4

votes

Is bad flavor a defense mechanism in itself?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 18, 2011 at 5:58 AM

I tried some Kale today. I couldn't help but notice, that stuff just tastes bad. I'd rather just stick with my spinach and brussel sprouts instead. But it got me to thinking, if Kale is supposed to be so healthy, then why do my taste buds reject it? Is there something in there that is bad for me? Or could the plant have made itself bad tasting just to deter me? Is all bad flavor caused by toxins?

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on February 21, 2011
at 01:25 PM

Which trait is that at 23andme, James? I'm on there, but I can't find it - only the trait they call Bitter Taste Perception, which has "can taste" or "80% chance can't taste". My genes are the former.

5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on February 21, 2011
at 01:44 AM

I'm a medium taster (as per a genetic test at 23andme) and I find Kale disgustingly bitter. How about the other standard things including brocolli that Nasty mentioned? If they're all bad for you, you're probably in the same boat.

0242b468fe1c97997749db416c92e7ed

(4528)

on February 19, 2011
at 04:23 PM

+1 My favorite is salt & vinegar kale chips! http://www.elanaspantry.com/salt-and-vinegar-kale-chips/

211d4075d68b24cd0aa7ebfa94262bb9

on February 19, 2011
at 06:30 AM

I'm a supertaster and I find raw kale extremely bitter, but I do eat it occasionally. Other foods that taste horribly bitter to me include coffee, some beers (IPA), arugula, raw spinach, brussel sprouts, and bell peppers.

2b8c327d1296a96ad64cdadc7dffa72d

on February 19, 2011
at 02:55 AM

depends on the flavors you like. One place to start is garlic, lemon juice, olive oil. up to 24 hours, as little as an hour.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on February 18, 2011
at 07:52 PM

I may be a better taster than average, that is for sure, especially now that I am eating healthier and my sense of taste has improved back to where it once was when I was younger. Yes, the bitterness of the Kale was overpowering to me. Gak! Shivers...

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on February 18, 2011
at 07:49 PM

What do you marinate it in?

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on February 18, 2011
at 07:48 PM

OK thanx! I asked the groceryman if I was supposed to cook it but he didn't think so. He said people just eat it raw for health reasons but he didn't care for it himself. And you are right, I eat other cruciferous veggies but I always cook them first. Now I wonder how Kale is cooked. HOpefully it isn't slimy...

61ff86be603d2508d10eedb1997b3532

(400)

on February 18, 2011
at 03:09 PM

I agree. You can also sprinkle your favorite seasoning on Kale crisps before baking to make them extra delicious.

47a42b6be94caf700fce9509e38bb6a4

(9647)

on February 18, 2011
at 07:44 AM

Eat kale in the upper midwest after the first freeze of the autumn. It will rock your world.

  • 62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

    asked by

    (20807)
  • Views
    5.6K
  • Last Activity
    1429D AGO
Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

10 Answers

8
F9a0b72f38860d7601afd5a45bb53394

(3618)

on February 18, 2011
at 06:36 AM

As a general rule in the plant kingdom, if something tastes bad to you, at minimum it will cause discomfort in large enough doses. Kale's a cruciferous vegetable (also known as a brassica), and that whole group of vegetables seems to have anti-thyroid activity. I read in The Economist some years ago that a genetic variation's been found in people that determines whether cruciferous veggies taste bitter to them. It is thought the variation that makes them taste bitter developed in people who lived far enough away from the sea that they did not have a lot of iodine sources in their diet.

I just looked kale up on Wikipedia and checked out the "culinary uses" section of the article and the first paragraph talks about kale being tasty in salads. That had to have been written by an American. (Most of us are so far divorced from traditional foods that we just will come out with stupidity like this. "Oh! I know! I bet rhubarb leaves are edible!") Every other culinary use listed involves cooking. From what I understand, cooking neutralizes the anti-thyroid chemicals in cruciferous veggies somewhat. Not coincidentally, I'm sure, it also seems to destroy the bitterness.

How do other brassicas taste to you? Are they all yucky when raw? If so, you've got that genetic variation. If not, maybe the kale you're buying is crappy--maybe it's a variety that doesn't taste so good, or maybe it was harvested too early. The Wikipedia article mentions that being exposed to frost makes kale sweeter. Either way, cooking the kale instead of eating it raw might make a difference in the taste.

Or, just stick with veggies you like. It sounds like you enjoy some healthy ones already.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on February 18, 2011
at 07:48 PM

OK thanx! I asked the groceryman if I was supposed to cook it but he didn't think so. He said people just eat it raw for health reasons but he didn't care for it himself. And you are right, I eat other cruciferous veggies but I always cook them first. Now I wonder how Kale is cooked. HOpefully it isn't slimy...

4
Fac1af832cc3c6a20059c41411fd0f6b

(1548)

on February 18, 2011
at 06:52 AM

The best way to ingest kale is in chip form. Shred into chip size, slather in melted coconut oil, cook at 425 for about 15 minutes on a baking sheet. Light crispy chips.

