Broccoli: yum or yuck?

Broccoli at the Farmers Market

Photo by Clara S via Flickr, used under a Creative Commons license (CC BY 2.0)

Laura Shocker had an interesting post recently at HuffPost about potential reasons for why some folks are fans of broccoli while others can’t stand it. She writes,

The answer might partly come down to genetics, explains John E. Hayes, Ph.D., assistant professor of food science and director of the Sensory Evaluation Center at the Pennsylvania State University. While past explanations have focused on the idea of “supertasters,” he says that’s less applicable to broccoli.

Instead, variations on a gene called TAS2R38 could explain why some people turn their noses up at the green stuff. This gene can affect how people perceive bitterness; a compound called allylglucosinolate is what causes the bitter taste in broccoli. What’s more, the variant you have of this gene could explain overall vegetable consumption patterns, not just broccoli, according to Hayes.

For more, check out the full article here.


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