WHAT ARE CARROTS?
Carrots are a taproot, a type of root which
grows downwards into the soil and swells. Carrots come in many sizes
and shapes: round, cylindrical, fat, very small, long or thin.
Native to Afghanistan,
carrots were known to both the Greeks and Romans. In fact, the Greeks
called the carrot "Philtron" and used it as a love medicine--making
men more ardent and women more yielding. The Roman emperor Caligula,
believing these stories, forced the whole Roman Senate to eat carrots
so he could see them "in rut like wild beasts."
India, China, and
Japan had established carrots as a food crop by the 13th century. In
Europe, however, they were not well known until well into the Middle
Ages. At that time, doctors prescribed them for everything from sexual
maladies to snakebite--which some would argue, are biblically connected.
In Holland, the original red, purple, black, yellow, and white varieties
were hybridised to today's bright orange, with its potent dose of beta
From thence, carrots
moved to England, during Elizabethan times. Some Elizabethans ate the
roots as food; others used their feathery stalks to decorate their hair,
their hats, their dresses, and their coats.
Carrots arrived in
the New World with the early colonists, but they were allowed to escape
cultivation and subsequently turned into the omnipresent and delicate
wild flower Queen Anne's Lace. If you doubt it, pull up a plant
by the roots and surprise your nose with its carroty smell.
The folk belief that
carrots enable one to see in the dark--or at least improve vision--enabled
the British Royal Air Force to disguise its use of radar from the Germans
during World War II. The story goes that the Air Force bragged that
the great accuracy of British fighter pilots at night was a result of
them being fed enormous quantities of carrots--and the Germans bought
it because their folk wisdom included the same myth.
Fields are seeded with precision seeders from
January into July. They take 6 to 21 days to germinate and 70 to 100
days to mature fully. Carrots are mechanically harvested by machines
which pull carrots up by their tops, cuts the tops off and drops the
carrots onto a conveyor leading to a trailers. They are also harvested
by in machine which lifts the carrots with the soil then it shakes the
soil out leaving the carrots which are then loaded into trailers.
CARROTS LOOK LIKE WHEN I USE IT?
Carrots are a common and popular vegetable to be eaten fresh. Baby carrots
are particularly tender and juicy. They can also be canned or frozen.
Carrot juice is a very nutritious drink especially high in beta-carotene.
Carrots are used in baking in such delectable's as carrot cake or muffins.
Carrots are rich in minerals and vitamins.
AFTER THE CARROTS LEAVE THE FARM?
Carrots are harvested into large bulk trucks which take the product
to on-farm packing operations. Upon arrival, carrots are unloaded onto
a line where they are hydro-cooled, graded and packaged. They are held
in cold storage or shipped to wholesale distributors as the market demands.
Carrots can also be purchased with the tops on. These carrots are typically
harvested at a younger stage and are usually hand harvested, then wrapped
in bunches, resulting in "bunched carrots".
DO CARROT PRODUCERS FACE?
Numerous root diseases affect carrots (black root rot, cavity spot),
but proper cultural practices can keep them under control. Carrot fly
are kept under control through an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program.
Growers also face strong market competition from the western Europe
IN PRODUCING CARROTS?
Farm equipment supplier
Serving Size: 1 medium carrot (78g)
Calories from Fat 0 % Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 40mg 2%
Total Carbohydrate 8g 3%
Dietary Fibre 2g 8%
Vitamin A 270%
Vitamin C 10%
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000-calorie diet.
Fact About Carrots:
The carrot is a highly refined version of a common weed, Queen Anne's
lace. Both plants originated in the Middle East.
Eat to Beat
New research has uncovered one reason why what
you eat may protect you from breast cancer -- or put you at risk. Among
a group of women with a family history of breast cancer, those who began
eating more vegetables and less beef and pork had less damage to their
DNA, the genetic material that controls the function of all your cells.
That's important because there's strong evidence
that damaged DNA leads to cancer. The strongest protection came from
cooked vegetables -- possibly because the vegetables we cook tend to
be the most nutrient-dense ones, such as sweet potatoes, carrots, brussels
sprouts, and, of course, broccoli (Journal of the American Dietetic
Association, May 1998). A Veggie Rx For this study (the Women's Healthy
Eating and Living Study), women were asked to eat five servings of vegetables,
16 oz of fresh vegetable juice, plus three fruit servings a day.