Crop of the Week: Carrots

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1. The carrot originated some 5000 years ago in Middle Asia around Afghanistan, and slowly spread into the Mediterranean area.
2. The first carrots were white, purple, red, yellow, green and black – not orange.
3. Carrots were first grown as a medicine not a food.
4. Researchers at the USDA found that those who consumed 2 carrots a day were able to lower their cholesterol levels about 20 percent due to a soluble fiber found in carrots called calcium pectate.

 5. There are 10 mg of Vitamin A from 20 carrots and as much calcium in 9 carrots as there is in a glass (250ml) of whole milk.
6. The wild carrot is called, Queen Annes Lace.
7. Carrots are in the parsley family and as such, you can eat carrot tops the same way you would parsley, although the flavor is somewhat different.
8. Carrots produce more distilled alcohol than potatoes.
9. If you buy carrots with the tops still on, cut them off before storing. Not only will the fresh tops go limp, they’ll pull moisture from the roots and cause them to wilt and may only store for only two weeks in the refrigerator.
10. At 34 F, carrots may be stored for up to five months.
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