The first and last word on beets

Irwin Goldman has had the last word on beets this fall. Also the first.

The first word (in the Ebling center). On Oct. 21, Goldman, professor of horticulture and , CALS Interim Dean, made a presentation on beets as part of the CALS “Wisconsin Best” program, a series of talks on important Wisconsin food products. It was, he asserted with confidence, the first talk on beets ever presented in the Ebling Symposium Center. Also the largest audience for a beet talk, he added. That talk can be viewed online here. It was a nice combination of the cultural and agronomic history of beets, a bit of chemistry, some health advice (if you’re part of the small percentage of the population that suffers from a condition known as beeturia, there’s no cause for alarm), chemistry and suggestions for serving.

The last word (in GROW magazine). Goldman is the author of the last article in the new fall 2009 edition of GROW magazine: Five Things everyone should know about … Beets. This brief discussion ranges from the cultural influence of this beets (by providing a nontropical alternative to plantation-grown sugar cane, propagation of sugar beets likely facilitated the end of the slave trade) to advice on how to roast beets and add the greens to salads.

A political note. It has been reported that President Obama does not like beets. This is unfortunate, says Goldman, but probably not grounds for impeachment.