“Eat Your Carrots:” Part of British Propaganda During WWII

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During World War II, when sugar was rationed to 8 ounces per adult per week, some vegetable alternatives were introduced. These girls don’t seem too happy about the “carrot-on-a-stick” option. (Image courtesy of the World Carrot Museum)

Popularized the Myth That Carrots Help You See in the Dark

by K. Annabelle Smith/Smithsonian.com

 

The science is pretty sound that carrots, by virtue of their heavy dose of Vitamin A (in the form of beta carotene), are good for your eye health. A 1998 Johns Hopkins study, as reported by the New York Times, even found that supplemental pills could reverse poor vision among those with a Vitamin A deficiency. But as John Stolarczyk knows all too well as curator of the World Carrot Museum, the truth has been stretched into a pervasive myth that carrots hold within a super-vegetable power: improving your night-time vision. But carrots cannot help you see better in the dark any more than eating blueberries will turn you blue.

“Somewhere on the journey the message that carrots are good for your eyes became disfigured into improving eyesight,” Stolarczyk says. His virtual museum, 125 pages full of surprising and obscure facts about carrots, investigates how the myth became so popular: British propaganda from World War II.

Stolarczyk is not confident about the exact origin of the faulty carrot theory, but believes that it was reinforced and popularized by the Ministry of Information, an offshoot of a subterfuge campaign to hide a technology critical to an Allied victory.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Why not! Eat your carrots, while- nominated by stuttering idiot of George VI- swine and drunk Churchill get drunker and drunker with expensive liquors, escape 10 Downing Street to safety when the German Luftwaffe comes in and bomb London and Coventry. I shall call my ventriloquist to imitate my voice and tell you at the BBC: I have nothing to offer, but tears and blood”. I forgot to tell you: I ignored Adolf Hitler’s pleas for peace, his appeal to reason leaflets dropped in London after Dunkirk, In response, I initiated the bombing of German cities from the 11th May 1940 and then seven more sorties with no German response until September 1940. So, no problem ignorant British masses, go on tighten the belts and eat your carrots! Go on, while your drunken psychopath warmonger PM has a good life with nice food and liquors. So, what’s wrong with this real depictions of events, gullible Brits! Go on and honour your so called war hero! That swine by excellence!