Broccoli Enigma

Once upon a time, about 500 b.c., some aliens crash-landed somewhere in Tuscany, Italy. No one noticed, as there was a war going on at the time, but the next thing anyone knew, a strange plant started popping up all over the place. No one had ever seen it before. They called it: Broccoli!

Broccoli, that strange tree-like veggie. Its closest relative is cauliflower. Its true origin is outer space.

Oh, so the critics want proof, do they? First of all, assuming broccoli is in fact form another planet, it could have strange alien properties. Brainwashing, for example. It is widely known that young children refuse to eat broccoli, but become less resistant to our alien veggie as they grow older and have consumed more of it. Adults are completely convinced that "broccoli is good for you; you should eat more of it." Haven't we all heard this at least a million times from our parents? Even our friend's parents try to "encourage" us to eat broccoli when we go over for dinner. Is this not slightly out of the ordinary? It positively reeks of brainwashing.

Also, the fact that hardly anyone asks where broccoli came from anymore could be attributed to brainwashing. As far as most people are concerned, broccoli just exists. It has been around since anyone can remember.

This is not true. As stated before, broccoli comes from Italy. It originated about 2,500 years ago and was domesticated about 2,000 years ago. This is significant because in about 500 b.c. (2,500 years ago), there was a war going on in Italy: the Romans versus the Etruscans. An alien spacecraft could have crash-landed and no one would have noticed because of the war. Also, Haley's Comet passed by twice in roughly that same time period. Maybe the aliens hitched a ride to conserve fuel.

The way broccoli is grown could point to alien origin as well. Broccoli is started in a greenhouse, then put outside. It supposedly came from European wild cabbage, but that could be because it is a cross between the cabbage and the original alien plant. The new hybrid would have had to be monitored to make sure it would survive, so it would have been kept in the aliens' hydroponics (greenhouse) unit until they were sure it would grow. Then they would have let it grow in the wild.

Broccoli grows best in cool conditions. This would have been convenient for space travel because less energy for heat would have to be used in the hydroponics unit.

Broccoli and cauliflower are very strange plants from another point of view as well. They seem to be like other crucifers, but they are totally unique among vegetables. Take their looks for example. They look like miniature trees. Cauliflower is white! The only white veggie in existence that isn't a root—but roots are commonly white. Isn't that a bit odd?

Besides the fact that they look strange, the edible part is the flower. This leads to a new question: Are they really vegetables? We don't eat the flowers of normal veggies like peppers, beans, and squash. Why should we make an exception for broccoli and cauliflower?

It also stands that the only broccoli hybrid is a cross between broccoli and cauliflower, commonly called brocciflower. Cauliflower is actually a different kind of broccoli developed by humans, but if the original were actually from this planet, there ought to at least be successful experiments with other crucifers—kale, radishes and the rest. Therefore, it would appear that only broccoli and cauliflower are genetically compatible, which shows a common origin that only they share: The alien original.

So: Broccoli originates about 2,500 years ago, around the same time that Haley's Comet passes by twice and the Romans are fighting the Etruscans in Italy. An alien spacecraft would go unnoticed amidst the total chaos of war. 500 years later, broccoli is domesticated and humans discover that it needs to be started in a greenhouse and transplanted outside in the fall; kind of like the aliens might have done with their brand-new broccoli-cabbage hybrid. The properties of this hybrid are shown by the fact that little kids refuse to eat it, but become more willing to as they get older. The common genetic background of broccoli and cauliflower is made evident by the only broccoli hybrid— brocciflower—not to mention the uniqueness of the two compared to other veggies. What other evidence could anyone possibly ask for to prove that this odd-looking plant is indeed from another world? This has been the belief of many young people throughout the world for over two millennia. Once again, what more proof could a person want?