(recipe is as related to me by the wife so some details may be lacking, all I know is I like them and the kids do too)

0242b468fe1c97997749db416c92e7ed

(4528)

on February 19, 2011
at 04:23 PM

+1 My favorite is salt & vinegar kale chips! http://www.elanaspantry.com/salt-and-vinegar-kale-chips/

61ff86be603d2508d10eedb1997b3532

(400)

on February 18, 2011
at 03:09 PM

I agree. You can also sprinkle your favorite seasoning on Kale crisps before baking to make them extra delicious.

2
100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on February 18, 2011
at 01:39 PM

Are you a supertaster? Those people tend to find the bitter sensation overpowering.

211d4075d68b24cd0aa7ebfa94262bb9

on February 19, 2011
at 06:30 AM

I'm a supertaster and I find raw kale extremely bitter, but I do eat it occasionally. Other foods that taste horribly bitter to me include coffee, some beers (IPA), arugula, raw spinach, brussel sprouts, and bell peppers.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on February 18, 2011
at 07:52 PM

I may be a better taster than average, that is for sure, especially now that I am eating healthier and my sense of taste has improved back to where it once was when I was younger. Yes, the bitterness of the Kale was overpowering to me. Gak! Shivers...

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on February 21, 2011
at 01:25 PM

Which trait is that at 23andme, James? I'm on there, but I can't find it - only the trait they call Bitter Taste Perception, which has "can taste" or "80% chance can't taste". My genes are the former.

5e36f73c3f95eb4ea13a009f4936449f

(8280)

on February 21, 2011
at 01:44 AM

I'm a medium taster (as per a genetic test at 23andme) and I find Kale disgustingly bitter. How about the other standard things including brocolli that Nasty mentioned? If they're all bad for you, you're probably in the same boat.

1
69673c0f3dad2230dba9c89a96aa8983

(60)

on February 18, 2011
at 07:53 AM

If you partake of Dairy, Creamed Kale is an excellent dish.

1
74f5d2ff6567edd456d31dfb9b92af61

(5227)

on February 18, 2011
at 07:25 AM

You know, I was wondering the exact. same. thing. the other day when I was chowing down on a grapefruit. I love how it tastes at first, but the aftertaste is like death in my mouth. I can't eat or drink anything in a half-hour window of consuming one, lest the bitterness rise up and make me gag. I'm willing to bet that grapefruits probably don't shine to being eaten too much, either. :)

1
6de0fd2b127bfd5cfb09a7ccdf77c56c

on February 18, 2011
at 06:46 AM

Subjective. Kale is delicious..

1
A3ff262a2686d79789e09a26013901b3

on February 18, 2011
at 06:44 AM

I tried kale for the first time recently too. I mixed some into a salad I made for my family. My wife didn't like it either and my kids didn't notice too much. I tried again, but this time I sauted some with free range duck fat. Wife and kids are still not big fans, but I like this way better than in the salad, ( although I didn't hate it in the salad either). My point being that just because it tastes bad to you doesn't mean others wont like it and could be benificial. I hate blue cheese, it tastes like rotting trash to me, but to others its the cats meow, go figure.

1
2b8c327d1296a96ad64cdadc7dffa72d

on February 18, 2011
at 06:42 AM

Are you eating it totally raw? Try marinating it, if you're so inclined to give it another go). Place "marinated kale salad" in your browser and you'll find a LOT of tasty recipes.

What you'll find are links to many raw vegan sites, so you know the slant there. HOWEVER, there is some nutritional basis for marinating (fermenting) foods to bring out the nutrition, neutralize the toxins/irritants and make it edible, if this is something you want on your menu.

Please report back what you discover!

2b8c327d1296a96ad64cdadc7dffa72d

on February 19, 2011
at 02:55 AM

depends on the flavors you like. One place to start is garlic, lemon juice, olive oil. up to 24 hours, as little as an hour.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on February 18, 2011
at 07:49 PM

What do you marinate it in?

0
2794b7b9989154228f9962135c0195d3

on June 25, 2011
at 04:22 PM

I have been juicing 4 lbs of kale for 16 days strait. let me tell you something about kale. I was getting kale from trader joes. first batch I bought them out on tasted great. them they got morw and the next batch tasted nasty like bandaids.... very gross. went to whole foods to buy organic kale. awesome again. then got some from a small farm down the street. not as nasty but a bandaid taste is there again. no idea why. but I wish it wasn't there. kale is the best feeling food I have ever juiced in my life. after the first pound. feels like adderall to me from when I was a kid. no idea about bandaiad taste though. don't give up on it!!! number on super food!!!!!!!!!

0
3c25fb1f34771839081abd48c1af1bf4

on February 20, 2011
at 04:26 AM

many people contend that there are just as many phytotoxins as phytonutrients in plants. there sure are a lot of examples of this! of course, taken to extreme, this all leads to not really feeling safe eating anything.

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!