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How Can I Tell When the Broccoli I Told Myself I Was Going to Eat Has Officially Gone Bad?

Please help me get rid of this stinky vegetable — and my shame

In a move clearly intended to publicly showcase your devotion to healthy living, you decide to venture over to the produce section at the grocery store and snatch some of the broccoli bundled and bunched together by that superfluous thick, blue rubber band. “Nothing will communicate my willingness to suffer for the sake of becoming a healthier version of myself than boiling this bad boy up and pounding it down with the assistance of a pinch of salt and a pound of butter!” you proudly declare to your brain.

“Dude, you’re an idiot!” your brain fiercely retorts. “You hate broccoli!”

In fairness, there is legitimate science to justify your distaste in broccoli. Broccoli contains glucosinolate, which is also found in other foods known to be acquired tastes, like mustard and horseradish. It basically gives broccoli a bitter flavor that many people find intolerable. To say nothing of how broccoli can cause you to feel gassy and bloated.

And that’s when your broccoli is as fresh as can be. What happens when you finally get around to eating those verdant stalks after you’ve been putting it off for a few days/weeks (and they’re no longer so verdant)? What kind of unspeakable horrors does it wreak on your digestive system then?

So how long do I have before my broccoli goes from Super Friend to Master of Evil?

You should probably cook your favorite cheesy-chicken-broccoli-bake recipe pretty soon after your broccoli makes its way into your fridge. Even under the best of circumstances, your fresh broccoli is going to go bad within 10 days if you keep it refrigerated, and cooking it and storing it back in the refrigerator will only extend that broccoli’s lifespan by another two to three days. Also, if your broccoli is cut, the timetable for spoilage is accelerated big time — it will probably be noticeably the worse for wear within two days — so act quickly.

If my broccoli smells bad, what should I do?

Treat that broccoli the same way pro athletes treat money at strip clubs — throw it away.

The sulfur content that makes you particularly farty is likely also responsible for making your broccoli now smell like a Porta Potty. Also, if your broccoli has the distinct odor of an intestinal tract, it’s probably exhibiting one or more physical signs that it’s beginning to break down. These can include the softening of the broccoli’s stem, the visible appearance of mold or the yellowing of the broccoli into a sickly, tawny shade similar to the one you’ll soon be exhibiting if you dare to bite into it.

Let’s just suppose I hypothetically did eat that broccoli? What would happen?

Make sure you have 9-1-1 cued up on your smartphone. In addition to the usual maladies of food poisoning, like indigestion, cramping, vomiting and diarrhea, there’s also a better-than-average chance that spoiled broccoli will cause you to come down with a pathogenic illness.

Hopefully all of this information will help to ensure that you only eat potent broccoli that will nourish your system in its commonly advertised fashion. Because here’s the thing: Even good broccoli is likely to prevent your blood thinner from functioning properly, and exacerbate the diarrhea from your Crohn’s disease.

Food, man… there’s always a catch.