We all eat carrots, it's even the favorite vegetable for many people, and a lot of us do add carrots to our daily diet. It tastes good, it's used for many purposes; carrot is simply useful in many ways.
However, many of the fruits and vegetables we plant and eat are actually man-made, but is carrot man-made?
This question takes us back to a very interesting history of carrots. Initially, this vegetable was not as it is right now; it was the intervention of early days farmers that made carrots look and taste like it does right now.
So, does that mean that your favorite fruit, carrots, is man-made?
Let's quickly find out.
The Origin Of Carrots
Carrots' (Daucus carota) origin points back to centuries ago. It is accepted as a species of Daucus Carota (wild carrot), and it appears in different colors.
The common carrot is orange; however, there are purple, red, black, yellow, and white cultivars that do exist.
It may even interest you to know that the original color of carrots is purple - not the orange we see these days.
Wild Carrot (Daucus carota) is endemic to Europe and Southwestern Asia. Carrots were originally planted for their leaves and seeds, and the most commonly eaten part is the taproot. However, some people also eat the stem and leaves.
Early farmers did selectively bred Daucus carota to get the domestic carrot that's more rampant and known nowadays.
Is Carrot Man-Made?
Simply put, yes, the modern-day (orange) carrot is a hybrid vegetable created by farmers many years ago. According to scientists, carrots can be traced back to ages when dinosaurs did exist.
A study of the family tree of carrot showed that it splitted with a grape about 113 million years ago, and further split from "Kiwi" about 10 million years after the first split.
After the second split, sources say that about a thousand years ago, farmers started domesticating white and purple carrots.
Through selective breeding, farmers were able to modify the original carrot vegetable to create the many varieties we have right now. This process also helped to improve the taste of carrots.
Remember, carrots were naturally purplish or whitish. However, as a result of the selective breeding of the white and purple cultivars of Wild Carrot, the modern-day orange carrot - we all know - was formed.
It is also imperative to say that through domesticating white and purple carrots, the first variety achieved appeared in yellow color, and over time, the color changed further to the orange we have today.
Regardless of being a man-made vegetable, all varieties of carrots are safe to eat and they have several health benefits.
The original purplish parrot got its purple color as a result of the presence of anthocyanins. Apparently, no current variety of carrots was genetically modified.
Particularly, the common orange carrot we see nowadays was actually bred in Holland to celebrate William I of Orange. William I was a prince and Stadtholder - the head of state of the Netherlands - in the 1500s.
If not for human intervention, no one would be willing to eat carrots in their original form. Selective breeding is a process that takes many years before the result is finally achieved.
- Is Onion a Vegetable?
- Is Broccoli Man-Made?
- Is Cauliflower Man-Made?
- Is Mushroom a Vegetable?
- Is Corn Man-Made?
The simple answer to the question, "Is carrot man-made?" is YES. However, if we should dig deep, then you'd discover that not all carrots are man-made.
The first carrots appeared in white or purple colors - those were the originals carrots, which is actually called "Wild Carrot."
But, when people ask questions about carrots, they are most definitely asking about the common orange color variety, which, of course, is a hybrid vegetable created through hybridization or selective breeding as commonly categorized.
Summarily, regardless of the carrot, you come across - whether white, purple, black, yellow, or orange - all varieties of carrot are safe to eat and you can add them to your diets.