During my teenage years, given my athleticism, my insatiable appetite for spinach, and my last name, friends were quick to latch onto the stuff of pop-culture legend and nickname me Popeye.In recording his findings, von Wolf accidentally misplaced a decimal point when transcribing data from his notebook, changing the iron content in spinach by an order of magnitude.Arbesman uses the Popeye story as an allegory of admonition against the all-too-human ego and our chronic propensity for shortcuts, the combination of which makes us too lazy to look closer and too afraid to admit we’ve been blind and wrong:.But perhaps the most fitting reflection on what the Popeye story teaches us can be found in Dorion Sagan’s fantastic meditation on why science and philosophy need each other, in which he observes:.Complement The Half-life of Facts with Galileo on critical thinking, Michael Faraday on how to cure our propensity for self-deception, and Carl Sagan’s timeless Baloney Detection Kit. .
Popeye's legendary love of spinach was actually due to a misplaced
Sorry Popeye, spinach DOESN'T make your muscles big: Expert reveals sailor's love of the food was due to a misplaced decimal point.Erich von Wolf misplaced a decimal point when recording his research, making the iron content in spinach ten times more generous than in reality.This caused the popular misconception that spinach is exceptionally high in iron, which makes the body stronger...a myth that cartoon character Popeye (pictured) helped to spread.When writing up his findings in a new notebook, he misplaced a decimal point, making the iron content in spinach ten times more generous than in reality.The incorrect calculation of spinach's iron content contributed to the creation of popular cartoon character Popeye, according to a book by mathematician and scientist Samuel Arbesman. .
Popeye's Spinach Was The Result Of A Misplaced Decimal Point
The green leafy vegetable, in fact, gave Popeye a boost of strength whenever he ate it, usually in times of trouble.The creator of the comic strip, Elzie Crisler Segar, gave Popeye the ability to power up by eating a can of spinach because it was widely known that spinach was a superfood that was packed with iron.Let's look at how a basic math error led to spinach becoming Popeye's go-to source for super strength.Oops...scientist Erich von Wolf put the decimal in the wrong place.As a result of Von Wolf's math error, the public soon came to believe spinach had 10 times the amount of iron in it than it actually does.Rather than relying on magic spells or supernatural powers for his super strength, Segar wanted Popeye to get his strength a natural way.Eventually, von Wolf's mistake was discovered.It wasn't until 1937 that someone thought to check Von Wolf's math.Thanks to Popeye--and a math error--kids had to eat their spinach.Eat Your Spinach.Spinach may not be the superfood that Erich von Wolf thought it was, but that doesn't mean we should remove it from our dinner plates.Just one cup of uncooked spinach contains .86 grams of protein, 30 milligrams of calcium, 167 milligrams of potassium, 58 micrograms of folate, and 2,813 IU of Vitamin A. .
Does spinach make you strong?
The real question here should actually be whether there are any links between iron, Vitamin A and strength.Spinach is also an excellent source of vitamin K, manganese, folate, magnesium, iron, vitamin C, vitamin B2, calcium, potassium, and vitamin B6.And although our bad scientist made some dubious errors on decimal places, spinach is a good source of iron and iron is absolutely necessary for energy.So, while spinach won’t make you sprout muscles, it will help to keep your muscles healthy over time and is also thought to prevent cancer.Spinach Green is PANTONE shade PQ-16-0439TCX.Our favourite ways to eat spinach.Spinach contains a slightly different nutritional profile when raw or cooked so we recommend a mixture of both.Cooked, you will absorb more vitamins A and E, protein, fiber, zinc, thiamin, calcium, iron and some important carotenoids.Steaming retains a lot of nutrients that boiling loses.However, if you prefer to boil, use the water as the base of a gravy or sauce for maximum nutritional benefits. .
Popeye Makes Kids Eat More Vegetables
A paper just published in the Australian journal Nutrition & Dietetics reports that four- and five-year-olds in Bangkok, Thailand doubled their vegetable intake during an eight-week study that involved watching Popeye cartoons.Of course, it's hard to quantify Popeye's influence exactly, because the kids in the study were simultaneously being exposed to hands-on activities like planting, tasting and learning to cook with vegetables.Back when I was about their age, my family frequented a restaurant called The Ground Round, in Burlington, Vermont, where some brilliant mind had installed a small movie theater in the center of the dining area---the equivalent of a free babysitter.The waitstaff handed out baskets of free popcorn, turned on a reel of old-fashioned-and-thus-hopefully-inoffensive-to-everyone cartoons, and gave the adults a chance to enjoy a few minutes of uninterrupted conversation while their meals were cooking.(See Fred Grandinetti's book, Popeye: An Illustrated Cultural History, for a comprehensive guide to the spinach-fueled escapades of various characters through the years.). .
Everyone knows the cartoon hero Popeye, who always lands in difficulties and just as he threatens to lose from the bearded sea-dog Bluto, eats a tin of spinach.It can be heard, for example, in that sentence in the number “The Spinach Song (I Didn’t Like It The First Time)” by the jazz band Julia Lee and Her Boyfriends, who also had a hit with “Lotus Blossom (Sweet Marijuana)”.They performed in jazz clubs in Kansas City where a cloud of weed smoke hung every evening and used spinach as a metaphor for marihuana.Anti-cannabis lobbyists in the 1930s stated that cannabis made you immune to bullets and gave you other supernatural powers just like Popeye used to sing “I’m strong to the finish ‘cause I eat me spinach”. .
Popeye was right, spinach does make you stronger
A week into the experiment, the team found that the mice that had been on consistent nitrate had much stronger muscles.The teams now want to take their discoveries further and study how they can be applied to people with muscle weakness.He said the research team aimed to conduct a few more studies on mice but hoped to also carry the studies on humans soon. .
Popeye was right! Eating spinach can really help you perform better
Eating nitrate-rich vegetables like spinach may enhance sports performance, particularly in low oxygen conditions such as high altitudes, a new study has claimed.The researchers observed that after only five weeks, the muscle fibre composition changed with the enhanced nitrate intake when training in low oxygen conditions.“This is probably the first study to demonstrate that a simple nutritional supplementation strategy, ie oral nitrate intake, can impact on training-induced changes in muscle fibre composition,” said Professor Peter Hespel from the Athletic Performance Centre at the University of Leuven. .
Popeye and the Great Spinach Myth
Neatorama presents a guest post from actor, comedian, and voiceover artist Eddie Deezen.A Mae West-like competitor is flirting a little too intimately with Popeye in a gym and Olive gets fed up, downs some spinach, and proceeds to beat the crap out of her competition.To help spread the word, they decided to hire one of America's favorite celebrities, Popeye the Sailor Man.While the one-eyed sailor should be applauded for persuading America to eat its leafy green veggies, he did mislead people a bit.The government's enthusiasm for spinach was almost entirely based on the calculations of a German scientist named Emil von Wolf (sometimes spelled “Wolff").In the meantime, the "spinach is richer in iron" myth had firmly taken hold, taking on the status of an urban legend.One last point: although spinach's iron content has been mistakenly inflated, the vegetable is still something good to consume, being rich in both vitamins and minerals. .