Carotene and why I am orange.

October 11, 2010 § 13 Comments

My mum (aka The Duck) came to Sydney last week. We’re a real team, she and I, and always manage to cover an expanse of ground, walking from Double Bay to Newtown in search of an odd piece of furniture and a ham and cheese sandwich, exploring Asian supermarkets in Chinatown and trying to find single serves of Banh Trang (not as easy as you might think), and learning to sweeten the gruff woman at the David Jones Food Hall salad counter.

As it’s usually some time between visits, being 7 hours drive and an expensive plane ticket away, we always notice new things about each other. For instance I noticed the new beads she was wearing from a recent spate of op-shopping. She noticed that I was orange. Fair enough.

So actually The Duck wasn’t the first person to bring this tinge to my attention. For some time now my friend MS has been commenting on my dirty-looking palms, something which I chose to ignore coming from the mouth of an uncouth male! But then I visited my Grandmother in Ulmarra and suggestions were made about the unfortunate reaction of fake tan with my skin. It was around here that I took a minute to look, REALLY look I mean, and low and behold, what-do-you-know…I’m orange. Palms, knees, elbows and soles of feet in particular…then a little colouring around the face as well. How detestable you might think, but don’t worry, I don’t think I’m turning any heads in the street.

But why am I orange? You may think that “crusts will turn your hair curly” and “carrots help you see in the dark” are old wives tales but I think they’re actually kind of true. See, I always eat NB’s leftover crusts and my hair has a certain wave in it, and my night vision is good enough to get to the kitchen for midnight cereal. And while I often would joke about carrots and the like turning you orange after an incident with my baby cousin and too much pumpkin mash some time ago, it seems that one is true as well.

carotene (ker´tēn),

an an orange pigment found in carrots, leafy vegetables, and other foods that may be converted to vitamin A in the body.

Over time and with excess consumption the liver starts to build up these pigments in the body and, instead of getting rid of them in the liver cleansing process, carotene begins to, ahem, enhance our colouring.
So apparently I am really, very noticeably orange, which has led to The Duck’s declaration of a carrot diet. Basically, no more rabbit impersonations until I return to a milky white complexion.
I love my carrots and need you to wish me luck Blushers…and please, please tell me if you too are slightly orange, it would stop me feeling quite so freakish and alone….
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§ 13 Responses to Carotene and why I am orange.

  • Oh gosh…., guessing its true then – you can overdo a ‘good thing’ it seems. You will have to keep us posted in the transformation back to you. Is it dangerous do y’ think?

  • Hannah says:

    Oh my heavens, you’re like Violet Beauregarde from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory! (Except far nicer, of course :P)

  • Oh dear I’ve never been compared to an obnoxious bubble gum chewing, purple faced, girl before! Must definitely stay ‘dry’ now!! Funny they made her a pretty, skinny little thing in the newest film – don’t know if that makes it better or worse!!

    And Anna, apparently carotene can be lethal in high doses, I was on about 3 carrots a day and apart from the colouring didn’t feel worse for wear so I think you would have to eat an awful lot!!

    Will let you guys know if there are side-effects…midnight sweats, itchy palms, voices…the usual!

  • That is unusual to turn orange on three carrots a day! I hope you’re back to lily white soon.. 🙂

  • Dress accordingly I say. Rich browns and casual cream colours. No advice as I’m in the pasty white camp…Good luck!

  • Oooh, I wonder if I ate enough blueberries if I could turn purple? Wouldn’t it be fun if we could change our colour with our diet, and no mor racisim in a rainbow hued world either!

  • Oh wow, I’ve never seen this happen although I used to drink a lot of carrot juice so perhaps the same happened to me and no-one told me!

    • Yes I’ve noticed people are a bit shy on the topic, any time I mention it they comment: “..well I’ve been meaning to say…” hmmmm!!

      Thanks for the dress-tips Bridie, staying away from fluro yellow and green is probably a good idea as well!

  • ducky says:

    This is the Duck signing on to say how proud I am that you are battling your carotene addiction with such stoicism !! Am thrilled to hear that you have not slipped “off the wagon” and continue to make great progress in your battle to reclaim your previous milky complexion (although I think you still look adorable with a hint of soft orange ) I am supporting you by not buying carrots at all until you
    are happy with your situation. That’s what a Duck is for!

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