Most modern plants are the result of thousands of years of selective breeding. Orange carrots are also the result of that. For a long time, I heard a story that carrots were originally purple, red, and white, but were bred orange to celebrate the Royal House of Orange in the Netherlands. Apparently, that may no longer be true. Multiple colors of carrots definitely existed (and continue to exist). Orange carrots were popularized (and perhaps created) in Europe in the 1500s. But there is little documentary evidence to support the breeding of orange carrots for the king. Rather, as something orange, they were probably appropriated for nationalistic purposes.

I highlight this story not only because it’s a fun story, but also because the Dutch have in effect appropriated a vegetable as their own design decision.