Carrots have been cultivated for thousands of years. The cultivation of carrots dates back to at least 5,000 years ago in present-day Afghanistan. They were originally grown for their leaves and seeds rather than their roots. Moreover, ancient Egyptians revered carrots. Carrots were highly valued in ancient Egypt for their medicinal properties. They were used as a remedy for various ailments and were even buried with pharaohs to accompany them in the afterlife.
However, carrots were originally purple or yellow. The earliest cultivated carrots were not orange like the ones we are familiar with today. They were purple or yellow in color. The orange carrot we know today was developed in the Netherlands in the 17th century. More surprisingly, carrots were used as a natural sweetener: Before the widespread availability of sugar, carrots were used as a natural sweetener in Europe. They were used to sweeten dishes and beverages, and even made into carrot-based desserts.
Did you know carrots played a role in World War II? During World War II, British pilots claimed that eating carrots helped improve their night vision. This was used as a propaganda campaign to hide the development of radar technology. The myth (or fact) of carrots improving vision persists to this day.