The Reason You Might Hate Broccoli With a Fiery Passion

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If you hate broccoli and don’t understand how and why some people actually like it, then the answer is simple and it doesn’t seem to be something you can do anything about: it’s written in your genetic code. 

I am always amused by food feuds on the internet. Like all of the vitriol about pineapple pizza that made the Icelandic president say he’d like to ban it. Or people trying to say that soup is useless food. What’s funny to me is the way people like to argue on the internet, judging other people based on their food preference. It can be amusing, but I don’t really like to condone it. I hate food-shaming people. And what really emphasized that for me is this idea that the foods we like might be written in our genes. So there’s not really anything we can do about it, right?

Well, that’s not entirely true. For instance, we can train ourselves to like bitter foods more by constantly exposing ourselves to them. And if there’s something that out there that a lot of people don’t like but should maybe have a bit more of, that’s broccoli, for sure.

Why people hate broccoli

Well, some people hate broccoli because not all of us taste it the same way and that comes down to mostly genetics. I personally rather like it, and I perceive it to have a very mild flavor. There is a component that makes people hate broccoli. That’s because not everybody can feel its taste and it can make the cruciferous veggie unpalatable. 98 percent of Native Americans, for instance, cannot taste phenylthiocarbamide (PTC). But that is an anomaly. In England, just 31.5 percent of people cannot taste that pesky compound.

On average, in the world, 70 percent of us can feel the bitterness of broccoli. But it gets more complicated if you inherited two copies of the gene hTAS2R38 from both of your parents. Then, you might be in the 20 percent of people around the world who perceive broccoli as even more bitter and you probably cannot stand it!

And coriander is another case where genetics dictate likes and dislikes. For a lot of people, it tends to taste like soap.

The lesson in all of this is: eat whatever you like but don’t try to impose your point of you on anyone. Their genes might profusely disagree with you.

Featured image by Allan Lau from Pixabay

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