In a rare feel-good story, 2012 saw a long neglected and even despised leafy green somehow emerge from nowhere to become America’s vegetable sweetheart. From kale chips to raw kale salads to kale oven-roasted with olive oil or pancetta, it seemed like you couldn’t turn around without bumping into a leaf of the innocuous plant — and nobody seemed to object. The green reached the pinnacle of food cool when the despised Chick-fil-A, already excoriated on the left for its owners’ opposition to gay marriage, sued a guy in Vermont over trademark violation for selling a shirt that said “Eat More Kale.”
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