Is Broccoli A Man Made Vegetable Or Is It Natural? Is Broccoli A Hybrid?

Updated: Aug 31

Is broccoli made by man?


Broccoli is most certainly a man-made food. If there were no people, there would be no broccoli - at least not in the form we see it in today. It is the result of many years of picky - choosy selective breeding. Broccoli would not occur in the wild on its own. So if you ever find yourself lost in the woods, looking for something to eat, don't expect to stumble upon any broccoli!


Where does broccoli come from?

Broccoli comes from the selective breeding of wild cabbage (Brassica oleracea) plants starting around the 6th century BC. Its name, from the Italian broccolo, describes the flowering top of a cabbage - an homage to broccoli's origins. Since the Roman Empire, the people of Italy have valued broccoli as a good source of food and nutrition.

It was first brought to England in the mid 1800's by a man named Peter Scheemakers, a Flemish sculptor. It was eventually introduced to the Americas. Broccoli has only recently gained much popularity in the United States during this past century.


Is broccoli somehow harmful because it is man made?

With all of its many proven health benefits, it would be a stretch to say that broccoli hurts people. Some might say that because broccoli has been tampered with in order to exist, that it is inherently less nutritionally potent or "electric" than its predecessor - the wild cabbage. We can only speculate.


Is broccoli the result of GMO (genetic modification / engineering)?


Selective breeding or "cultivation" is not the same as GMO. GMO requires a highly trained group of genetic engineers, a laboratory and lots of expensive equipment. They go into the plant at cellular level and make the desired changes. This process is very intrusive and has a profound effect on the overall identity of a plant.

Selective breeding however, is a lot less complicated, but it takes way longer to see notable changes in the plants physiology. Selective cultivation entails throwing out the less desirable plants, and only reproducing from the plants that possess the traits you are looking to keep.

In the case of the broccoli plant, that is exactly how it was done. Wild cabbage farmers would systematically discard the cabbage plant's less desirable flower buds, and keep the tastier, larger, faster growing ones. Then they would use these buds to breed with. Over much time and pickiness - the modern day broccoli plant eventually resulted.


Is broccoli a hybrid?


No. Broccoli is not a hybrid. A vegetable hybrid is the result of combining two different species of plant to make a new breed. Usually hybrids have more trouble reproducing than wild plants. They need help from humans to stay around. Selective breeding is how humans developed broccoli.

Other vegetables that were cultivated this way include:

  • Cauliflower

  • Brussels sprouts

  • Cabbage

  • Turnips/turnip greens

  • Collards

  • Kale

  • Bok choy



So should we eat broccoli? Is it safe?


Broccoli is generally considered to be very nutritious. Since it hasn't really been tampered with on a genetic level, its probably ok, but it is not as "electric" as its wild predecessor. It does offer lots of hearty green goodness to any meal. World renowned healer Dr. Sebi (RIP) taught that any food that wouldn't grow wild and naturally on it's own is to be avoided. Still broccoli is packed with green power so most nutritionists would disagree. It depends on whether you accept man made foods as being potentially healthy.



Broccoli nutrition facts / benefits:

Broccoli is high in many nutrients, including

  • fiber

  • vitamin C

  • vitamin K

  • iron

  • potassium

  • folate

  • manganese

Broccoli also contains more protein than most other vegetables.


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