Plants KNOW When You Eat Them

For THIS, I’ll Eat My Vegetables.

Researchers at the University of Missouri recently discovered that plants know when they’re being eaten.  Yeah, you read that right.  Read it again and just let it sink in.

You see, University of Missouri discovered that when caterpillars eat an Arabidopsis (it’s what they used for the experiment, similar to broccoli or cabbage) the caterpillars make a very specific sound as they munch along.  Researchers recorded these sound vibrations and played them for the Arabidopsis (I hope they popped some BeatsByDre on those little cabbage heads because that’s the only thing that could possibly make this story more awesome) and found that even when the plant wasn’t actually being eaten, it could hear the sound of itself being eaten and it reacted just as if it were being munched on by a hungry caterpillar.  This proved to the researchers that the plants could hear the sound, recognize it, and react accordingly.

Ironically enough, the Arabidopsis released mustard oil to scare away the caterpillar.  Stupid Arabidopsis.  Mustard is probably the greatest condiment ever.  I don’t think I’ve eaten a cheeseburger in my life that wasn’t wrapped in a mustard slathered bun.  Megan even puts mustard in my tunafish to give it a little kick.  Mustard goes with everything, it’s great.  Do you wanna know what’s not great?  Arabidopsis.  That’s what.  Now I’ll admit that I’ve never actually eaten any Arabidopsis but I have had it’s cousins, broccoli and cabbage, and……..  HAHAHAHAHA, sorry, I could’t type that with a straight face.  Of course I haven’t ever had broccoli or cabbage, I’m an American.  I don’t eat crazy communist vegetables like that.  BUT, if I WERE to have to eat some Arabidopsis or cabbage or broccoli, do you know what I bet would make it taste better?  Some dawg gone mustard, that’s what!  That’d be like a black angus saying, “Hey Eric, don’t eat me, I’m all sliced into ribeyes and grilled to perfection.”

Of course the stupid caterpillar is going to eat you IF YOU TASTE LIKE MUSTARD.  News Alert Mr. Arabidopsis:  Making yourself taste better isn’t a good defense against getting eaten.

Yes, I eat meat.  And yes, I know that meat comes from animals.  And yes, I know that the animals have to die for me to eat them.  But at least my food is dead when I eat it.  Dr. Janet Braam & Friends at Rice University (Rice University…ironic, right?) have discovered that even after harvest plants still respond to cycles of light and darkness and change their biochemistry accordingly.  That’s right, even after harvest.

Now you tell me….If a plant can see if the lights are on or off after harvest, who’s to say they can’t also hear when they’re being eaten after harvest?

Yep, as you’re eating a salad that salad knows that you’re eating it.  (I’m loving the thought that one day some stinky hippie might read that sentence and vomit up their seaweed breakfast, crying in remorse over the fact that they tortured a fellow creature to death-one bite at a time.)

Personally, I think it’s great.  In fact, this might be just the kick in the pants that I was needing to start eating my vegetables.  I’m all about having dominion over the beasts of the field, but I wouldn’t want to eat one alive.  A vegetable though, well now that’s a different story.  And it’s not my fault, the stupid vegetables just don’t want to die.  They’re plucked out of the ground, driven around on a truck, processed, driven around on another truck and left out on the shelf at a grocery store.  Anything that survives all that and can still see and hear deserves to be eaten alive.  It’s obviously what they want.

Now I don’t know if these studies were government funded…..bwahahahahaha…..just kidding.

Of course these studies were funded with tax money.  A bunch of scientists were stuffing earbuds into cabbages and if that doesn’t scream judiciously dispensed tax-payer money, I don’t know what does.

But given the fact that this study is going to actually get me to eat my vegetables and be a healthier person, I think it was money well spent.  In fact, I think this is the route Obama should’ve taken rather than Obamacare.  .gov health insurance is really only about treating people after they’re already sick.  But what about preventative medicine Mr. President?  What are we doing to keep America’s youth healthy?  All you had to do was release this study and kids would be beating down the grocery store doors to eat their vegetables.

“Johnny, eat your vegetables.”—Boring.

“Johnny, eat your vegetables.  They’re still alive.”—Awesome.

“Johnny, chew those vegetables really good.  They’re screaming for help as you do!”—Amazing.

If parents will just make themselves aware of these studies and learn how to frame the discussion, no six year old will ever again snub the chance to dole out some distress and agony on a plate of green beans.

And as long as we’re talking about government funded studies, I’d like to propose one more.  Please, Mr. President, what I really, really need to know is if there’s a way to reverse the speakers and listen to the vegetables.  If they can see and hear, surely they can speak too.  And I for one would like to know what a piece of lettuce being eaten alive sounds like.

Because if the tormented screams of broccoli being eaten alive sound anything like what I imagine, I promise to eat vegetables at every meal.

I’m not trying to be mean, but I’ve suffered enough grief at the hands of nasty tasting vegetables (who were apparently keeping all their sweet mustard goodness to themselves) that it’s time to even the score.