Priairie dog eating a broccoli
This cute prairie dog does not seem to think the broccoli is evil…

Mention broccoli and you either get a look of disgust or a nod of approval – a common reaction from most people, especially kids! Even though we are aware of how much of a superveggie the broccoli is – it’s rich in nutrients and antioxidants and high in fibre – many still can’t help hating it. We find out 5 facts on why it’s got a bad rap and attempt to save its reputation.

FACT: It is the most hated vegetable in the US.

IT’S NOT EVIL: Just because the Americans dislike the broccoli, it does not mean that it is universally hated. The Italians cook it frequently in their pastas, the Indians eat theirs mixed in curry, and the Chinese stir-fry them in oyster sauce. Of course, the health-conscious always find a way to incorporate them into nutritious dishes such as this Tofu With Stir-Fried Greens.

FACT: President George H.W. Bush famously banned the broccoli in The White House. “I haven’t liked it since I was a little kid and my mother made me eat it. I’m now President of the United States, and I’m not going to eat any more broccoli!” he declared.

IT’S NOT EVIL: As they say, one man’s meat (or vegetables in this case) is another man’s poison. As much as President Bush hated the broccoli, current President of the US Barack Obama has been quoted as saying that his favourite food is the broccoli.

FACT: It’s got a foul smell and taste.

IT’S NOT EVIL: Research has found that broccoli haters are reacting to compounds called glucosinolates found in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables like kale and Brussels sprouts. It can be an intolerably bitter taste, while others can’t taste it at all. There is a genetic explanation: The gene responsible, hTAS2R38, can be either strong or weak in detecting this bitter taste, causing the extreme palate sensations.

FACT: Always being boiled to death, the broccoli is a mushy mess which makes people gag.

IT’S NOT EVIL: Part of the bad reputation of broccoli comes from how it’s being prepared, and one such way is how it’s commonly overcooked and overboiled, causing it to have a slimy texture which turns most people off. But many other different types of preparations have proven that the broccoli can be really delicious. We are sure those who have tasted cheese broccoli (provided you do not hate cheese as well!) will attest to how yummy it can be.

FACT: It’s universally known as “the vegetable that kids hate”.

IT’S NOT EVIL: In one scene from the hit Disney animated film Inside Out, Riley’s dad struggles to feed his daughter broccoli and is faced with disgusted opposition. But in Japan, the same scene had bell peppers being substituted as kids there love broccoli and do not consider the vegetable gross­. So the broccoli is not as reviled by kids everywhere in the world as you might think.

Do you still think that the broccoli is evil? Let us know!

Photo: Pixabay