Challenging the Salad Dressing Paradigm, Carol Deppe
Here’s a big-picture way of looking at a modern conventional salad: First we breed the flavor out of a few vegetables so they will be as mild as possible. Then we have companies growing and selling specially potent vegetables with extra strong flavors (dried herbs) to add back to the mild vegetables to make up for all the flavor we bred out of our main salad ingredients. Meanwhile, other companies take perfectly good oil-seeds such as sunflowers and process out the oil for our salad and feed the protein to animals. Yet other companies make vinegar. Another company combines the herbs with water, vinegar, oil, and salt to make a commercial dressing. We dump this oily soury full-flavored mixture on a bowl of bland vegetables to make up for the oil, sourness, and flavor we left out of the ingredients in the bowl. For a really luxuriously filling salad that is a whole dinner, however, we may also want to add some eggs, cheese, or meat to make up for the protein we lost when we extracted the oil from the sunflowers and gave the protein to animals. Meanwhile, even for the home gardener, the salad-dressing paradigm means “home-grown” salads in which much of the flavor and nearly all the calories come from commercial or processed products.
We gardeners can do much better.