulk bins) recently stopped allowing people to bring in their own containers and I was SO FRUSTRATED.
posted by brilliantine at 11:34 AM on January 14 [2 favorites]

Suggested listening to maybe snap you out of navel gazing and into productive collective action:

King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard - Plastic Boogie
posted by echo target at 1:07 PM on January 14 [2 favorites]

That's how I eat my lunches, the salad bar downstairs from my office is $11 for a salad though.

And this is the difference - when I am in charge, utopia will be evenly distributed. Our dining halls will be free at point of use, either paid for by complicated communist accounting, organized by anarcho-syndicalist town councils in collaboration with regional farmers or paid out of taxes, whichever seems the solution least-likely to be grabbed back by the bourgeoisie.
posted by Frowner at 1:10 PM on January 14 [6 favorites]

He's not laughing while eating it, so clearly not making the best salad decisions.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 1:17 PM on January 14 [8 favorites]

/salad fingers
posted by growabrain at 1:53 PM on January 14

growabrain: I recently made an offhand salad fingers comment to a friend and then had to spend 20 minutes explaining the insanity of salad fingers to someone who had previously been sadly unaware. I'm not sure he doesn't hate me a little bit after that conversation :)
posted by cirhosis at 1:57 PM on January 14 [2 favorites]

I just can't muster the energy to care that I eat the bagged salad. I don't love to cook, I don't want to spend the time in the kitchen. I want to stuff food in the face and get out, more or less, if I have to make the food.

The rest of this is sounding very Good Place.
posted by jenfullmoon at 2:00 PM on January 14 [3 favorites]

MetaFilter: overthinking a plate of beans salad
posted by webmutant at 3:01 PM on January 14

He's not laughing while eating it, so clearly not making the best salad decisions.

Salad Laughing is strictly a woman's pursuit.
posted by like_neon at 3:25 AM on January 15

I do the once-a-week big salad and it works for me. The trick is to, as much as possible, prevent any extra water from getting in the salad. This means salad spinner for almost every item. Make that triple-spinned, with a good shake between spins to mix things up. Cucumbers are cut into large pieces to minimize surface area for water to drain from. Mushrooms are hand-dried after washing. Place salads in quart sized Chinese soup containers.
posted by hypnogogue at 7:00 AM on January 15

Wait--he works at home and he buys supermarket salads? First, that's inexcusable, and second, if it takes him 30-45 minutes to assemble a salad, he's overthinking the hell out of it. That said, I understand the point(s) of the comic and I agree. Every day of the week, at work in midtown Manhattan, I think about the sea of plastic and cardboard and clamshells generated by lunch for however many thousands of people.
posted by scratch at 8:15 AM on January 15

Brain Salad Misery sounds like an album by Emmenthal, Kale, and Pandan.
posted by kurumi at 10:48 PM on January 15

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