Heirloom Vegetables – Are You A Purple Carrot Eater?

Heirloom Vegetables – Are You A Purple Carrot Eater?
Heather Nicholds, C.H.N.


Have you ever eaten dragon tongue beans? What about golden beets, purple carrots or yellow cherry tomatoes? If you don’t have access to a local farmer’s market, you probably haven’t seen these, but they’re becoming more and more popular.

The purple carrots for some reason remind me of that song – one-eyed, one-horned, flying purple carrot eater… maybe we should make it one-eyed, one-horned, dragon-tongued, flying purple carrot eater.

Some of these ones are called heirloom vegetables because they’re grown from seeds that were used before industrial agriculture. My mother-in-law told me about a special tomato her aunt grew that was shaped like a heart.

There apparently used to be 15,000 different varieties of apples grown in the US (Before the Mac, Vintage Apples). How many do you see at the grocery store today?

Finding all of these different variations on the regular grocery store vegetables is a good idea for a few reasons.

First of all, they all taste slightly different. And since you usually only find heirloom vegetables grown by quality organic farmers, they taste really amazing. Phil’s dragon tongue beans were so crunchy and juicy, I could have eaten them as snacks all day long.

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They have slightly different nutrients that make them show different colors. Not so much the big nutrients, like beta-carotene, but the phytonutrients and antioxidants. Variety is always a good thing when it comes to a healthy diet plan.

By buying these different varieties from organic farmers, you’re helping support them in maintaining biodiversity in our food supply. This is an issue that could create some huge problems in the not-too-distant future.

On a more basic level, golden beets don’t make your pee turn red. Not that there’s anything wrong with that…

What fun varieties of heirloom vegetables have you seen lately? Let me know below.


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