How Carrots Won the Trojan War

By Gill Hudson, Reader's Digest UK

how carrots won the trojan war book cover

You might not realize it, but in historical terms, this is a golden age for vegetables. As Rupp points out in her introduction to this delightful book, “for a substantial chunk of human history, people have turned their noses up at vegetables.” But that doesn’t mean that our ancestors did without them completely. In each chapter, Rupp (who holds a Ph.D. in biology) takes a different vegetable and explores its significance to human beings over the centuries. Did you know, for example, that in ancient China growers would suspend stones from each end of a cucumber to combat its natural curliness? Or that the high-protein bean may have helped pull Europe from the Dark Ages? Or that Abraham Lincoln spearheaded a short-lived campaign to boost the popularity of cabbage? A fascinating – if mildly eccentric – read.