I learned about the color wheel as an elementary art student. During my teaching career I also taught a color theory lesson to bright eyed little cherubs countless times incorporating the color wheel. So I speak from an informed position when it comes to the identification of primary and secondary colors.
Solanum andigenum is the scientific name for the purple potato pictured above. I discovered these at my local farmer’s market this past summer. Being a self proclaimed “health nut,” I was immediately drawn to the health benefits this uniquely hued spud offers. It is loaded with antioxidants and disease-fighting phytonutrients, AND can reduce inflammation. The older I get the more I notice the struggle to avoid midsection inflammation. This is especially true during the winter months, so I bought a bushel.
It was not just the health benefits that drew me to this violet tater. When I asked the farmer about them he simply referred to them as “purple potatoes.” I was relieved as I’ve almost grown accustomed to purple and red being confused in the natural world. Let me illustrate.
These are examples of “purple finches.” A toy and real life version. Do they look purple to you?
Barney is purple. The Minnesota Viking football team wears purple.
Okay, so Barney looks a little magenta, don’t get distracted.
Perhaps someone mislabelled the “purple” finch years ago, and before the error was caught, encyclopedias (sets of books with a lot of information and cool pictures too), bird books, and ads for ceramic bird statues were already in print. I considered this possibility, and then I remembered another odd discrepancy in the natural world. Have you ever purchased “red onions.?” I happen to love them, but see nothing “red” about them.
Cardinals are red. In real life, AND in toy form.
So are red Ferraris. I know this because I dream in color.
By now, I might have lost my readers. Few have the stomach for the unveiling of such a heavy conspiracy. In the hope that there’s still one or two of you still awake, apparently you share my concerns.
My theory is that an error WAS, in fact, made in the labelling of the finch. Rather than simply correcting the mistake it was swept under the rug (Figuratively speaking, other wise the little winged seed eaters would be trampled). Fans of the color purple, (HEY, that would be a great name for a book!) must have created an uproar. In a state of panic, the perplexed, panel of plainly, puzzled, poorly planning purple finch classifiers decided to make a deal. Clearly, they offered up the delicious “red” onion in an exchange. Makes perfect sense now, doesn’t it? An onion has no voice, though I believe they have feelings. Is it possible this is the reason they are the only vegetable that can bring us to tears? Well, onions and eggplant, but for different reasons. Speaking of eggplants, THEY are purple. Just purple. No need to call them Red Eggplants. The market doesn’t call for multiple eggplant offerings. Families don’t hold eggplant picking trips and fight over which type to harvest. “Eggplant” is sufficient.
Its New Year’s and so I am looking for things to commit to in the coming year. Since I’m already a picture of health, and have nothing unhealthy in my lifestyle to rid myself of I’m making this resolution instead. Each day in 2018 I’ll be identifying mislabelled items in the world that surrounds us. I’ll expose these in my blog that is read by nearly millions of concerned citizens, and by 2019 I believe we might be able to remove all misidentified items from society. What cause could be more worthy of our time and resources?