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 varietals were hybridized to today's
bright orange, with its potent dose of beta carotene.
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 delectables 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.