The Future's Orange..... but the past had other ideas.

18th June 2009

My 12 month old nephew’s nose is orange. It has taken on this hue owing to his prodigious consumption of carrot purée. I only mention this fact because I watched BBC Breakfast yesterday morning and was amazed to learn that carrots didn’t used to be orange. Nope, they used to be purple, black, white and were only turned orange when a 16th century food technologist bred a new variety using a mutant yellow carrot seed in honour of the Dutch royal family: the house of Orange.USDA Agricultural Research Service carrot image.jpg

The BBC team were reporting on the research by Newcastle University, which has found that the compound falcarinol, found in carrots, is best preserved when carrots are cooked whole. This is important because falcarinol has been shown to inhibit the growth of cancer cells in rats. The Newcastle University research, led by Dr Kirsten Brandt, has been covered in the majority of the national press.

I was intrigued by the idea that carrots were engineered to be orange and, after a spot of Googling, I came across this fantastic site dedicated to all things Daucus Carota. 

[Image from USDA Agricultural Research Service ]

As the picture shows, carrots come in a whole spectrum of colours and according to the site, there’s a variety for every letter of the alphabet.

The Carrot Museum is packed with interesting facts and a prediction that carrots may even be powering our cars in the future. Biofuel researchers are investigating the potential to run cars on carrot sugar. According to the site, it would take approximately 6,000 carrots to drive 1 mile.donkey and carrot

Perhaps it would be more efficient to buy a donkey and attach one carrot to a stick?

Or eat two carrots (whole of course) and travel a few miles on this little beauty.

orange bike

The Orange 5 is perfect for cross country and mountain terrain and features 190 mm travel front fork and 140mm rear suspension.

 My brother invested in one last year and they’re still trying to remove the grin. Personally, I prefer the Santa Cruz Blur LT, but it’s not orange, unlike my nephew’s nose.