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:

  1. Italian immigrants first introduced broccoli to the United States in the 1800s. However, it did not become widely know until the 1920s.
  2. The word broccoli comes from an Italian word broccolo which means “the flowering top of a cabbage”.
  3. In the United States, California produces 90% of the crop.
  4. The United States ranks 3rd in the world for production of broccoli. China is ranked 1st and India ranks 2nd.
  5. The vegetable is a member of the Brassicaceae family which also includes cabbage, kale, and cauliflower.
  6. There are two forms of broccoli: sprouting and heading. In the United States, heading broccoli is the most common.
  7. The crop is a cool-season vegetable which means it grows best during spring or fall.
  8. The vegetable is typically harvested from mid-October through December.
  9. The crop is planted primarily by direct seeding.
  10. It can take anywhere from 70 to 140 days to mature after planting.
  11. The crop is typically 2 feet wide and 2 feet tall.
  12. 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.
  13. The optimal storage life for the vegetable is 21-28 days.
  14. In the United States, the average annual per capita consumption is 5.8 pounds.
  15. Over the last 25 years, the crops consumption has increased over 940%.

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Written by: Amber DiCarlo, Marketing Intern

Sources:
Seecalifornia.com
Lotfotl.com
Fsi.colostate.edu
Agmrc.org

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