Last Updated on
In comparison to its leafy counterparts, iceberg lettuce does not always enjoy sterling PR as a powerful health food. Here are five myths about under-appreciated iceberg that definitely deserve busting.
1. Iceberg Lettuce Is Nutritionally Challenged
We wonder if a sailor named Popeye started this story. While leafy lettuce doesn’t outweigh spinach on the nutrient scale, it still packs an impressive, healthy punch. Move over oranges, strawberries and winter squash. Iceberg holds its own with a nutritional profile that includes vitamins A, K, folate and potassium.
2. It Doesn’t Plate Up Protein
Lettuce doesn’t try to compete with porterhouse steaks for high-protein delivery because it doesn’t have to. This is an appetizing side that includes more protein in every serving than many of its produce cousins. Iceberg lettuce outranks red, green and romaine lettuce and delivers 19 amino acids. Don’t give up sirloins, but don’t underestimate the protein power of a fresh mini iceberg lettuce salad on the side.
3. Iceberg Offers Nothing But Water
Our first and second points bust this myth, but it’s true that this favorite leafy green has a high water content. That’s actually a quality that sits well on the table. A recent Harvard University study notes that more than half of our children here in the U.S. don’t drink enough water, and adults are just about as bad. Iceberg can’t replace water fountains, but it’s a natural source of healthy hydration.
4. All Leafy Lettuces Are the Same
Nutritionally speaking, they aren’t, but consider the wonderful variety of leafy lettuce choices. A pantry filled with yummy selections inspires healthy eating habits. When you vary your veggies, appetites around the dinner table stay interested. Iceberg lettuce is just as versatile as hearty kale and classic romaine, and it busts this myth wide open with unique recipe ideas and beautiful presentations.
5. Baby Iceberg Lettuce Is Too Young
Don’t let its baseball size fool you. It took us years of dedicated cultivation and applied horticultural knowledge to develop our Iceberg Babies, and we’re just as proud of these little produce packages as everything else growing in our fields. Yes, baby icebergs are small, but they’re full-grown vegetables with all the nutritional maturity you expect in a uniquely delicious leafy green.
We admit it. We’re on the side of hard-working produce companies, so we’re happy to help set edible records straight. If you’re curious about other tall veggie tales, just let us know, and we’ll put our Hitchcock Farms Myth Busters on the trail of truth. Meanwhile, we’ll stay busy raising, packing and shipping the finest produce in California.
Dan Holt is an experienced produce professional who started in the industry as a quality assurance inspector in the early 1990s and leads sales at Hitchcock Farms as Vice President. Prior to joining Hitchcock Farms, Dan enjoyed success in organic, specialty and conventional produce and with independent operators, regional and national chains in North America and abroad. Dan continues his passion in produce through collaborative inspiration and promoting healthy and sustainable food.