“You’ve probably heard the myth that eating lots of carrots will magically improve your vision. The bad news is that it’s a total lie.”
“The good news? It’s one that helped the Allies defeat the Nazis.”
I recently came across this informative piece regarding this history of the all too familiar adage, “carrots will help you see in the dark.” Apparently we’ve been lied to all these years…
Actually, as the well-informed vegetable connoiseur and educated nutrition geek that I am, this is definitely not breaking news to me. Carrots are a great source of fiber and extremely high in vitamins, including vitamin A (beta carotene), which is definitely an asset when it comes to eye health. However, you’ll still need your night-vision goggles on your next midnight spy expedition no matter how many of the orange roots that you eat!
The Royal Air Force were able to repel the German fighters in part because of the development of a new, secret radar technology. The on-board Airborne Interception Radar (AI), first used by the RAF in 1939, had the ability to pinpoint enemy bombers before they reached the English Channel. But to keep that under wraps, according to Stolarczyk’s research pulled from the files of the Imperial War Museum, the Mass Observation Archive, and the UK National Archives, the Ministry provided another reason for their success: carrots.
“When the papers asked how pilots where shooting down planes in the dark, the RAF simply responded that pilots had been hitting their root veggies hard. A bold-faced lie! But one that helped save London—and the world—from Nazi tyranny.”
Regardless of the fact that I won’t be a superhero in the night with additional carrot consumption, I think I’ll continue to enjoy the nutritious morsels on occasion.
Other than the dandy crunch they supply with a crisp, fresh bite, I rather enjoy a spicy carrot soup in the middle of winter.
Carrot Ginger Soup
2 Tbs. coconut oil
½ large sweet onion, finely chopped
6-8 large carrots, roughly chopped
1″ piece ginger, peeled and grated
4 – 5 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 c. full fat coconut milk
In a large stock pot, heat coconut oil over medium-low heat. Add onions and saute until translucent. Add carrots and continue to cook until soft. Stir in grated ginger and cook an additional minute or so, careful not to let anything burn. Add broth and reduce heat to a simmer. Continue to cook for about 20 minutes, until the carrots are nice and soft. In batches, transfer to a high speed blender to puree until smooth. (Alternatively, use an immersion blender). Return to pot and add coconut milk, salt, and pepper, Stir until well combined and simmer until just the perfect temperature.
Top with fresh cilantro for a bit of color.