It has just been a few days since an estimated 4 million people in more than 160 countries took part in the Global Climate Strike, an event that was most likely the largest climate-focused protest on this planet, ever.
But at the risk of letting eco-conscious wonder-teen Greta Thunberg down, do you ever occasionally look at...um...*gestures at literally everything* and briefly (BRIEFLY!) think to yourself "Yeah, maybe a mass human extinction wouldn't hurt?" We felt like this for a few seconds after discovering that a Sexy Beyond Burger Halloween costume was a thing, and it hit us again after learning that a vegan Instagram influencer is trying to push something called "lettucetti."
Ullenka Kash, a "Life Transformation Coach, Raw Food Expert and Detox Diet Specialist"—her words—recently 'grammed a new version of a salad topping that she calls "Bolognezze” dressing, and she serves it on a bowl of shredded lettuce that she tries super hard to eat like pasta. "High in protein and omegas. VERY satisfying!!!" she wrote. "I think I’m getting closer to the Bolognese taste!!"
The dressing is fine...it's not even close to Bolognese, but it's fine. And man oh man, is she ever leaning hard into the idea that chopped lettuce is synonymous with spaghetti. In a previous post about the salad—and yes, this is 100% a salad—she defiantly wrote that she was "keeping the name Vegan Lettuce Spaghetti a’la Bolognese," despite the evidence to the contrary. (Kash better hope the mayor of Bologna doesn't hear about this; that dude recently lost it at the thought of anything other than tagliatelle being topped with Bolognese sauce.)
"None of the ingredients have anything to do with the recipe name, so why not call it a chopped salad," one commenter wrote, and that sentiment has been repeated a lot. "The Italian in me is crying right now," another added. And someone else just said it: "it’s ok to call a salad a salad."
But Kash says that she made this salad because her previous salads were too unsatisfying. "One day I wanted something quick and filling, so just decided to blend all of my add-ons and make it very simple—just lettuce and sauce. Since I cut lettuce into strips, it reminded me a lot of a spaghetti," she told Metro. "So I started to call it spaghetti salad or lettucetti or Bolognese salad. I am not Italian and spaghetti for me is a symbol of pasta with sauce, something that you can spin on [a] fork and enjoy a tasty bite easily."
We tend to think that spaghetti isn't just a symbol or an idea or a concept: It's a well-defined, actual real-life, important cultural thing.
Kash disagrees with that, too.
"To me the way I use the word 'spaghetti' is an eponym, not the direct meaning of the term spaghetti," she said. (This might explain why she also uses the term "lettuce sushi.")
Kash, who has more than 125,000 followers on Instagram, also claims that her raw vegan diet can cure both chronic skin conditions and autism. "Through many years of practice and experience I have developed my own path to heal from illness to feel great every day," she wrote on her website. "In 2014 I have helped my own kids to overcome severe Eczema and also to heal my son from Autism, with our new lifestyle." (She repeats the claim on her Instagram bio.) She also gives other parents instructions about how to "take over [their child's] healing" by replacing prescribed medications with fruit.
Once more… is extinction really that bad?