Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Spoiled Rotten

So I get this sales email a few days ago from Gardener’s Supply. Maybe it is the heat or maybe just in a general funk, but when the images downloaded and I saw this (at left) I was perturbed. Sure, it is cute and I'm not singling out this otherwise fine company, but isn't this a bit whack? Is our society really that wasteful? Is food as decor the sign of the coming apocalypse? I mean I know excess zucchini can be a real pain to give away to overloaded friends, neighbors and coworkers, but you can always drop a sack of fresh produce off at your nearest soup kitchen or church. I called a few today, they all said bring on the eggplants and summer squash -- fresh produce is in rare supply for them. I'm thinking now of the pumpkin carving I relish each year. Is that any different? Why does this just feel 'off,' but the pumpkin ritual seem okay? Maybe because with the 'kins I save and roast the seeds - then give the carcass to the compost heat (aka open squirrel feeder) afterwards. Or maybe it because the jack-o'-lantern pumpkins are bred to be thin-shelled for carving, thereby not so hot for cooking, and are grown specially for this purpose. Is it obscene to use food as a decor item when people are starving -- not just in far-off lands -- but down the street?

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

You raise an interesting issue. I've on occasion wondered whether the decorative kale used in the landscaping at various strip malls might be harvested as food. (I do wonder if that environment might render it inedible.)

But you miss a vital point. Eggplant isn't food. I've tried it and my reaction is best summed up as, "bleah." You may come as well decorate with it, it's a waste of garden space otherwise.

(With tounge firmly in cheek.)

WashingtonGardener said...

LOL - I do happen to be a great fan of Eggplant Parmesan - but if you want to created a celery toy soldier army yard decor, I'd have no problem - that stuff isn't even fit for beasts to consume -- so to each his own on taste ;-).

I'll ask around about the decorative kale - my limited knowledge of it is that the landscape kale is bred for color and hardiness - not taste and that it is probably not organic or healthy to consume. My hunch is, given a famine, you COULD eat it - but it would not be in your top 100. Any kale experts out there?

Anonymous said...

As a person who's bitten into an ornamental orange (ptooie), I'd be interested in the ornamental kale answer.

Also, I suppose you could look at this as sustainable decor. Once it's past it's usefulness, the majority of your eggplant kitty could go on the composte heap. Rather than some petro-chemical lawn ornament that will end up in landfill. I may be rationalizing, cause that kitty is hecka cute. And you could give a homeless shelter a dollar or two as penance for the food wasting.

And if it wasn't a kitty, that eggplant would end up in my belly as babaganoush. Yumma!

jb