I love collards. My mother cooked them the usual Southern way: in a huge pot with lots of pork. Then she served them with a side of vinegar full of chopped onions and enough black pepper to make an elephant sneeze.
I still like them that way but David Sweeney of Dynamic Dish has taught me to eat them in genteeler and more naturally flavorful ways. I also had delicious collards at Paul Luna's Lunacy Black Market last week and at the Colonnade.
It turns out, according to the "nutrarians" at Eat Right America, that collards and kale tie for first place in the contest for most nutrient-dense food. The scale doesn't include every measurement of nutrition:
Nutritional science in the last twenty years has demonstrated that colorful plant foods contain a huge assortment of protective compounds, mostly unnamed at this point. Only by eating an assortment of natural foods that are nutrient-rich, can we access these compounds and protect ourselves from the common diseases that afflict Americans. Our modern, low-nutrient eating style leads to an overweight population with common diseases of nutritional ignorance and medical costs spiraling out of control.
But check out the list of foods the site's chief medical officer has measured. It's not surprising that colas and French fries rank at the bottom of the list, but I was surprised to see that olive oil is third from the bottom, just behind American cheese and vanilla ice cream.
(Hat tip/Lisa Cohen. Photo of collards at Dynamic Dish by Cliff Bostock)
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