According to Alan Davidson in The Oxford Companion to Food, carrots were cultivated in the 8th century for their leaves and seeds. Carrots were first cultivated for their root in what is now Afghanistan in the 10th century and spread to Asia and Japan by the 17th century.1
Today, the world produces an estimated 40 million tons of carrots every year. Unfortunately, carrots face the highest losses of all vegetables — approximately 24%–50% are discarded due to cosmetic standards before even reaching a grocery store.
Don’t toss those tops! Carrot tops have a peppery flavor like arugula or parsley and can add a lot of flavor to any dish.2 When cooking with them, remove the stem as you would any other herb, such as parsley or dill. 3