Purple Carrots and Where Did They Come From?

If you’ve been to a grocery stores produce section you might have seen something amazing, bags of carrots, in technicolor. Mixed in with the usual orange sticks were yellow carrots, the color of potatoes, and others so deeply purple they were almost black. Purple carrots have been around farmers’ markets for a while, but more recently, they’ve gone mainstream. So where did the plum-colored carrot come from. While most of us have only ever seen orange carrots, the first cultivated carrots were actually purple and yellow. Carrots were domesticated in Afghanistan and spread to the eastern Mediterranean about a thousand years ago. But purple, yellow, red, and white varieties persisted in Asia and the Middle East. Nobody is sure how the orange carrot came to take over most of the world. The potential nutritional benefits of colorful carrots also helped to make them appealing to consumers. One study found that, compared to orange carrots, purple carrots contain twice the amount of alpha and beta carotene, which the body converts into vitamin A , plus antioxidants that may prevent cell damage and reduce the risk of certain diseases, and the purple has reported to have a better flavour. Researchers are currently working on a red colour….Ed
Source: Sarah Fecht / Photo: Robert Couse-Baker

Posted in All Stories, Ed McMahon

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