The conveniently bagged baby carrots that we can buy in the grocery store, and that we think are good “snacks” for us and our kids, may be anything but. As I was investigating how baby carrots are grown and marketed, I was surprised to learn what the baby carrots we typically buy in the grocery store really are.
Most of the carrots sold in the store as babies are really full-size carrots that were rejected because they were crooked, deformed, or too small. These unacceptable full-size carrots are cut down to look baby-size, and then peeled. Since much of a carrots nutritional value lies in the skin, these pseudo-baby carrots are not as nutritional as whole carrots (either full size or true babies).
And because they have been peeled, they must be soaked in a chlorine solution to kill bacteria and preserve them. This chlorine solution soaking is performed even for “organic” pseudo-baby carrots. So I’ve delusionally been thinking that I’m buying highly nutritional “baby” carrots when I’ve actually been buying nutrition-deficient carrots processed in chemicals.
In the future, any “baby” carrots we buy will have been harvested as true baby carrots (and will have the skin on) and will not be something cut down to look like them. This year I’ve also planted a really long row of carrots, so we should have really baby carrots right from the garden. Since we don’t use any chemicals in the garden, I know the homegrown carrots will be good for us, and will taste fantastic. But what I still don’t know about the food we eat continues to amaze me.