What’s up Doc? Carrots!! These root vegetables are a biennial plant that are native to Europe and Southwestern Asia. The wild carrots, smaller and less palatable than the domesticated ones, were originally grown for their leaves and seeds in Iran and Afghanistan, not the root part that we all know. The root part of the carrot was first mentioned the in the 1st century, but was not introduced to Europe until the 8th. These versatile roots come in an array of colors varying from white to purple, they are also known historically by different names such as Bee’s Nest, Bird’s Nest, dawke, fiddle, hill-trot and laceflower to name a few.
There are many different ways to enjoy carrots too. You can eat them raw, cook, chop, boil, fry, steam and add to soups and stews, not to mention that they are common among baby and pet foods. Although not commonly eaten, the greens from carrots are in fact edible as a leaf vegetable. They are rich in vitamins from A to K, minerals and nutrients such as biotin, beta-carotenes, calcium and potassium. Their anti-oxidants have powerful healing abilities and can be used to treat acidosis, cancer, eye health, immune systems to water retention. To get the most nutrients out of carrots, don’t peel them as the nutrients are concentrated right under the skin, merely brush the skin and wash thoroughly.
- Carrots can be as short as 2 inches and as long as 3 feet
- Carrots cut lengthwise retain more nutrients than those cut into small rounds
- Baby carrots have been popular as a ready-to-eat snack in the grocery stores since the late 1980′s
- Carrots that are grown with tomatoes has been known to increase tomato production and when left to flower, they attract wasps that kill garden pests
- The urban legend of eating carrots will allow you to see in the dark stems from British gunners in World War 2 who were able to shoot down German plans during the night, with pilots increasing their carrot intake
- Holtville, California calls itself the Carrot Capital of the World
- China produces 15.17 million tonnes of carrots annually