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Carrots are mutants.

Well, orange carrots at least.  Originally, purple carrots were the norm, but there were some offshoots — yellow and white ones appeared in the wild. Over time, somehow, 17th century Dutch carrot growers managed to cultivate these yellow and white ones carrots into the orange ones we are familiar with today.

The purple ones still do exist, but by far are the minority in the world of carrot colors. Want to try some? Beware — there may be a good reason why purple carrots are now the uncommon breed: the orange ones taste better.  In fact, orange carrots may be a superfood of sorts when it comes to taste.  A recent study showed that children said foods tasted better if favored cartoon character appeared on a box, with one food excepted: carrots.

Bonus Fact: Eat too many carrots and beware: you may end up with carotenosis — a condition wherein excess beta carotene turns your skin orange-ish yellow.

Related: 350 purple carrot seeds for four dollars.

Originally published

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