Is Broccoli Man-Made? How It Is Grown & Health Benefits

Ever held up broccoli and wondered how that stringy vegetable came about? I bet you’ve also heard somewhere that broccoli is a man-made vegetable.

Broccoli is a delicious, stringy, and delicate vegetable that tastes tender when cooked and well-seasoned. Broccoli also tastes great (raw) in salads or by itself as a snack.

For curiosity’s sake, let’s get the real facts about broccoli. Is it man-made? Can you grow broccoli on your backyard farm?

What is broccoli?

Broccoli is an edible, nutrient-rich, organic cruciferous vegetable from the cabbage family. It is part of the Italica cultivar group of the species Brassica oleracea

Broccoli is highly nutritious and provides a lot of benefits that can prevent terminal diseases and boost the body’s immune system.

Is broccoli man-made?

Yes, broccoli is man-made. Broccoli is an invention of humans that came about through a series of processes called selective breeding or artificial selection.

Being man-made does not mean it was created through non-biological processes. It rather means that it isn’t a naturally occurring plant.

Broccoli is an Italian word that means “the flowering crest of a cabbage.” Broccoli is a minuscule form meaning “sprout.”

It came into existence in the 1700s in Italy and was shipped to America and England. Several varieties of broccoli came to be more than 2000 years ago.

Some sources say broccoli was first grown in East Asia and the Mediterranean. However, this information is not very true.

How is broccoli grown?

Broccoli is grown by a method called selective breeding or artificial selection. It is a long process by which some types of plants are bred (in a selective way) to reproduce a more refined version.

Broccoli was bred from wild cabbage to create a more palatable taste and flavor.

Selective breeding happens by choosing a plant for its health qualities and overall composition. The breeding process is in a bid to produce plants that are disease and pest-resistant.

Can you grow broccoli at home?

Yes, you can. Broccoli was not grown in a non-biological process, although the genetic modification started in the lab.

You can buy broccoli seeds from farmer’s markets and different stores and plant them on your backyard farm. You can also grow broccoli from the stalks.

Farmers advise that you grow broccoli indoors from March to June and outdoors from April to June. Planting and harvesting of broccoli take 90 to 110 days, depending on the variety of seedlings.

You know your broccoli is ready for harvesting when the head is 3 to 6 inches in diameter and the flower buds are closed.

Is eating broccoli healthy?

Yes, it is. Broccoli is a healthy vegetable that provides a lot of health benefits. Some of these benefits are:

  • A high nutrient dose. Broccoli is rich in fiber vitamin C, vitamin K, antioxidants, iron, and potassium.
  • Eating steamed broccoli consistently can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease by reducing the total amount of cholesterol in the body.
  • Broccoli contains anti-cancer compounds that limit and prevent terminal diseases. This compound is a phytochemical (sulforaphane) responsible for broccoli’s vaguely bitter taste. It also improves the detoxification of airborne toxins caused by weed, cigarette, or tobacco smoke.
  • The sprouts of broccoli also have cancer-fighting compositions. This means every part of your broccoli plays a significant role in fighting cancer.
  • Broccoli is good for the eye because of its carotenoids and beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin. It aids in the decreased risk of age-related eye disorders, such as cataracts and macular degeneration.
  • Due to the presence of indole-3-carbinol (I3C), a plant estrogen, broccoli helps regulate hormonal balance.
  • Eating broccoli can help boost the immune system. This is because of the presence of sulfur that supports the production of glutathione, which is essential for preserving the veracity of the gut lining, as well as sustaining its repair.
  • Glutathione also protects the cells against inflammatory damage.

Side effects

There is little or no side effect to eating broccoli. The most common side effect of eating broccoli comes from the high fiber content.

One cup of cooked and chopped broccoli contains 5g of fiber. This amount of fiber can cause gas or bowel discomfort.

What can you eat with broccoli?

Some of the best sides to pair with broccoli are:

  • Beef and mushroom
  • Tofu
  • Meatballs
  • Egg fried rice
  • Noodles casserole
  • Garlic butter shrimp

You can also make any of the following recipes with broccoli:

  • Broccoli in a salad (chicken salad, turkey salad, broccoli, and carrot salad, broccoli-lemon-almond salad)
  • Broccoli soup
  • Stir-fry broccoli
  • Oven-roasted broccoli
  • Broccoli fritters
  • Broccoli and noodles
  • Broccoli egg bake
  • Broccoli cauliflower rice
  • Sausage and broccoli


Is Chinese broccoli man-made?

Yes, it is. This broccoli is artificially nurtured using bigger forebears’ plants. It was first developed sometime before 300 BCE by botanists in kitchen kale and collard greens.

Is broccoli rabe man-made?

Yes, broccoli rabe is man-made. It is made with a combination of broccoli and kai-lan. They have dark green leaves and are known in the US as Chinese kale.

Is broccoli GMO?

Yes, broccoli is a product of genetic modification.

Genetic modification is when an organism- plants, animals, or microorganisms’- genetic properties are modified in a way that doesn’t occur naturally.

Therefore, a GMO procedure takes a long time when in the works. Nevertheless, the outcome of this genetic modification is why we have a vegetable called broccoli.

Is cauliflower also man-made?

Yes, cauliflower is a man-made vegetable. It was developed through artificial breeding from another plant.

Cauliflower is also a member of the Brassica species which originated from Cyprus.


Broccoli is a man-made vegetable created from a biological process. The genetic modification started in the lab and the seeds and stalks were planted.

Broccoli is a nutrient-rich vegetable you should have in your garden. It tastes great raw in salads, eaten by itself, or when incorporated into meals. If you’ve never tried planting broccoli, you can try it now.

If you are big on vegetables, you should check out this list of vegetables you can eat raw.

Thanks for reading.