Consider the lowly broccoli, pictured here actual size so that we can discuss its health benefits in specific visual detail and, as a result of it being real big on the page, I don’t have to write as much. (It’s been one of those deadlines.)
The broccoli comes from the heart-healthy vegetable group technically known as the “really weird-looking” family of flowering plants. I can speak personally about this weirdness because, having raised the plant for several seasons in my backyard garden, broccoli tends to puts all its energy into stalks the size and consistency of baseball bats. But the florets—the edible parts that remind you of that really bad sci-fi movie where the monster was a giant beach ball painted like a brain—grow so tiny that squirrels perch on electrical lines above and mock them, with a kind of deprecating chittering sound. Nonetheless, when it’s harvest time, I pick them anyway, proudly proclaim, “Look what we grew, honey,” and then throw them immediately into the compost pile.