Baby carrots are one of my favorite snacks. Combined with a bit of low fat ranch dressing, they are the perfect mid day treat.
But they have a secret.
Their name is a big fat lie.
How Did Baby Carrots Come To Be?
It is one of those things that you have probably never thought about. What exactly is a baby carrot? Are they plucked from the ground a bit early, keeping them the perfect size for snacking. Are they the carrot version of veal?
Nope, in fact the name really should be “Ugly Carrots”.
Baby carrots were invented by a farmer by the name of Mike Yurosek in the 1980’s. He had a problem on his hands. Some of his carrots were just too ugly to be sold. These misshaped, veggies were simply going to waste.
His solution was to run his Ugly Carrots through an industrial bean cutter. This produced a better looking “baby sized” carrot that could then be sold to the public.
Are They Still Made This Way Today?
Sort of, with a twist.
Today, many farms have developed carrots that grow thinner without the tough core of a full sized carrot. These carrots are grown closer together and for a shorter time period in order to promote development into a thinner veggie.
Once harvested, these carrots are then cleaned and given the “baby cut” in order to resemble the ready to eat treat that you find in the store.
So, baby carrots are still really pieces of larger carrots.
Should You Stop Eating Baby Carrots?
No way, baby carrots are still packed with nutrition and delicious.
The invention of baby carrots was actually a very good thing for both people and the industry. People get an easy to eat carrot and the industry saw a 30 percent increase in carrot sales.
Now, there has been concern raised about the use of chlorine in the production of baby carrots but this is really a non issue. Baby carrots go through the same production process as any ready to eat produce. Yes, chlorine is used but it is less concentrated than what you will find in the average glass of tap water. It is needed to keep your veggies safe from E. Coli and other hazards.