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Food Feud: Why Chick-fil-A is trying to squash kale

By Matthew Thompson, December 6, 2011 - 5:06pm

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Food Feud: Why Chick-fil-A is trying to squash kale

The media has been buzzing this week since popular chicken-sandwich chain Chick-fil-A threatened to shut down a small-time artist and entrepreneur in Vermont. For over a decade, Bo Muller-Moore has been making “Eat More Kale” T-shirts and stickers—hand-printing them on organic cotton or recycled paper. It all started when some friends asked Muller-Moore to whip up a few T-shirts for a local farmers’ market. Demand snowballed, and soon he was working full-time to fill orders from South Africa, Iraq and even Siberia. But when he attempted to copyright the phrase earlier this year, he found himself staring down the barrels of the chicken-sandwich chain’s legal team. According to Chick-fil-A, Muller-Moore’s catchphrase is too similar to its “Eat Mor Chikin” slogan (intentionally misspelled because, in their ads, cows are writing it).

To Muller-Moore, however, the charge is ridiculous. With the aid of Vermont governor Peter Shumlin he’s fighting back, setting up a “Team Kale” fundraising effort and reaching out for pro bono legal aid.

Of course, while it’s easy to simply see this as a case of a huge corporation railroading the little guy right out of a job—Muller-Moore called it a “David versus Goliath” situation in a statement to the AP—or a case of byzantine copyright law killing American business, there’s another issue at stake here that I hope doesn’t get lost in the shuffle.

We really should Eat More Kale.

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First off, kale is absurdly healthy. On top of delivering a raft of cancer-fighting antioxidants, it’s one of the world’s top sources of vitamin A, which promotes eye and skin health and may help strengthen the immune system. It’s a good source of heart-healthy fiber and has almost as much vitamin C as an orange. What’s not to love? No wonder A-listers like Gwyneth Paltrow, Christina Hendricks and Alex Rodriguez have all recently touted their love for this vogue veggie.

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Second off, kale can still be hard to come by in some parts of the country. Since it’s in season now, the best place to find it is probably your local famers’ market or a natural foods store (though it can even be found in many major supermarkets these days). According to Muller-Moore, that’s a big part of the idea behind his T-shirt line. The artist told The New York Times, “…people see it as more of this local food movement.” In other words, “kale” here is emblematic of a kind of food that’s not over processed, mass-produced or bad for you. In that respect, it’s pretty much the polar opposite of Chick-fil-A.

Third, kale is delicious! Crispy, salted kale chips are a fantastic snack. For a rich, tangy side, try making Salsa-Braised Kale. You can even use kale in smoothies! (Salsa Braised Kale, Green Smoothies and More Delicious Kale Recipes You Should Try)

As Bo Mueller-Moore puts it, “If cooked right…who could turn it down?”

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Who do you think should win in this food feud: Chick-fil-A or Eat More Kale? Tell us what you think below.

TAGS: Matthew Thompson, Food News Blog, Food & health news, Good choices

Matthew Thompson
Matthew Thompson is a former associate food editor for EatingWell Magazine.

Matthew asks: Who do you think should win in this food feud: Chick-fil-A or Eat More Kale?

Tell us what you think:

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