Tomatoes are red. Carrots are orange. Cauliflower is white. And corn is yellow. And so it shall always be.
Not true. Well, at least not entirely true. Yes, most of the time, the aforementioned vegetables are the aforementioned colors. But not always. Did you know that there are purple carrots? Yellow cauliflower. Black tomatoes. And corn that is a veritable rainbow.
Wait, is something wrong with these vegetables? Not at all. But they may seem strange to some of us who are used to buying our fruits and vegetables from supermarkets. Supermarkets have to offer produce that appeals to the masses. They may not make much money selling fruits and veggies that are anything other than the color that the mass population expects.
We humans have it in our heads that food has to be a certain color, or else something is wrong with it. Eggs have to be a golden yellow. Butter also has to be yellow. That’s why poultry producers feed their chickens corn gluten meal to give the eggs that bright yellow. It’s also why color is added to butter.
I once used this mindset to play a prank on two of my college roommates. I waited for a day when both were away from our apartment. Then I grabbed my food coloring, opened the refrigerator door, and went to work. By the time I had finished, we had purple pickles, blue Thousand Island dressing, mustard that looked like guacamole, and my personal favorite — the green milk.
There was absolutely nothing wrong with these foods. They were still the same as before I “enhanced” them. But my roommates refused to touch them. I, on the other hand, had lots of fun pouring myself a glass of green milk, getting my roommates’ attention, yelling, “Bottoms up!” and drinking it down.
The point of all of this is that vegetables of a different color offer you the chance to be creative with your crops. An orange carrot is an orange carrot. But if you serve purple carrots at your next dinner party, I guarantee that your guests will remember that for a long time to come.
So go ahead and be creative. Step outside the color box and try something different. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to pour myself a nice tall glass of green milk. Bottoms up!