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Does Broccoli Grow In The Wild

When on a stroll through a field full of wild-growing plants, you may run into rosemary, cabbage, and even eggplants. Even though you might not recognize them, wild veggies are everywhere, some growing in remote areas without any need for human intervention. 

Broccoli typically does not grow in the wild. Broccoli was created by the ancient Romans and cultivated by breeding practices using a type of wild cabbage. Throughout the years, what we know broccoli to be developed, only growing when planted and cared for by growers. 

Many of the common vegetables we love today result from ancient civilizations’ careful seed selection and cross-breeding. Broccoli – though not loved by all is a staple veggie, one that will continue to be with us – just as long as growers are there to sow, water, and harvest it. 

When Was Broccoli Invented? 

Believe it or not, broccoli has been around for 2000 years. The Roman Empire started to work with wild cabbage, picking and choosing particular plants to breed. This took place in the northern Mediterranean, quickly spreading toward the west, eventually becoming a household name. Over time, they were able to create some of today’s most popular veggies, including cauliflower, broccoli, and what we know as cabbage. 

Is Broccoli Man Made? 

Broccoli has been around for most of our lifetimes. Most of us know that there is a massive divide between those who love broccoli and those who do not. Many don’t know where broccoli came from and whether or not it is naturally occurring or artificial. 

The answer – is broccoli is 100% man-made. Those who are not fans may be wondering why someone would choose to grow broccoli in the world. While it’s not certain, theories suggest that Romans responsible for artificial selection wanted to grow wild cabbage with thicker, meatier pieces. The result was thicker stems and bushier florets – all packed with fiber and vitamins C and K. 

Broccoli made its way to the west centuries ago, though it didn’t have the fame we think of today until 1980. Today, it’s the 11th most popular fresh veggie consumed in the U.S., found in nearly every produce section in every store. 

Where Does Broccoli Grow Naturally? 

Broccoli doesn’t grow naturally, requiring human intervention. Some top places known for producing broccoli include Texas, Arizona, and Oregon. California is where most broccoli is grown, responsible for 90% of production within the U.S. 

In other parts of the world, Italy is the largest grower in Europe, and crops are also found in the Far East. Broccoli is global and enjoyed by many cultures as a staple vegetable. Even if you don’t love it, you can’t help but run into it on restaurant menus as a healthy side option or as a main in a yummy veggie plate. 

Is Broccoli Genetically Modified? 

Genetic modification has gotten a bad rep, especially regarding plants. Several benefits come from modifying plants, including increasing their resistance to disease and their need for water. Perhaps as a mix-up of terms, some have referred to broccoli as genetically modified, though that’s incorrect. The top three genetically modified crops are soybean, corn, and cotton. 

Instead, broccoli is a result of selective breeding. Instead of messing with the genes in broccoli, cultivars selected particular plants they wanted to breed instead, creating what we know as broccoli over time. No genes have been modified in broccoli, so it’s considered a manufactured, non-genetically altered plant.

Final Thoughts

Whether you love or hate it, it’s good to know where broccoli comes from. All of the vegetables we put on our plates have an interesting history, some due to years of careful selection by ancient civilizations. The next time you take a bite of broccoli, consider the time it took to develop, branching from wild cabbage and becoming the crunchy, green power food that we know and love today.