The moon landing, pasteurization, the smartphone selfie—science has done a lot of amazing things. But one nagging question has always been in the back of every five-year-old’s mind: Can science make vegetables taste better?
A team of researchers from the University of Arizona’s iPlant collaborative believe the answer could be yes.
According to a study published in Science, scientists have recently decoded the entire genome of the rapeseed plant. Rapeseed is a member of the Brassica genus, a grouping that also includes well-known foods like broccoli, cauliflower and brussels sprouts. With a better understanding of the gene sequence of these plants, breeders could possibly create broccoli cultivars that are less bitter, and, in turn, more kid-friendly (and adult-friendly, if you’re still one of those picky eaters).
Of course, growing better-tasting veggies is just one of the many possibilities stemming from these latest findings. Scientists are also emphasizing the more “practical” purposes of the research, such as increasing pest resistance or improving oil content (since rapeseed is the source of canola oil).
But let’s not pooh-pooh the practical benefits of better-tasting brussels sprouts. Think of how smart a generation of children who actually enjoy eating brain foods like brussels, broccoli and cauliflower could be. Maybe that could lead to the next great scientific breakthrough…like the hoveboard.
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