The Daily News, Friday, January 12,1996
Broccoli is vegetable superstar
One of the major issues in the
Congressional budget hearings in
Washington. D.C.. is medicine. We
live in a country that has one of the
best Medicare systems possible in
the world. Yet, so many of us are
sick. This is not to say the medical
system fails us. but we fail ourselves
in the way we treat our bodies,
Health is considerably more than
Ihe absence of a minor or major ill-
ness. It is partly biological status. a
matter of how all the body's com-
ponents function. It is partly a con.
sequence of behavior, a reflection
of our ability to co-exist with our
According to Genesis 1:29:
"And God said, behold. I have
given you every herb bearing seed.
which is upon the face of all the
earth, and every tree. in which is the
fruit of a tree yielding seed: to you
it shall be for food."
So we see from creation, God
Himself has set in place a dietary
plan. The book of Leviticus, chapter
S1 took it further by describing what
animals and fish we should eat
Modern doctors today tell us
from beyond heredity, there are
numerous factors that influence our
health: proper diet, exercise, rest,
fresh air, water and environment.
Lately, there has been much
emphasis on fruits and vegetables. I
recall the story of Daniel and his
three companions who refused to
cat the King's meal. Instead. they
ate vegetables and drank water.
"And. at the end of ten days.
their countenance appeared fairer
and falter in flesh than all the
youths who did eat the portion of
the King's food."(Daniel 1:15.)
In the vegetable kingdom, one
vegetable stands out broccoli.
Americans are eating six times
as much of this nutrition all-star as
we ate in 1970, and consumption
continues to increase, according to
Lisa Barmann of the United Fresh
Fruit and Vegetable Association.
Food experts recommend that
we eat at least three servings of
broccoli a week. Broccoli heads the
vegetable honor roll because it is
low in calories and high in vitamins
A and C and minerals (iron, calci-
um and potassium).
It also is a cruciferous vegetable..
along with cauliflower and other
high-fiber vegetables of the cab-
bage family, and eating cruciferous
vegetables is believed to reduce the
incidence of certain cancers.
The dark-green flowers are real-
ly called buds. but beware when
they open somewhat and change to
yellow. Yellow flowers mean the
vegetable is no longer in its prime.
The ancient Romans grew broc-
coli, and it remained an Italian veg-
etable until the 1500s when the
French began eating it. Broccoli
traveled to England in the 1600s.
Until 1920, there wasn't much
broccoli in the United States except
in Italian gardens. That year Italian
vegetable growers in California
shipped some broccoli to Boston.
and the effort was successful.
In the past decade, Caribbean
people have begun to eat broccoli.
Among the cole crops. broccoli is
relatively tolerant to environmental
stress. It can tolerate heal to a
greater degree than cauliflower. In
the Virgin Islands. broccoli grows
best in the fall and winter. This new
year. why not eat more broccoli?
Olasee Davis, who holds a mas-
ter of science degree in range man-
agement and forestry ecology. is a
St. Croi.r ecologist. activist and