June 2024


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Friday, June 21, 2024

A really short history of broccoli


Rev. James L. Snyder

Have you ever had serious second thoughts about something? Of course, I usually have severe trouble with establishing first thoughts. But once I have finished a serious thought I like put it behind me and go on with life.

For example. For years, people have been telling me how harmful drinking coffee is. Something to do, so they tell me, with being addicted to caffeine. Then, if I cannot give up coffee, I am to limit the number of cups of coffee I drink per day.

This has always caused me great concern because I can never remember how many cups of coffee I have had in any given day. I suppose I could keep a tally and mark down every cup I drink. This in itself poses a serious problem for me.

When I am in a restaurant and drinking coffee and my cup is half-empty and the waitress tops off my coffee, is that considered one or two cups of coffee?

What about my coffee mug at home? Does it hold one or two cups of coffee?

By the time I have had my thoughts thoroughly stirred about the consumption of caffeine I read a health report informing us that caffeine helps prevent heart attack.

If that is true, and I have no reason not to believe it, there will be no heart attacks in my family for the next ten generations.

All that guilt I felt for years about drinking too much coffee has really been for nothing. Therefore, in a show of good faith, I plan to drink as much coffee as I jolly well please.

Then there was the episode about chocolate. According to those people who hate other people enjoying themselves, chocolate is supposed to be bad for you. Or so they opined.

For years, I have been secretly eating chocolate behind the back of the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage. She is one who takes these warnings rather seriously. Rather, I should say, she takes them out on me. For years chocolate was a forbidden substance in our otherwise merry domicile.

Then I read a report revealing the health benefits associated with eating chocolate. No wonder I am such a healthy rascal these days. The only exercise I have had for years is exercising caution in smuggling chocolate into our house.

The good news is, chocolate is good for your health along with a steaming hot cup of coffee. I do not know what I enjoy more in life.

With these two things in mind, I have had some cause to re-think my position on broccoli.

My reasoning goes something like this. For years, people have been telling us that coffee and chocolate is bad for your health. Then, somebody discovers that these two things benefit our health.

Now, for years, starting with my dear old mother, people have been extolling the virtues of broccoli. I cannot tell how many lectures I have heard explaining to me how wonderful and beneficial broccoli is for human consumption. I cannot remember the number of vitamins and minerals allegedly associated with this vegetable.

When I was a young lad in short pants, I took one look at broccoli and determined it was not for me at all. Even I, at that point, understood the maliciousness of what some people called a vegetable.

“Eat all your vegetables and then you can have your dessert.” Which, to my mind, was second only to waterboarding. In fact, I think there was a period in my life when I would have preferred the waterboarding.

“It’s good for you,” people kept telling me.

What I want to know is how can something that looks like a miniature tree-wanna-be be good for a person?

The first and last broccoli I have ever eaten took me three days to chew. Then, I had to brush my teeth for a week to get it all out from between my teeth.

Now that I have become older, I have begun to rethink certain things in life. One has to do with the functional aspect of wearing suspenders. One unfortunate episode in the public mall was enough for me.

And the other has to do with broccoli. Maybe, just maybe, I have been too harsh concerning what some people call a wonderful vegetable. Maybe, if I give it some further thought, I might discover that broccoli is not half as bad as I thought it was.

It just could be that all these years those people bragging on the marvelous benefits of broccoli were right.

Just as I was polishing up this second thought about broccoli to present it to my wife, I saw a newspaper article that said, “Tainted broccoli spurs big recall in West.”

I knew it. I knew that broccoli; in whatever form you want to cook it, is tainted.

Second thoughts can certainly be dangerous. I took this second thought about broccoli, threw it away and enthusiastically embraced my first thought and now broccoli is history with me.

The Bible warns us to be careful about what we think. “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things” (Philippians 4:8 KJV).

I have more important things to think about than broccoli.




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