by Randy King
The spinach came up in my garden the other day and I have yet to pick it. I keep staring at it thinking that I should just pick the stuff and be done with it before it gets too hot and the spinach dies. I always plant the stuff but have a hard time eating it.
It’s not like I don’t like the taste. Spinach has deep, earthy tones that I find interesting. And it's not that I am afraid to eat my vegetables. I will consume most anything—except a tomato—if you set it in front of me (including rattlesnake). I like salads and other leafy greens. My problem with spinach is that I feel like I have been lied to.
As a kid, that punk Popeye the Sailor Man told me just how good spinach was and why I should eat it. Lies! He told me that I would grow strong “Cuz I eats me spinach.” Popeye didn't do his homework.
In 1870, some German guy quantified the levels of iron in spinach. When the results came back everyone was amazed: Spinach was a super food. The problem was that the German guy got his decimal point wrong—he told everyone that spinach had 10 times more iron in it that it actually did. So all those little cartoons where Popeye gains strength from spinach, presumably because it's chock-full of iron, are a darn lie. I still feel crushed.
I found this out when I was around 20 years old and have had a problem eating the stuff ever since. I should have known a sailor with freakish forearms and a wonky eye shouldn’t be trusted.
Randy King is a chef and is emotionally scarred from the cartoons of his childhood ... Click to follow Randy on Facebook.