When someone tells you to eat more greens, you probably think of broccoli. Broccoli is a popular vegetable that can be consumed both raw and cooked. Broccoli ranks in the top 20 foods regarding the ANDI score (Aggregate Nutrient Density Index). The vegetable is a great source of vitamin C, A and K, fiber, folate, and potassium.
Here are 15 more interesting facts you might not know about broccoli:
- Italian immigrants first introduced broccoli to the United States in the 1800s. However, it did not become widely know until the 1920s.
- The word broccoli comes from an Italian word broccolo which means “the flowering top of a cabbage”.
- In the United States, California produces 90% of the crop.
- The United States ranks 3rd in the world for production of broccoli. China is ranked 1st and India ranks 2nd.
- The vegetable is a member of the Brassicaceae family which also includes cabbage, kale, and cauliflower.
- There are two forms of broccoli: sprouting and heading. In the United States, heading broccoli is the most common.
- The crop is a cool-season vegetable which means it grows best during spring or fall.
- The vegetable is typically harvested from mid-October through December.
- The crop is planted primarily by direct seeding.
- It can take anywhere from 70 to 140 days to mature after planting.
- The crop is typically 2 feet wide and 2 feet tall.
- There is no machine to harvest the vegetable so it must be hand harvested. A knife is commonly used to cut the stem when harvesting.
- The optimal storage life for the vegetable is 21-28 days.
- In the United States, the average annual per capita consumption is 5.8 pounds.
- Over the last 25 years, the crops consumption has increased over 940%.