Kids like foods that are easy to pick up, fun to munch on, appealing to look at, and stimulating to the taste buds. That’s probably why baby carrots are a popular choice of produce in the United States. They’re easy to prepare and are the perfect food to snack on in a pinch, both at home and on the go.
While baby carrots are frequently bought and consumed, most people are unaware of how they came to be. They are often thought to be a type of carrot that has been genetically modified to achieve its cute and fun size. Not many people know the truth behind baby carrots and where they come from.
Back in 1986, a farmer came to realize that he was wasting a ton of carrots on a regular basis. Carrots (and, indeed, most fruits and veggies) have to meet certain criteria – such as a particular length – in order to qualify for shelf space at grocery stores. The ones that fail to meet those requirements are simply discarded.
The farmer realized this was a terrible waste of perfectly good produce. So, he began to set aside all the rejected carrots, and peeled and shaved them down to a smaller size – and that’s how baby carrots came to be.
Nowadays, baby carrots are peeled and shaved by automated machines. Because the equipment comes into contact with every surface of the carrots, the final product contains a ton of germs and bacteria. As a result, they must be bathed in chlorine before they reach consumers.
If you love the taste of baby carrots, the good news is that you can still enjoy the same great taste with regular carrots. Not only are they delicious and refreshing, they’re also full of vitamins and nutrients that are great for your health. In fact, just half a cup of chopped carrots can provide the following nutrients:
- 210% daily requirement of vitamin A
- 10% vitamin K
- 6% vitamin C
- 2% calcium
Carrots are also chock-full of antioxidants and falcarinol, a naturally occurring pesticide that has been shown to offer protection against certain types of cancer. These wonderful veggies have also been shown to improve cognitive functions and liver protection. Carrot seed oil can also provide a ton of nutritional value. Cooking with the oil can provide you with potassium, vitamin B6, copper, folic acid, thiamine, and magnesium – just to name a few.
While carrots are healthy, be sure to eat them in moderation, as they do contain more sugar than other vegetables. Overall, it is beneficial to include carrots in your diet – just be sure to avoid baby carrots.
Carrots are not the only produce that’s scrutinized when it comes to physical appearance. Tons of perfectly good fruits and vegetables are discarded every day due to superficial imperfections or some sort of physical shortcoming. Check out the video below to see how “ugly” produce is being saved from going straight into the trash: