Spinach, Plagued by Imposter Syndrome, Admits to Feeling Unworthy of Status as Superfood

By Elizabeth Kale

By any objective standard, Spinach is one of the most competent and accomplished vegetables in history, easily the most successful and renowned of greens, celebrated the world over for its vitamin and mineral content alike.

Bursting with vitamins A, C, K, E, B2 and B6; exploding with minerals such as iron, zinc, copper, calcium, potassium and magnesium, Spinach is both a queen of nutrition and a king of the food pyramid. Tender and crispy, the leafy vegetable is also a duke of dietary fiber and a duchess of health-promoting phytonutrients.

And yet Spinach itself believes none of this. Plagued by self-doubt and feelings of inadequacy, the rich and vibrant superfood has failed to internalize its many and varied achievements.

“I feel like a total fraud and a worthless imposter,” said Spinach, who sat down with Diane Sawyer on Wednesday for an exclusive hour-long interview during a special edition of ABC News’ “20/20.” In an intimate and wide-ranging conversation, Spinach opened up about the pressures of being a celebrity vegetable, never far from the glare of kitchen lights or the ravenous attention of human eyes. 

“People look at me and see this bright, luscious, vital, deep-green food brimming with antioxidant benefits and anti-inflammatory properties,” said Spinach, tears streaming down its leaves and stems. “But when I look in the mirror I see only wilted lettuce with brown edges, and I live in constant fear of being found out.”

As Sawyer reached a hand to comfort Spinach in one of its delicate folds, the nutritious plant continued: “I’ve also come to believe it’s not really me that people want or like; it’s all the things they toss me with, in salads, like goat cheese, candied pecans, dried cranberries….That’s the fun stuff, the colorful stuff. People search through my leaves, scavenging for and picking out all those gooey and crunchy things, coming back to me only at the end, when there’s nothing good left.”