Is Broccoli Man Made?

There is a lot of debate over whether or not broccoli is man-made. Some people believe that it was created in a lab by scientists, while others claim that it was simply a beautiful creation of nature. No one really knows for sure. What we do know, however, is that broccoli is a very healthy vegetable that provides many benefits for our bodies.

Broccoli has seen a tremendous rise in popularity. We come across it fresh or frozen in nearly every supermarket we visit and we utilize it in the preparation of a wide range of yummy foods. Despite the fact that this vegetable is relatively new in some countries, it has been cultivated and consumed for many years across the world.

Broccoli is a biennial plant, although it is often grown as an annual in certain climates and harvested for its edible flower clusters and stems. So answer the question in this article… “is broccoli man-made?”

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Table of Contents


Is Broccoli Man-Made?

Yes, broccoli is a product of human engineering. Although broccoli as we know it did not exist as a plant until recently, it has been manufactured through an arduous procedure by humans for thousands of years.

Broccoli is a type of wild cabbage that originated in ancient times. The exact date when broccoli was first cultivated is unknown, but it is thought to be more than 2000 years ago. It was originally produced in Italy and carried to the United States and England in the 1700s, before being distributed around the rest of the globe.

Broccoli appears to have originated in the Mediterranean and East Asia, according to reports. The evidence suggests that broccoli was grown for the first time during the Roman Empire.

The name of broccoli – The term “broccoli” comes from the Italian word broccolo, which can be translated as “the flowering crest of a cabbage,” and is the diminutive form of brocco, which means “sprout.”

eating broccoli

How Was Broccoli Made?

You’re probably wondering how broccoli was created now that you know it’s man-made rather than a plant that naturally evolved in its current form.

You’re probably already conjuring up images of how broccoli was created in a make-shift lab by some sort of head of their time genius scientist more than 2,000+ years ago. However, it’s not entirely accurate to say that.

Broccoli was produced through selective breeding, rather than genetic modification of an existing plant.

Selective breeding (or artificial selection) is the practice of developing a better version of plants with desirable characteristics by propagating ones with desirable qualities in controlled conditions.

Here’s an example, if a plant’s fruit is larger, healthier, and tastier than others of the same species or if it produces more crops per year, selective breeding is used to try to duplicate that plant in order to create future harvests with superior edible plants.

Artificial plant selection is most often utilized to obtain plants with greater disease, pest, or crop tolerance, such as lower temperatures, drought, and extreme weather. Plant duplication is achievable by a variety of techniques, including seed harvesting from the target plants and propagation from cuttings, grafting, layering, and other processes.

The obvious disadvantage of selective breeding is that it takes a long time to get the desired plants.

However, it appears that the farmers of the Roman Empire did not have a problem with time when they developed broccoli through selective breeding. Broccoli was developed through decades of selective breeding of the Brassica oleracea (also known as wild cabbage or wild mustard). The wild cabbage plant is native to Europe’s Atlantic and Mediterranean shores.

Although broccoli is the progenitor of brassica oleracea, it isn’t the only plant that has been developed from this species. In fact, due to continued selection, many distinct types have emerged, including:

  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Cauliflower
  • Kale
  • Collard
  • Kohlrabi
brussels sprouts

Is It Healthy to Eat Broccoli That Has Been Genetically Modified?

Broccoli is a good source of vitamin C, fibre, and many other vitamins and minerals. It also contains chemical compounds that fight cancer (such as sulforaphane) and may help to protect against heart disease. Broccoli has historically been used in folk medicine for indigestion and constipation relief, as well as liver health improvement. Few to no side effects have been reported from consuming broccoli due to its nutritional content.

While genetically modified organisms or GMO crops are grown throughout the United States and the United Kingdom today, they aren’t widely available in grocery stores yet due to public concern over their safety. With that being said, you don’t need to be concerned about broccoli as it has been produced over years of selective breeding rather than being genetically modified.

More people are becoming aware that broccoli is manufactured, and the debate about whether it’s safe to eat these crops and whether a broccoli plant is beneficial for us has begun.

In the case of genetically modified plants, there are still a lot of questions and unknowns, but in the case of broccoli, it is much more straightforward to believe that it is completely safe to eat due to how it has been produced.

