Random Carrot Facts

Carrots originated in Afghanistan (or possibly Iran and/or Pakistan) and have been cultivated for at least 5,000 years. The original carrots were white, purple, red or yellow... but not orange.

Carrots were first grown as a medicine not a food. Hippocrates recommended at carrot seeds to prevent pregnancy. Some contemporary studies indicate there may be some validity to this and that eating carrot seeds after intercourse may in fact prevent the egg implantation process and block progesterone synthesis.

The ancient Greeks cultivated carrots, and passed them onto the Romans.

The ancient Greeks called the carrot a philtron ("love charm"). They believe the carrot made people fall in love.

The carrot had travelled to China, Japan, and India by the 13th century.

In the 16th century, the orange carrot was developed in the Netherlands in honor of the House of Orange, the Dutch Royal Family. Yellow carrots were cross-bred with red carrots.

Carrots were among the first crops brought to America by the colonists in Jamestown in 1607.

Apoll in 2005 indicated that carrots are the third most popular vegetable in the UK.

China is the world's top carrot producer with 35% of world production in 2004 (274,900,000 tons per year!). Russia and the United States rank second and third, respectively.

U.S. carrot production for the fresh and processing markets was valued at
$577.5 million in 2004.

The carrot is a member of the parsley family (Umbellifera) including species such as celery, parsnip, fennel, dill, cilantro, caraway, cumin, coriander, and the poisoinous hemlock.

Carrot production in the U.S. is highly mechanized and centralized. Only two Californian companies account for the majority of production in the U.S. In addition to California, Washington and Colorado are also important production areas.

Carrots are about 87% water.

Carrots are a biennial. They store energy their first year of life (in the root), and the second year, they flower, seed and die.

The common weed "Queen Anne's Lace" is actually a wild carrot. It will interbreed with domestic carrots.

Orange carrots get their color from beta carotene.

Carrots provide 30% of the vitamin A in the U.S. diet.

The average person will consume 10,866 carrots in a lifetime.

There is a myth that World War II, the UK developed high-carotene carrots in order to enhance the night vision of their pilots. However, this was done as a disinformation campaign to fool the Germans into thinking this was the reason for bomber losses (instead of the actual reason... British Radar). After the war this myth (carrots improve night vision) persisted. Unless an individual has a vitamin A deficiency, eating huge amounts of carrots will have no effect on vision (night vision or otherwise).

It is impossible to get vitamin A poisoining from carrots, as they actually contain no vitamin A directly. Instead they contain beta carotene which the body converts to vitamin A (but only what it needs).

One pound of carrots will make approximately six to eight fluid ounces of carrot juice.

Carrot seeds are so small that 2,000 can fit in a teaspoon. That is about 250,000 seeds per pound! Because of their small size, they are difficult to plant by hand. Carrot seeds are often covered in clay to make a large pellet, sewn into strips of paper, or mixed with sand to ease planting by hand.

The longest carrot ever recorded was 16 feet 10 and a half inches.

The heaviest carrot ever recorded weighed 18.985 pounds.

European Tobacconists sometimes put a carrot in with their tobacco to keep it from drying out.

Unlike most vegetables, carrots are more nutritious when eaten cooked than eaten raw. Because carrots have tough cellular walls,much of the nutrition is locked up and undigestible. Cooking, however, partially dissolves cellulose-thickened cell walls, freeing up nutrients by breaking down the cell membranes.

It is better to boil or steam carrots whole and then cut them up. If they are cut first, much of the nutrients will be leached out.

Researchers at the USDA found that study participants who consumed 2 carrots a day were able to lower their cholesterol levels by 20 percent due to a soluble fiber called calcium pectate.

Carrots contain more sugar than any other vegetable, except for beets.

Eating too many carrots can cause a condition called "carotenemia." This causes the skin to turn yellowish orange, especially on the palms or soles of the feet, but it is completely harmless. It is reversible once the consumption of carrots is reduced.

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