As if life isn't tough enough, we are now burdened with the guilt of eating live lettuce. Live lettuce is a head of lettuce that comes in a plastic bowl with the root ball still attached. It's so live, that dirt still clings to the roots.
The theory is that live lettuce lasts longer, perhaps even for 10 days, providing you remember to refrigerate it, monitor it and water it regularly. Basically, live lettuce becomes like a pet you it shelter, watch it, water it and grow attached to it. Then one day you day rip the leaves apart and throw it in a bowl with grated carrots.
It's one step away from catching a fish in your kid's aquarium and breading it for dinner.
Man was never meant to grow this attached to lettuce.
Some cooks numb live lobsters before dropping them in a pot of boiling by chilling them to ease the pain. Some even throw a splash of vodka in the boiling pot.
How do you numb living lettuce that has become your refrigerator friend before ripping it apart? Will a shot of Hidden Valley do the trick or does it prefer an olive oil and red wine vinegar?
Growers say the benefit of live lettuce is that it has been protected from the elements rain, water, direct sun, all the things lettuce used to need to grow but are now considered potentially harmful. So now lettuce is grown in a greenhouse, never plants its tiny green feet in the earth, breathes outdoor air, or basks in the sun.
It's ironic really. We pay extra for chickens that have been allowed to roam free enjoy the sun and the outdoors, while we pay extra for lettuce that has been kept inside, under lock and key.
And now meet the pampered dairy cows featured in the Wall Street Journal. They are coddled by George Malkemus and Tony Yurgaitis, who built careers selling $500 Italian leather shoes for women. In an abrupt side-step, they have entered the dairy market naturally, in good taste and high style.
They posted a sign that reads: "Every cow in this barn is a lady, please treat her as such." Do they ever.
Their cows are vacuumed daily so there's not a single fly on their bovine bodies. (What good is a tail without flies?)
The cows are even treated to shampoos. Dark-haired cows are slathered with something like Artec and blonde-haired cows are massaged in the gentle suds of Pantene. It is just a matter of time before cows start doing shampoo commercials.
The diva cows each have a specially blended feed and sleep on special order shavings. Other dairy farmers claim the milk from the cows at the spa isn't any better than milk from other cows you know, the kind that don't shampoo, have body odor and sometimes slip in their own manure.
I'm just wondering if something might be out of kilter when the food we eat may be more pampered than we are.
And now I'm going out to the garden to cut a few sprigs of rosemary for tonight's chicken that did not roam free and never had the good fortune to visit Disneyland.
After that I'm going to make a salad. The lettuce isn't live; it won't feel a thing.
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