Our country is currently mired in a nationwide health food epidemic. I know this because people who were previously normal, regular human beings keep coming up and talking to me about kale.

For those of you who aren’t in the know, kale is this weird little green substance that looks, feels, and acts like dried seaweed. Only there is a big difference: it tastes considerably worse. Also, kale has the consistency of a sticky note, which means it isn’t even slightly filling. If you are a college student and you begin eating a kale lunch right now, you will only become full upon retirement.

It isn’t just kale that has me realizing that the health food epidemic is upon us. It’s these little drinks everyone is buying nowadays. I was on vacation with my girlfriend last week, and at some point, she purchased this health drink that – I swear this is true – gave every outward indication that it was vomit. It looks like vomit. It smelled like vomit. It had the consistency of vomit. At one point, she leaned over to me and said: “You should try this.”

Advertisement

No, thanks. I’ll stick with water. Water has absolutely no negative side effects that I can see, except possibly that you have to pee every so often. But at least your pee doesn’t smell like vomit.

Advertisement

It’s more than just kale and healthy drinks. Everything is farm-to-table now, and it becomes apparent the moment you look at the menu that the farm in question only raises quinoa. When I was a kid, farms also had cattle, and the way they worked is they would bonk the cattle over the head as inhumanely as possible, cut them up for meat as cheaply as they could, and send the results to Applebee’s locations all across America.

In today’s world, you cannot order a burger and fries without drawing a scowl from everyone around you. Just try it. You go to some restaurant, and they have some grass-fed, all-natural burger on the menu sprinkled with blue cheese crumbles and served with kale chips, and you order it, just trying to bring back the old days when Chili’s sold a Plate O’Fat for $9.95. And then the waitress gives you this look, and other patrons say “It must be nice,” and passersby on the street notice you from outside and walk in just to ask: “Oh, a BURGER? And what kind of gas mileage does your Hummer get?”

So what happened to those burger-and-fries days? Well, obesity happened.

Advertisement

I say this because every few weeks I read a new study that talks about how humanity, but specifically Americans, are fatter than we’ve ever been. To help prove my point, here are just a few recent headlines on this very topic, culled from major daily newspapers over the last week:

94% OF AMERICANS NOW SEVERELY OVERWEIGHT

Advertisement

87% OF AMERICANS MORBIDLY OBESE

12% OF AMERICANS CURRENTLY TOO FAT TO ENTER A SEDAN TAXI CAB, MUST REQUEST MINIVAN INSTEAD

MAN, 98, DIES BEFORE HE COULD FINISH KALE LUNCH HE BEGAN IN 1987

When I read headlines like this I am shocked and appalled, primarily because the man in the last one was eating kale back in 1987. This is amazing, because kale wasn’t as widespread back in 1987 as it is today. Back in 1987, the best you could hope for was lettuce.

So anyway: here we are in 2015, and we’ve come to a crossroads, because we’re mired in a nationwide health food epidemic, and yet we’re also getting very obese. This is a serious, national issue, on the level of why Bank of America hasn’t installed an ATM near my home, and I think I have discovered the cause: health food is too expensive.

Advertisement

Allow me to explain. That vomit drink my girlfriend bought? It cost something like six United States dollars. But it’s good for you, because it helps you lose weight, presumably by slowly eating away your vital organs. Now, here’s my question: Are good, hard-working, Midwestern Americans with Camaros in their yard and tattoos on their face going to spend six bucks for a drink that looks like vomit? No way! They’re going to spend 99 cents on a Coke, and crush the can on their forehead while belching.

Advertisement

So here’s what we have to do, America: we need to make it so the price of vomit drinks and kale is much cheaper, which will lead to widespread health food consumption and reduced obesity. Meanwhile, once all of America’s wealthy kale consumers see that kale is no longer “in,” in the sense that it’s now being consumed by construction workers who use their smoke breaks to whistle at women, they will move on to another food item. Hopefully, burgers. Because everyone I know is into this kale thing, and I’m starting to get really hungry.

@DougDeMuro is the author of Plays With Cars. He divides his time between writing about cars and sitting around his house watching Gilmore Girls without any pants on. Also, he wrote this bio himself in the third person.