In the 1980s supermarkets were even more concerned with proper shape and size of produce than they are today. Consumers expected carrots to be a particular size, shape, and color. Anything that didn’t fit the image was sold for juice or processing or animal feed, or often simply thrown away.
There are “true baby carrots” and then there are the processed “baby carrots” we normally see in stores. True baby carrots are just young carrots harvested before the root reaches its mature size. Some say they are sweeter this way. Some even think they’re healthier. These carrots aren’t nearly as common in grocery stores, but when you see them they often still have their stalks. What we typically see labeled as “baby carrots” in those small plastic bags are full grown carrots that would once have been rejected and wasted.
Broken and misshaped carrots that are not pretty enough for consumers were discarded, leaving farmers with as little as 30 percent of their crop to sell. Mike Yurosek was tired of this waste. He took his ugly reject carrots and used a potato peeler to reshape them into small pieces. Yurosek then scaled up with an industrial green bean cutter to quickly whittle the carrots into the well-known sizes we still see today. 1
How Are Baby Carrots Made Today?
The industry calls them “baby cuts.” They are no longer simply rejected carrots. These baby cuts you see in supermarkets come from carrots have been specifically bred to be smaller in diameter, and to be a bright orange without color variation, and they are also raised to have considerably sweeter than regular carrots. 2
These baby carrots are planted closer together than traditional carrots and they are harvested in about 120 days. But before packaging, the carrots are cut and peeled and scrubbed, then they get the infamous chlorine bath. But the amount of chlorine in the water is not really anything to be alarmed about. It’s likely that every time you eat out at a restaurant you will consume more chlorine than when eating baby carrots.
Grimmway Farms uses a chlorine solution on all its carrots — organic and non-organic — to prevent food poisoning, before a final wash in water. Grimmway says the chlorine rinse is well within limits set by the EPA and is comparable to levels found in tap water.” – Fox
The minute amount of chlorine in our water for washing carrots is nearly 90% less than the chlorine level in normal tap (drinking) water.” – The Truth About Baby Carrots
What’s the Concern?
Baby carrots are no longer a byproduct of the carrot industry, so buying baby carrots no longer helps to reduce food waste.
The chlorine is problematic but if you eat out at restaurants, even healthy ones, you’re getting plenty of chlorine in your food. If you shower without water filtration, you’re breathing it in.
The problem is that the food is processed. People think they are getting fresh carrots, but they’re not. The life force energy of the food is gone (the chlorine bath allows the food to last longer, and some may have additional preservatives). The enzymes are done. And the peel, which contains the highest concentration of nutrients, is gone.
Eating baby carrots is eating processed food, but it’s not the worst choice one could make. As poor food choices go, this is probably the best of them. I have been I situations where I was very hungry and the only food choice I saw that would not make me sick were baby carrots, and I have eaten plenty.
But the best carrots for you are unprocessed, unpeeled, un-messed-with carrots. Vitamin C and niacin are most concentrated in the peel. A little more than half of the phytonutrients are found in the peel. 3
Five Random Carrot Facts
- Carrots come in orange, white, yellow, red, and purple
- Cultivated carrots are usually about 88% water, 7% sugar, 1% protein, 1% fibre, 1% ash, and 0.2% fat
- The world’s largest carrot producer is China, accounting for over 45% of the global output
- The voice of cartoon character Bugs Bunny reportedly did not like carrots
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- How to Make the Healthiest Smoothies – 4 Recipes
- Sugar Leads to Depression – World’s First Trial Proves Gut and Brain are Linked (Protocol Included)
- The Truth Behind Baby Carrots – Fox News
- The Origin and Evolution of Baby Carrots – Carrot Museum
- Is it true that most of a carrot’s nutrients are in or just below the skin, so it shouldn’t be peeled? – Nutrition letter
- Carrot Facts for Kids – Food Facts