I have certain credos that I live by. Certain beliefs that I don’t waiver from. Thoughts, values, mantras, whatever, that I can always rely on to take me through the difficult and confusing happenings in my life. Some of the ones I had in my childhood have changed, but one has remained, without change, for as long as I have been on this earth. I don’t and won’t eat anything while it is alive.
I didn’t eat the shrimp we caught in the bay as children while they were still snapping about. Nor did I eat the crawfish caught in the drainage ditches before they were mercifully executed. I also didn’t partake of live crab, fish, or any other living thing. I didn’t even eat the bugs that most children partake of in their early years. If it was alive, it was off limits for my dining pleasure.
So how is it that some farmers think they can entice me with advertisements of “going green” so they can charge me three times the going rate, all for the opportunity to eat living lettuce? You got it – Living lettuce.
I was in Winn Dixie (notice – Winn Dixie, not some yuppie, tree hugging, all natural, pesticide free, organic, free range store) this past Saturday morning to pick up a few things on my way home from a rained out walk. I was cruising through the fruits and vegetables when I spotted a clear plastic container nestled among the varieties of lettuce. The label read Living Lettuce. That was my thought too. What the hell is living lettuce?
I picked the clear box up.
I examined the contents to determine what makes this lettuce different from all the other lettuces offered for sale.
I could tell it was not any old head of iceberg lettuce. It would have taken at least two living lettuces to make a good salad. It was greener. The leaves were not compacted together. It had an air of superiority over the other lettuce. It had a hard, plastic shell for a house when all the other lettuce lived in plastic bags.
When I flipped it over I saw the roots and a little ball of dirt. Yes, dirt. I don’t do dirt in any form.
Problems began to over take my mind.
• How does one kill a lettuce?
• Do you behead it?
• How can it be beheaded when it only has a head and no body?
• If it’s alive in the grocery store and away from its parents does that make it an orphan lettuce?
• Am I required to talk to the living lettuce if I take it home?
I didn’t need more problems as I already have my quota for the next month and I am not handling them well. I didn’t buy the living lettuce. I did go home and look this phenomenon up on the internet and found out that it’s been around since 2007. I live in the South. Things happen at a slower pace here. I did not find any other vegetables currently be offered for sale in a living state.
Besides the “going green” bit, and the inflated price, and the option of saving our planet, the premise behind this living lettuce is that with the roots intact and some of its home dirt in the case, it boasts a 15 day shelf life. I don’t have a calculator so cannot compute what this might mean to grocers in lettuce loss.
Okay. Let’s state the obvious here. How many of us have lettuce in our refrigerators that has been there longer than 15 days that would still make a great salad?
How many of us would pay three times the price of lettuce just to “go green” or eat something while it is still alive?
How many of us are afraid of what living lettuce sounds like when we bite into it? Lobster screams come to mind.
How many of us think eating anything while it is still alive, even lettuce, is just a bit too horror film, Night of the Living Dead for our tastes?
How many of us think that little dirt ball is reminiscent of Dracula and the dirt from his homeland he had to keep in his coffin?
I do believe there is a bit of blood-sucking going on with the sale of living lettuce, but it’s not the lettuce blood that is in danger here.
From the life and mind of:
Wanda M. Argersinger
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