Americans hate vegetables. Every possible trick, tactic and marketing ploy has failed. We will forever be a nation of spongey vegetablephobes. So say the New York Times in a long investigation of why the hell won't Americans eat their vegetables?

The tone of exasperation runs deep in this one—not just in the reporter's own prose (On the possibility of getting Americans to eat more vegetables: "Good luck") but also in the voices of health experts, vegetable producers and harried consumers.

Here are a few of the efforts detailed in the article, which have all failed to beat it into Americans' heads that fries don't count as vegetables:

  • Marketing baby carrots as "junk food," complete with an iPhone app and 'hip' advertising
  • Easy-to-prepare broccoli that you can microwave
  • Michelle Obama going on and on about her organic vegetable garden
  • Government recommendation of nine servings of fruits and vegetables daily
  • Programs in school based around organic gardening

None of it works! Only 23 percent of American meals include a vegetable, according to a report cited in the Times. Complaints range from vegetables are disgusting to "I don't know how to cook a zucchini". (To be fair, zucchini's are disgusting.)

Clearly, scientists must develop genetically-engineered humans that don't need vegetables to be healthy. It's our only hope.