Surprisingly, it could be your genes that determine your feelings about these controversial little vegetables. A 2011 study by Cornwall College found that sprouts contain a chemical, similar to phenylthiocarbamide, which only tastes bitter to people who have a variation of a certain gene. The research found that around 50 per cent of the world’s population have a mutation on this gene. The lucky half don’t taste the bitterness usually associated with sprouts, and therefore like them a whole lot more than everyone else.
James is staff writer at BBC Science Focus magazine. He especially enjoys writing about wellbeing and psychology.