There are various other species, like broccoli and others Brassica oleracea hybrids, that have been developed through selective breeding to get to the form we all recognize… so let’s have a look at a few of them:

Want to learn more about how to grow broccoli varieties? Have a read of an article that we wrote about how to grow calabrese.

Selective breeding has produced numerous other plants:

  • Bananas
  • Corn
  • Modern Strawberry
  • Okra
  • Soybeans
  • Sunflower
  • Wheat
artificial selection

Benefits of broccoli

Broccoli is a low-calorie, high-fibre vegetable that also contains antioxidants, proteins, vitamins and minerals. In 2017, the “Healthiest Vegetables on Earth” were named by Healthline, placing broccoli in the third position. Spinach and carrots are in first and second places, respectively.


Broccoli has a number of antioxidants, which help to protect the body from free radicals. Broccoli also contains beta-carotene and vitamin C, both of which are powerful antioxidants that can be converted by the body into other nutrients (such as vitamin A). These compounds may lower your risk for heart disease and certain types of cancer–like breast and colon cancer. They may also reduce inflammation in people with arthritis or asthma.


A cup of cooked broccoli contains about five grams of fibre, according to the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference. Fibre is an essential part of any diet because it helps keep you regular; prevents constipation; lowers blood cholesterol levels; normalizes blood sugar levels; and helps you feel fuller, longer.

Proteins and vitamins

Broccoli is a good source of protein, with three grams per cup (cooked). It also contains several B-vitamins: thiamin, riboflavin and niacin. These nutrients help to boost your energy levels; convert carbohydrates into fuel for the body; build muscles; keep skin healthy; regulate brain function. They may even reduce cholesterol levels in people who have high blood pressure or diabetes mellitus type II–two conditions that can lead to heart disease if left untreated


The mineral content of broccoli varies by cultivar but generally includes potassium, phosphorous (used for bone formation), magnesium (involved in over 300 reactions in the body), zinc, iron, calcium (needed for bone health), manganese, selenium (an important antioxidant) and copper.

broccoli is man made

People also ask

Can too much broccoli be harmful?

Overall, broccoli is safe to eat in large quantities. However, it has certain properties that could cause adverse reactions in some people–especially those with thyroid issues or kidney problems. Some of these include:

  • Hypothyroidism – The high concentration of goitrogens (natural substances) found in broccoli may inhibit the production of thyroid hormones. Research shows that a diet high in cruciferous vegetables can increase the risk for hypothyroidism — an underactive thyroid gland — by up to 70%.
  • Kidney stones – Broccoli is high in oxalates, which can increase the risk of kidney stones.
  • Broccoli sprouts – are not safe to eat because they may contain a compound called glucosinolate that could cause goitres (an enlarged thyroid gland).
  • Iodine deficiency – Eating too much broccoli can lead to iodine deficiency, so it’s important for people with thyroid conditions to limit their intake of cruciferous vegetables.

Which veggies are man-made?

Broccoli and other Brassica oleracea hybrids have been developed through selective breeding to get to the form we all recognize… so let’s have a look at a few of them:

  • Bananas
  • Corn
  • Modern Strawberry
  • Okra
  • Soybeans

Is broccoli human-invented?

Broccoli is human-invented but this question is not phrased correctly. Broccoli is a man-made vegetable that has been selectively bred to get to the form we all recognize today.

wild cabbage

Why broccoli is not good for you?

Broccoli is not the best vegetable for you because it contains goitrogens, oxalates and glucosinolates. These substances can have harmful effects on people with thyroid issues, kidney problems or iodine deficiencies.

Is broccoli a fruit or vegetable?

Broccoli is a vegetable because it is part of the cruciferous family which also includes wild cabbage, kale and cauliflower. These vegetables are typically eaten cooked rather than raw like fruits.

Can I eat broccoli every day?

Yes, you can eat broccoli every day but make sure to mix up your intake with other vegetables too as overconsumption of any one food can have adverse effects.

Can broccoli be eaten raw?

Yes, you can eat broccoli raw but it is not as sweet as when it is cooked. Cooking broccoli breaks down the cell walls and makes the nutrients more available for absorption.

eating raw broccoli
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Oliver Wright
Oliver Wright

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