Today I am going to do something that many would refer to as blasphemy. I am going to argue against eating salad and encourage you to not feel guilty about it. As a matter of fact, this post serves as a twist on the notion of a guilty pleasure. Mind you, I have written before of my love of cherry heads and cocktails. In a way those are guilty pleasures in the common vernacular. The thing is I don’t really feel guilty about my eating habits. Just two days ago, someone encouraged me to eat more salads. I smiled and nodded. Inside I am thinking, it is my pleasure to not eat salads and engage in a hearty meal while the person across from me picks at their iceberg lettuce seemingly superior to me.
Here’s the thing. When you travel to far off places, people inevitably warn you to not drink the water or they let you know that it is safe to drink the water. Don’t brush your teeth with the local water, don’t get ice cubes and the list goes on. Of course, if you go out to a local bar, unless you like your drinks neat, you will get some water. I tend to avoid milky, frothy cocktails as a general rule in life. Something about a milky substance spells trouble to me. Still, Dave Mathews does warn and I take him seriously to not drink the water.
Speaking of trouble, don’t eat the salad. Just don’t do it. Now mind, you I am a former vegetarian of over a decade and was for a New York minute in PETA. Thus, my admonishment to not eat the salad is quite heavy on my part.
Salads, especially at a buffet, are hotbeds of illness waiting to happen. Before I proceed, I do have to note I never do buffet unless absolutely necessary (meaning no other options whatsoever). Did you know that leafy vegetables were the source of the most foodborne illnesses from 1998 to 2008? Overall, 14% of hospitalizations in that time period were due to leafy vegetables. Plant sources are often the most common source of viral pathogens. Got it?
Salads at buffets are subjected to tons of possible contamination. You could not pay me to eat a salad at a restaurant where kids are welcome to the buffet table. I love my son dearly, but I know what little boys are like.
When I do go to an eatery to do a take-out salad inevitably they get my order wrong. See, many salads have gorgonzola or blue crumb cheese in it. I love, love cheese. However, blue cheese and me don’t mix. I always ask to swap out the Gorgonzola for any other cheese they have on hand. In about 50% of the orders, they get it wrong. I dive into my ostensibly yummy pecan, cranberry grilled chicken salad and get a mouthful of yuck when my tongue comes across the blue cheese.
If you are eating a salad to lose weight should note that many times salads are filled to the max with calories. Especially when lavished with dressing. Again, I avoid all creamy dressings. To me those signal potential salmonella in the making. On one of my first business trips, my colleague and I both ordered the Caesar salad as an appetizer at dinner. We were to work afterwards on some documents that night. Instead, we ended up locked in our bathrooms for a while and thereafter searching for a store that sold pepto bismo in the middle of the night and in the middle of nowhere. Yup, no Caesar salad for me. I once tried to order a Caesar salad without the Caesar dressing and the waitress thought I was cuckoo. I felt like I was in a scene of When Harry Met Sally. You know the scene, right? Sally orders the chef’s salad with oil and vinegar on the side and the apple pie a là mode. However, he order doesn’t stop there. She tells the waitress that she wants the pie heated and the ice cream on the side instead of on top; as it is typically served. Oddly, she wants the ice cram to be strawberry flavored, but if they only have vanilla she only wants whipped cream. But, get this, she only wants it if the whipped cream is real and not out of a can. If it’s out of a can then she only wants the pie, but not heated.
Yes that scene is crazy but it does tend to happen often in restaurants. In particular this scene plays out especially when it comes to salads. There is no perfect salad out there. Thus, why order it? Save yourself the headache of the convoluted salad order and the potential food poisoning. Don’t order the salad while on travel. And especially don’t eat salad at an airport restaurant. Trust me on that.
[on a side note, i actually do eat lots of salads, just not on the road]