The True Science of Spinach and What the Popeye Mythology Teaches Us about How Error Spreads.In The Half-life of Facts: Why Everything We Know Has an Expiration Date (public library) — the same fascinating volume that explored how Gutenberg’s press embodied combinatorial creativity and the predictable patterns of how knowledge grows — Samuel Arbesman illustrates how error spreads by debunking the Popeye mythology through the curious story of the scientific error that precipitated the misconception.But why did Popeye eat so much spinach?Ultimately, the reason these errors spread is because it’s a lot easier to spread the first thing you find, or the fact that sounds correct, than to delve deeply into the literature in search of the correct fact.It is the spirit of being able to admit you’re wrong, of appealing to data, not authority, which does not like to admit it is wrong. .

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. .

Does spinach make you strong? Ask Popeye -- and science

We owe that notion to a comic-strip cartoonist named Elzie Crisler Segar, who created a character that he based on a rough-edged, hard-drinking local from his Illinois hometown.By 1933, when he began to appear as one of the lead characters in an animated cartoon series called "Thimble Theatre," Popeye was getting instant strength from spinach.Whenever the diminutive mariner downed a can of spinach, muscles inflated, enabling him to pound the stuffing out of his archnemesis -- a piratical sailor called Bluto -- who was much larger and sturdier, but lacking that secret green rocket fuel.One point that could support the spinach-strength connection is that it contains plenty of nitrates, "which might improve muscle endurance," said Norman Hord, chair of the University of Oklahoma's Department of Nutritional Sciences.Fitness and exercise guru Timothy Ferriss (born in 1977 and perhaps too young to have caught the Popeye bug) does not cite the ack-ack-acking sailor when, in his book "The 4-Hour Chef: The Simple Path to Cooking Like a Pro, Learning Anything, and Living the Good Life," he recommends a "slow-carb" diet of eggs, meat, fish, lentils and spinach as the quickest path to weight loss as well as overall fitness.This jibes well with Hord's observation that spinach contains plenty of vitamin K, which helps lower blood pressure and the risk of cardiovascular disease."Despite Popeye, spinach is not remarkably rich in iron, though it is a good source of vitamin A," he wrote in his now-classic book "On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen.".Spinach has plenty of lutein, which is believed to support eye health and reduce the incidence of macular degeneration, a concern mostly of people 55 or older.Leafy greens of many kinds, including cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and bok choy, are known to inhibit heart disease and stroke, as well as certain cancers.A 2018 study of 960 older adults published in Neurology reported that those who consumed 1.3 servings a day or more were, cognitively speaking, an average of 11 years younger than those who included little or no leafy vegetables in their diet. .

Popeye and the Great Spinach Myth

Everyone knows Popeye the sailor.In one Popeye cartoon, he actually forces the spinach down Bluto's throat, so Bluto will work him over and he'll get sympathy from his dream girl, Olive Oyl.But with the government's campaign in place, Popeye was suddenly more than willing to share the secret of his strength.Sure enough, soon after Popeye took up spinach, American sales of the mighty vegetable increased.But it wasn't just spinach the government was endorsing.While the one-eyed sailor should be applauded for persuading America to eat its leafy green veggies, he did mislead people a bit.Wolf had discovered, in 1870, that spinach contains iron. .

Popeye was right about spinach!

Test Of Discrimination Serena Williams recently complained on social media about the frequency with which she is selected for anti-doping tests.Discrimination? .

Popeye was right about spinach!

Test Of Discrimination Serena Williams recently complained on social media about the frequency with which she is selected for anti-doping tests.Discrimination? .

Does spinach make you strong?

For anyone born before the mid-90s, Popeye was an integral part of growing up — the chirpy sailor who used spinach as his secret weapon.Every glug of spinach helped Popeye sprout muscles, beat the baddie and get the girl (it was the 90s).In the late 1800s a German scientist, Erich von Wolf, investigated the iron content of a variety of vegetables.The mistake — whether actually due to recording inaccuracies or perhaps bad scientific practise — was rectified in 1937, but, apparently, not before Popeye’s marketers decided to include spinach in his narrative.Eating lots of spinach is thought to decrease our risk of muscle degeneration as well as other degenerative diseases.This is because like carrots, spinach is full of carotenoids (the pigments that give veggies their colour) that are converted into vitamin A. Vitamin A, also known as retinol, is great for maintaining vision in low light and plays a big part in keeping our skin and immune systems healthy.A deficiency can result in anemia, which leads to exhaustion and can affect your body’s ability to function properly in a variety of serious ways.In the early days, Medieval artists extracted green pigment from spinach to use as an ink or paint.Cooked, you will absorb more vitamins A and E, protein, fiber, zinc, thiamin, calcium, iron and some important carotenoids.However, if you prefer to boil, use the water as the base of a gravy or sauce for maximum nutritional benefits. .

Popeye was right, spinach does make you stronger

As against the earlier notion that the iron content of spinach accounted for its status as a superfood, researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden have found that it is the inorganic nitrate in the vegetable which is the secret behind its strength-giving property.The study found mice supplied with nitrate in their drinking water developed significantly stronger muscles by stimulating two key proteins, the Daily Mail reported.“From a nutritional perspective our study is interesting because the amount of nitrate that affected muscle strength in mice was relatively low,” Dr Andres Hernandez, researcher at the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology said. .

Popeye Makes Kids Eat More Vegetables

The cartoon hasn't aired in the U.S. for several years now, but I bet you know who I'm talking about.Apparently, the classic tough guy can inspire kids to eat their spinach, too.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.But it's an interesting idea, isn't it?Now, I don't remember consciously thinking, "I want to eat spinach, too!".



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