Salad is too broad of term


Jaycee Fitzgerald

The other night I asked my little brother, Bubba Jay, if he could pick one food to eat for the rest of his life, what would it be? He said he would eat salad for the rest of his life.

Now, Bubba Jay doesn’t even like salad, so I was confused. But then he explained that really anything you mix together is a salad. I argued against that, but he proved me wrong after pulling up the definition of a salad, which is “small pieces of food usually mixed with a dressing or set in a gelatin” according to the Merriam Webster dictionary.

To me, that is ridiculous. Why? Because with that logic anything can be a salad, which is what Bubba Jay was saying. So, I’m here to argue that the definition of salad is way too broad and that we need to be more concise with defining what is and is not a salad.

My first and foremost reason for saying this is because typically, when you think of the word salad you think of some type of leafy greens with vegetables and some dressing. Or, you think of pasta salad, fruit salad or potato salad. Those are all typical to think of when you hear  salad. And, they follow the current definition as they are small pieces of food mixed in a dressing.

In contrast, when you hear the word salad things you don’t think of are Jell-O salad, Watergate salad or Snickers salad which are all real things people classify as salad. And while they do fit the definition stated above, I do not think they should be classified as salads. Watergate salad, for example, is just pistachio pudding with canned fruit in it according to That doesn’t even follow the already very vague definition of what a salad is. In total, according to Food52, there are about 318 things classified as salads, and people can argue there are even more like that under the current definition.

So, what is my solution? How am I proposing to fix this? I say we make the definition of salad more clear and concise.

I say salad should be defined as, “a mixture of leafy greens or small pieces of food in some sort of dressing.” This puts a definite definition on what salad is. There is no “usually” in this definition. You can use this definition as a set criteria for what is and is not salad.

And what anything else that people call salads now, but do not follow this criteria? Rename it. Like with Watergate salad, maybe try calling it Watergate pudding instead because, I mean, it is a pudding after all. This will allow foods to be more accurately described and will cause much less confusion.