Broccoli’s Extreme Makeover – Alternatives

Broccoli for breakfast

The motivation for this post comes from the recent NYT Magazine article by Michael Moss (NYT Magazine, Nov. 1, 2013).  No one will dispute the health benefits of eating a vegetable like broccoli, on a regular basis.  However, how do you persuade pizza-loving populace, especially kids, to embrace broccoli?  As a pizza topping?  Maybe.

Food and beverage companies spend billions of dollars in advertisement to popularize their processed and pre-packaged foods.  So, can the same methodologies used to popularize a non-processed, non-packaged food like broccoli?  Michael Moss poses these questions: “How would you get people to want to buy and eat broccoli?  What would your campaign look like?  What would the message be?  What would you do that all the well-intentioned government-funded campaigns have failed to do for generations?”  We will get to the answers in a minute.  First, a short passage from A Short Course in Culinary Experiments about broccoli.

Ever since broccoli was ridiculed in offhand remarks by a sitting US president, broccoli has been on the receiving end of many unsavory jokes.  Does broccoli deserve this “un-cool” image in the popular culture?  Let us see if we can make broccoli “hip.”  A variety of curries can be made with broccoli.

You will agree that I was also trying to popularize this nutritious vegetable.  Two strategies were outlined.  The first method was to make tasty curries with broccoli.  Here, the broccoli will retain its identity (in taste), but will be made more flavorful with the addition of spices or addition of other vegetables.  These methods can be found under the sections B14 – B17 in A Short Course in Culinary Experiments.  Also, a number of culinary experiments were suggested to make the preparation of broccoli suitable to your palate.

The second approach was to make the taste of broccoli anonymous.  Here, broccoli is taking a “stealth” mode to enter your diet; you will be hard-pressed to say that you are eating broccoli.  This mode was thought to be more appropriate for kids; especially for those who have an aversion to the very sight of broccoli.  The suggestion was that since you would not taste broccoli, you could even include this for your breakfast:

Check this clip on YouTube as to how you may incorporate broccoli in breakfast.

It is obvious that not enough people read the book or watched the YouTube video; otherwise, Michael Moss will be writing about the sudden surge in the popularity of broccoli and reasons behind this phenomenon.

Coming back to the NYT article, the advertising agency contacted by NYT decided on a strategy of broccoli picking a fight with kale, to promote the marketing of broccoli.  The result for this fictitious marketing campaign will likely include pictures like the one shown below:

To learn how they came to pitch one vegetable against another and other useful information about how vegetables are grown in the US, read the entire NYT article here.

The question that is unanswered is: if you want to popularize kale (a very nutritious vegetable), what will you do?

To get the e-book of A Short Course in Culinary experiments, click here for the Amazon Kindle Store.

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Posted in Ramblings, Vegetables

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