Sunday, August 31, 2008

The truth about Popeye

While I was house-sitting a couple weeks ago, I watched a lot of TV.
One of the things I watched was some old Popeye cartoons. You all know how it goes: Popeye eats the spinach and instantly miraculously gets strong. His muscles drastically balloon out, and he is able to lift anything or overpower any opponent.

Who knows how many kids actually believed this crap and reluctantly agreed to eat their spinach, only to be bitterly disappointed.

Studies since then have shown that spinach, although still nutritious, does NOT necessarily do a lot for building muscles.
Part of the problem is due to a mistake that happened back in 1870. Dr. E. Von Wolf accidentally got a decimal point in the wrong place, which miscalculated the iron content of spinach to be ten times its actual value. The mistake wasn't discovered until 1937. And even then, the truth wasn't widely publicized until 1981.
Oh, and even though it's still nutritious, guess what: we can't absorb most of the iron anyway. OR the calcium.

"Although much lauded as a nutritional vegetable, spinach has a drawback in that, while containing high levels of iron and calcium, the rate of absorption is almost nil. The oxalic acid binds calcium into an insoluble salt (calcium oxalate), which cannot be absorbed by the body. The same applies to the iron, as it is bound, leaving only 2-5% of the seemingly plentiful supply actually available for absorption."
(Quoted from Innvista)

Poor kids.
Cruelly deceived into consuming shreds of green gunk they would ordinarily have left alone.

I like raw spinach salads. I like spinach quiche and alfredo veggie lasagna with spinach. But as for a big steaming plate of nothing but spinach, ugh. No thank you.
I'll get my iron elsewhere, thank you very much.
..

23 comments:

Tink *~*~* said...

I never understood how he was able to squeeze the can so it popped open like that BEFORE he at the spinach. Also, I owned the Thriller album, and can remember when the cover of Tiger Beat featured a basketball showdown between the Jacksons and the Osmonds =8^0 yep, I'm old!

Tink *~*~*
My Mobile Adventures *~*~*

crazy working mom said...

I never liked the stuff anyhow!

Janna said...

Tink: Good point about squeezing the can... I never realized that before!

CWM: I like it only in certain ways, like the post mentions. I despise anything that involves cooking a giant skillet of it in a big ugly green seaweedy heap. My mom and grandma both have this thing where they mix spinach with raw eggs, then fry it in a skillet until the eggs are scrambled, then they add vinegar. There might be some bacon involved too, which in my opinion is a sad waste of perfectly good bacon.

Mike Golch said...

the cartoons in my view were good over evil anyway. That was my take on it as a kid and still is today.

Janna said...

Mike: Nothing is ever as simple as plain good over evil, but maybe that's how the kids saw it. When their mouths weren't full of ugly green leaves, of course. :)

Ren said...

Wait, so instead of eating spinach kids should take steroids?

Janna said...

Ren: LOL! Well, hopefully they won't partake of either one. :)

anthonynorth said...

Good grief! I feel SO cheated ;-)
I love cabbage, though.

Janna said...

AnthonyNorth: I like raw cabbage but not cooked cabbage. Not sure about the nutrition factor, but it does create some amazing farts.

Meloncutter said...

Well, at least spinach doesn't cause the shrinkage issues like soy does. I will stick to my spinach. Maybe one day I will eat a can and the muscle will pop out really huge and be like iron.

One can only hope.

I am living in a dream world aren't I?

Damn!

Later Y'all.

Janna said...

Meloncutter: Hey, maybe it DOES cause shrinkage and we just haven't discovered it yet. This could be why we never saw any nude shots of Popeye...

splummer said...

Don't like spinach in any way, shape or form. So don't have to worry about anything. I get my iron from other places......

Evil Genius said...

We should have known better than to trust vegetables in a can. Meh.

Marilyn said...

I like that dip they make out of it... but mostly I like it raw in salads.

Most veggies are not improved by canning.

onangelwings said...

I love spinach and I think that totally had to do with Popeye.

I bet he was on steroids.

Jamie said...

And Robin Williams is really, really sorry he made "Popeye".

TopChamp said...

I really really love spinach. And mushrooms. Mmm.. Pardesi's my fave curry - spinach & mushrooms together. Wow.

Popeye was cool - I liked the cartoon.

Janna said...

Splummer: I hear a nice big juicy steak has lots of iron!

EvilGenius: I wholeheartedly agree. Vegetables should not be soggy and lifeless.

Marilyn: Spinach salad... with bits of bacon and lots of tangy vinaigrette... garlic croutons... yum.

Onangelwings: Someone should test his urine.

Jamie: I've never seen that, but I hear it was not exactly well-received by the critics. That's a shame; I love Robin Williams

Topchamp: I love mushrooms that have been stuffed with a garlic-breadcrumb-spinach-cheese mixture. Spinach/mushrooms are also good in alfredo pasta.

Travis said...

We got lucky. Mom gave us Flintstones chewables and never made us eat spinach.

Janna said...

Travis: Me too! The orange-flavored ones were my favorite.

Your Pal Pinki said...

Very nice blog for Manic Monday. I like your layout. : )

whall said...

First off, Robin Williams' Popeye movie was great! I thought maybe it was just one of those 'I watched it as a kid and that's why I like it' but I watched it again recently and he definitely made that movie.

Secondly, I like the spinach-avocado dip at Red Robin... The focaccia bread makes it incredible.

Third, maybe the placebo effect was good enough to get kids to perceive results. The mind is powerful.

Especially when it thinks it eats spinach.

Janna said...

Pinki: Yay! Visit again soon!

Whall: My mind thinks it eats tacos. It also drinks a lot of tea.