Carrots - history and why are they orange?
Carrot is a root vegetable originated in Persia. At the beginning our carrot didn't look like it looks today. It came from the wild carrot, that had a complex of roots and was white and yellow in colour. It was more cultivated for its aromatic leaves and seeds rather than its root. Through selective breeding, during thousands of years, the carrot got its conic shape that we know today.
The plant was introduced into Spain by the Moors in the 8th century. In the 10th century, roots from West Asia, India and Europe were purple. The modern carrot originated in Afghanistan at about this time. The 11th-century Jewish scholar Simeon Seth describes both red and yellow carrots, as does the 12th-century Arab-Andalusian agriculturist, Ibn al-'Awwam. Cultivated carrots appeared in China in the 14th century, and in Japan in the 18th century.
There are many claims that Dutch growers created orange carrots in the 17th century to honour the Dutch flag at the time and William of Orange. Other authorities argue these claims lack convincing evidence. Modern carrots were described at about this time by the English antiquary John Aubrey (1626–1697): "Carrots were first sown at Beckington in Somersetshire. Some very old Man there [in 1668] did remember their first bringing hither." European settlers introduced the carrot to colonial America in the 17th century.
Outwardly purple carrots, still orange on the inside, were sold in British stores beginning in 2002.
EYE MYTH & PROPAGANDA
During the World War II, the British Royal Air Force developed a new type of radar technology that helped pilots shoot down German enemy planes at night, But in order to keep the new technology a secret, the government said carrots were behind the pilots' success.
Advertisements during the war touted the benefits of carrots for nighttime vision, including one that read "Carrots keep you healthy and help you see in the blackout," according to Smithsonian Magazine.
Even though, this was just a WWII successful propaganda, carrots do contain a rich source of Vitamin A, which helps eyesight. They are also especially high in the antioxidants lutein and beta carotene, which have been shown to protect your eyes. Carrots may also benefit your digestion, heart, skin, and overall health.