Prof Dave Hodgson, University of Exeter:

"The humble carrot is the only British native in the Christmas dinner"

At an event called "The Science Of Christmas" in Falmouth on December 6., professor Dave Hodgson of the University of Exeter will explain the origins of Britain’s favorite festive foods.

Hodgson states that almost all  ingredients of the traditional festive feast come from other places than the UK, in fact from all over the world. quoted Hodgson as saying that the Christmas dinner is an international evolutionary feast, with only the humble carrot native to British soil. Global trade and domestication over thousands of years account for everything else, from turkey and bacon to potatoes and parsnips.

“Of all the animals and plants that appear on the traditional Christmas dinner plate –turkey, bacon, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, swede, parsnip, carrot, potato, chestnut, cranberry– only the carrot is a British native, and the carrot we eat bears almost no resemblance to its wild ancestor,” prof Hodgson said.

“Turkeys are from America, pigs are from Turkey, potatoes from Peru and our cabbages are from the Mediterranean. All of our food species have been bred to be edible, large, colorful and very different from their wild ancestors."

“Christmas dinner really is a truly global, evolutionary feast.”

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