Is Broccoli Man Made, Organic or Genetically Engineered

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Being into my healthy food and eating habits I was surprised to find this question was raised when I began searching and researching about Broccoli. It is considered a superfood with all of its nutritional benefits, but man made, is that really true and what is so man made about it? Lets answer that question first:

Broccoli is man made and belongs to the Brassica oleracea species. It was cross bred in Italy by farmers with other species of Brassica oleracea over many generations to produce the Broccoli that we know today. So technically, Broccoli is manmade.

It is also known as the Italica group of the Brassica oleracea indicating its origins in Italy. The selective breeding or hybrization is a natural process and was probably cross bred around 2,000 years ago by Italian farmers.

Is Broccoli Genetically Man Made

Broccoli is genetically man made through selective breeding which makes it Human Engineered. However, it is not engineered in a lab so technically should not be considered a GMO (Genetically Modified Organism).

Many vegetables and fruits we eat today are man made in the sense of cross breeding, so they retain many of the health benefits and additional benefits of the original species. Farmers, select desirable traits from one plant species and over thousands of years of selective breeding alter the genomes of the wild ancestors. This is how Broccoli was first developed.

Broccoli, along with the seedless varieties of fruit such as grapes and commercial bananas, and many of the commercial crops grown today would not exist without humans using selective breeding methods.

You may find the article: Do Bananas Have Seeds very interesting and will explain this process further in many of your fruits that you eat.

Is Broccoli A Real Vegetable

Broccoli is a real vegetable beacuse it doesnt develop from the ovary of a flowering plant, but rather is the flower parts and stems that are eaten. It has been selectively cross bred from the wild cabbage known as Brassica oleracea.

It is man made but not Genetically engineered in a lab because no foreign DNA has been directly inserted into the hosts genome.

To find out more about Broccoli and what it really is please take a look at the article: Is Broccoli a Fruit, Vegetable or Flower where a botanist weighs in on the matter.

How Broccoli Was Created

Broccoli was created from a kale predecessor way back in in the 1500s. This was achieved by selecting for the larger flower clusters, these are then harvested before they start blooming. The cauliflower, as we know it today, was developed from one of hundreds of varieties of broccoli.

Other vegetables similarly bred from wild cabbage (also known as wild mustard plant) include:

  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Kale
  • Kohlrabi

Take a look at the diagram below to see how these all were developed from the wild mustard plant.

6 Vegetables from Brassica Oleracea
6 Vegetables from Brassica Oleracea

Are Man Made Vegetables Bad For You

Man made vegetables are not bad for you as they are naturally cross bred. There is no lab GMO involved, everything is done by nature itself. This hybridization process occurs when two closely related plants are cross pollinated.

Cross pollination is occuring all of the time when bees collect move from one plant to another and when wind transfers pollen between plants. This is called random hybridization and can bring about new species of plants vegetables and fruits.

Man made just means rather than bees poolinating the plants man pollinates them himself choosing which plants to cross polinate to bring out desirable traits.

So it is fine to eat so called man made vegetables, what you should be more concerned with is making sure your vegetables are organic, as some of the healthiest foods like spinach and kale can contain over 50 pesticides. Better still, grow your own at home.

However, also keep in mind that broccoli, although healthy, can cause bloating and smelly wind due to its high sulphur content.

Does Broccoli Have Any Nutritional Value

Broccoli has very high nutritional value being high in many nutrients, including vitamin C, fiber, vitamin K, potassium and iron. It also contains more protein than many other vegetables.

Gentle steaming provides the most health benefits.[1]

Broccoli is also rich in many antioxidants and plant compounds such as Sulforaphane and Indole-3-carbinol that are known to help protect against various types of cancer.[2]

According to Healthline, Broccoli is number 3 on the list of the 14 healthiest vegetables in the world behind Spinach and Carrots.[3]

Is Broccoli Healthy For Your Body

Broccoli is healthy for your body being packed with vitamins, minerals and bio active compounds. It is also contains very potent antioxidants that protect the body from free radical damage.

Broccoli also contains Kaempferol, which is a flavonoid that demonstrates strong anti inflammatory capacity.[4]

When Was Broccoli Man Made

It is not known exactly when broccoli emerged, but it is understood that the earliest varieties of this vegetable appeared more than 2000 years ago. It was initially grown by farmers in Italy and was shipped to England and America during the 1700s and then to the rest of the world.

Reliable sources indicate that Mustard plant (wild cabbage), the species of plant that broccoli developed from, originates from the Mediterranean region and East Asia.

Is Broccoli Named After A Person

Broccoli is named after Albert Broccoli, known as Cubby who was a producer of James Bond films.

But, before producing James Bond films, Broccoli worked on the family farm where he grew up. According to family lore, Albert Cubby’s uncle brought the first broccoli to America around 1870.

Is Broccoli Considered A Flower

The broccoli plant can be considered a flower, because as it matures it produces flowers. So the most technically correct categorization of broccoli is a flower vegetable.

Broccoli has a head and a stem like cauliflower, which is edible, and it also has seeds that produce flowers which are not edible. For more information on this please read our article: Is Broccoli a Fruit, Vegetable or Flower?

Juan & Raquel

We are Juan & Raquel, the guys behind Fruit Information. We've been interested in fruit over the last few decades and have been busy with improving our knowledge of the different varieties. I, Juan, have been almost a fruitarian for over a decade and almost solely living on fruits as my main dietary intake. My wife Raquel has worked on a fruit farm and also worked in a nursery and seedlings shop. She is a very experienced and knowledgeable farmer. We have recently undertaken a new Dragon Fruit farm with friends.

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