Down with Borscht

Almost all superfoods have two things in common. First, marketers would have you believe they offer unique nutrients that help people live healthy lives. Second, no individual on this green earth truthfully enjoys all of the diverse foods that fall into this category. My personal nemesis is beets; I don’t like ‘em, I hate ‘em, basically, I’m saying I could do without ‘em

 Game designer Justin Gary feels me. He created a card game base around getting rid of your beets and passing them off to others so that you can eat ice cream. Don't even get me started on the abomination of beet ice cream.

Game designer Justin Gary feels me. He created a card game base around getting rid of your beets and passing them off to others so that you can eat ice cream. Don't even get me started on the abomination of beet ice cream.

Proponents of beets say they’re good for you because they contain nitric oxide, a chemical used by cells to communicate with one another. Some health experts claim nitric oxide helps to speed up recovery time, and improve blood flow to your muscles. However, there are plenty of edible foods that you can eat to get nitric oxide, walnuts, collard greens, broccoli, lettuce, lean meats, red chili peppers, and kiwi fruit all include the nutrient. Or you could just take the supplement, because why would you eat beets?

My bias doesn’t come from a blanket distaste for taproots. I snack on carrots, crunch through turnips, toss radishes in my salads, and spice things up with a little bit of parsnips. There’s just something about beets that turns my palette.

It’s a holistic dislike. No one element makes me loathe the vegetable. Beets seem to always have this viscous film surrounding them; almost like the mucus a snail secretes. Then, when you bite into the damn things the texture is mealy, a combination that seems to run congruent to the laws of molecular bonding -a mouthful of unnatural pondering. You can’t argue that the colour can be off-putting. Cutting the things up leads to your kitchen counter looking like a set from the third season of Dexter. And who doesn’t like it when their dinner smells like burnt dirt?

My verbal response to people who ask me whether I'd like beets in my meal.

It could be that it is just a cilantro effect. You know those weirdo friends who hate cilantro on anything because it tastes like soap, so we all have to settle for mediocre salsa and guac at Mexican get togethers. Maybe I’m the beet weirdo, ruining my friend’s Ukrainian pierogi dish, or watering down their enjoyment of sour soups.

That’s not to say I’m not a cordial dinner guest. “Sure Nonna Castellano, I’d love another helping of that beet salad,” I say through my best fake smile. “No, the borscht isn’t too hot Baba Pavliuk. No, it isn’t too cold either. No, it doesn’t need more salt… it’s perfect just the way it is.”

If you like beets, that’s fine, but please keep them away from me and my fellow hater’s plate.


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Tristan is a level six wizard imbued with an enchanted Staff of Intelligence. The charming hybrid of punk, geek, and hippie culture. An avid writer, and even more avid reader. His focus covers topics like pop culture, history, politics, gaming, and science fiction.

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Tristan Handley

Tristan is a level six wizard imbued with an enchanted Staff of Intelligence. The charming hybrid of punk, geek, and hippie culture. An avid writer, and even more avid reader. His focus covers topics like pop culture, history, politics, gaming, and science fiction.