No. 10 in a Series of 253,486.

SPINACH (Spinacia).—The only vegetable that is also part mineral, spinach is known for its high silicon content. The “sand” that is invariably found among the leaves of a well-grown spinach is usually said to be a remnant of the soil in which the spinach was grown, but this risible though persistent urban legend has long since been exploded. As any truck farmer can tell you (if you can persuade him to take the time away from tending his trucks), the “sand” is in fact the mineral part of the plant, which grows from the same seed and lives in a symbiotic relationship with the vegetable part. The remarkable cooperation between these two disparate entities should be a memorable and decisive lesson to the human species, but for some reason it never is. It should be noted that moderate consumption of spinach is healthy, but excessive consumption can lead to a pronounced swelling of the forearms and a deterioration of the larynx.