Justice

Why the Internet Is Furious About Neiman Marcus Collard Greens

The holiday season is upon us, and that means Americans are planning meals for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Neiman Marcus released a line of holiday food items on their website, and people are furious at the prices — especially the price of collard greens.

Collard greens from Neiman Marcus.

The luxury brand is selling frozen packages of prepared collard greens for a whopping $66 plus shipping. The Neiman Marcus collard greens serve between eight to 10 people. A can of pre-seasoned collard greens generally goes for less than $5 at the grocery store and serves about two or three people. 

People were shocked and angry that anyone would sell collard greens for that much money.

Reactions to Neiman Marcus collard greens.

Here's why people are angry.

1. Collard green dishes were traditionally eaten by poor Southern people.

Although the vegetable was grown across the world, collard green dishes developed as a staple in early American cooking. The method of preparation for collard green dishes was largely developed by black Southern slaves, but became popular all across the South. An excerpt from the book "Collards: a Southern Tradition from Seed to Table" in Deep South Magazine outlines the humble origins of American collard green dishes.

"African American cooks deserve the lead credit for the diffusion of collards across the South. These often uneducated women and men carried in their ancient cultural wisdom two important notions: dark leafy greens are essential to our health, and proper proportions of peppers and other spices make cooked vegetables taste much better."

Black people on Twitter were quick to point out the ties to black culture using the hashtag #gentrifiedgreens.

2. Income inequality in the U.S. is at an all time high.

In 2013, income inequality was the highest it had been since 1928, according to the Pew Research center. The top 1 percent of families in the U.S. made 25 times as much as the bottom 99 percent of Americans. It's possible that $66 collard greens can put the income gap into perspective.

ATTN: reached to Neiman Marcus about the company's $66 price and the internet backlash. A representative did not directly answer the question, but provided some information about how to serve the collard greens in an email. 

"The Neiman Marcus Collard Greens are a new item we are carrying this year," wrote Wendy Segal, a corporate public relations manager at Neiman Marcus. "The order arrives in four 12 oz trays so you choose how much you would like to serve. Overall, the four 12 oz trays serves 8-10 people. "

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