Trivial spinach question

Hugh Wilson wilson at BIO.TAMU.EDU
Thu May 21 13:15:26 CDT 1998

Ref. to spinach in Simpson/Ogorzaly - Economic Botany - includes a
photo of a popeye statue that stands in Crystal City, Texas "reputed
to be the spinach campital of the world" with a comment on iron but a
focus of folic acid ("second only to liver") as its possible nutrient
claim to fame - also, from their table 8-1, lots of vitamin A.

On 21 May 98 at 12:18, Richard Jensen <rjensen at SAINTMARYS.EDU> wrote:

Date:          Thu, 21 May 1998 12:18:42 -0500
Reply-to:      Richard Jensen <rjensen at SAINTMARYS.EDU>
From:          Richard Jensen <rjensen at SAINTMARYS.EDU>
Subject:       Re: Trivial spinach question
To:            Multiple recipients of list TAXACOM <TAXACOM at CMSA.BERKELEY.EDU>

My understanding of the origin of Popeye the Sailor is that he was
created by a cartoonist (Segar?) as a means to encourage children to eat
spinach.  It was known that spinach could alleviate various types of
anemia, so this was a "natural" remedy.  Apparently, it was thought that
the relatively high iron content of spinach enabled the body to produce
more hemoglobin, therefore improving the "patient's" iron-poor blood.  A
physiologist friend of mine once told me that the iorn in spinach is of a
form that is relatively inaccessible.  The anemia-alleviating property of
spinach is most likely attributable to its very high levels of folic acid.

This is only an anecdotal report based on some fuzzy recollections.  But,
I don't believe that the use of a sailor had any connection to the navy
trying to encourage spinach consumption.

Richard J. Jensen      |   E-MAIL: rjensen at
Dept. of Biology       |   TELEPHONE: 219-284-4674
Saint Mary's College   |   FAX: 219-284-4716
Notre Dame, IN  46556  |

Hugh D. Wilson
Texas A&M University - Biology
h-wilson at (409-845-3354)

More information about the Taxacom mailing list