‘’I’m Popeye the Sailor Man,
I’m strong to the finich
Cause I eats me spinach
I’m Popeye the Sailor man‘’
Yeah, we all do remember this song! One of our earliest memories of spinach is of our favorite cartoon show ‘Popeye the Sailor Man’. As one may recall, when faced with troubles, the sailor would munch mouthful of spinach which would immediately push up his biceps for supercharged strength. With this new found strength he would fight away all his enemies, making us all feel happy. Those were some sweet memories. Being nostalgic, I recall the aroma of spinach cooked with garlic on summer afternoons at home. Add some lemon juice to this in order to retain its iron content; blissful!
Fun Fact – Did you know that spinach consumption increased by 33% on annual basis in 1930’s in the U.S.? All thanks to Popeye.
Spinach seems to contain something for every part of our body. It is rich in iron, lowers cholesterol and helps in reducing belly fat. It is rich in vitamin A, C, B6, E and K. Apart from being rich in magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, manganese, and copper, it also provides for zinc, protein, fiber, calcium, folate. Manganese helps lower high blood pressure and iron helps prevent anemia. A 100g serving of fresh spinach provides for 25% of daily intake of iron.
For all its health benefits, Spinach can also become extremely unhealthy and carcinogenic if it is produced using pesticides. In a research study, spinach grown in 1985 in the U.S. was found to have traces of DDT. This was after 13 years of it being banned in US (source: the Los Angeles times – Oct 8th, 1985). DDT is a highly persistent organic pollutant, known to be hazardous to humans, causing cancer, reproductive damage and birth defects. It can also lead to lifestyle diseases like obesity, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol and the effects can pass across generations. This is corroborated by a 2013 study published in the journal of BMC Medicine, wherein scientists injected pregnant rats with DDT and found that more than half of rats in the third generation showed a dramatically higher level of fat and weight gain, even though they were never exposed to the pesticides themselves.
Scary Fact – Do you know that India is the only country still manufacturing DDT? Also, India legally allows the use of 51 pesticides that have been banned world over. (source: The Hindu – Dec 7th, 2016)
So, should one avoid eating spinach altogether? Absolutely not, one should rather switch to pesticide-free food, may it be spinach or any other greens. Also, while consuming leafy greens, one should try to eat fresh produce as every passing day leads to losses in nutrient content. A CG Kitchen Garden enables you to grow fresh, safe and healthy greens that you can harvest and consume fresh, from farm to fork, in less than 5 minutes.
Gaurav is an entrepreneur whose first Start-up was focused on providing services to patients suffering from Chronic Diseases. While researching about the causes of lifestyle diseases and the ways to reduce their incidence, he chanced upon the idea of growing healthy and nutritious food using advanced farming techniques.
He founded CityGreens with a mission to enable City Dwellers to access Safe, Healthy and Fresh food.