baby cut carrots

paulns(NS zone 6a)May 2, 2009

When we run out of our own carrots and have to make a run to the city, we usually buy a bag of baby carrots at the supermarket for the return trip home, because they're good healthy road food, and no peeling needed. Nowadays the supermarket offers organic ones from California so we buy those. The conventional ones come from the southern USA as well. But nowadays they're all 'baby cut' - big carrots carved into small ones, presumably. As I chew those woody, sweet, unpleasant little stumps, I always wonder:

Whatever happened to genuine baby carrots?

Has anybody here visited a baby cut carrot factory? If so, what happens to the stuff they cut off the carrots to make them 'baby'? It must amount to a lot of waste. Is it composted? Fed to pigs?

What carrot variety has a woody core? I've never grown such carrots in my garden.

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anney(Georgia 8)


I know what you mean about those"baby carrots". I get them for my grandson, who loves them if he has a little buttermilk dressing to dip them in. They are certainly mostly carrot core, hardly small whole carrots, and probably of little nutritional value. I think the preparers must shred the outside of the large carrots for inclusion in mixed salad packages, cole slaw, or carrot salad tubs. You can also buy shredded carrots at markets.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2009 at 2:21PM
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chickadee__3a(z 3a Ontario)

Those baby carrots are actually a type of sweet tasting carrot with a small core. The mature carrots are cut into pieces and I think they are tumbled to give them the rounded look. Real baby carrots are too immature to have much flavour. I seem to remember reading somewhere that the idea came about when carrots were being processed and some got broken so they came up with this idea to make use of the pieces.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2009 at 8:48PM
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david52 Zone 6

Well, it seems that the baby carrot phenom' was born when a bright young carrot processor, worried about the lack of market for crooked carrots, glommed onto the brilliant idea of combining an industrial green bean cutter and automatic potato peeler, and the rest is history.

I still have no idea what they do with the residue. They were also the object of a nasty innernet rumor from the crooked carrot league.

Here is a link that might be useful: baby carrots and chlorine or something article

    Bookmark   May 6, 2009 at 9:29AM
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chickadee__3a(z 3a Ontario)

This nasty rumour reached the folks who run the school breakfast programme where I volunteer. As a result we now peel and cut regular carrots. When they mentioned it I reminded them that they drink chlorinated water without any problem. I would expect that the solution used to wash the carrots is much safer than the other bad things they might get such as e-coli if they didn't didn't wash them. As with any purchased produce wash it before you eat it.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2009 at 11:03AM
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paulns(NS zone 6a)

I've just returned from a week-long trip to California to research these little abominations *. I'm somewhat disappointed at the response to this thread; it was meant to be my personal blog devoted to complaining about baby cut carrots. But since I never got around to the blog, being in California and all**, thanks for your ideas.

It sounds like the carrot industry, at least in North America, steamrolls over the distinction between baby and baby cut carrots as if it were trivial, which it isn't. Not long ago I read Eliot Coleman rapsodizing about his genuine baby carrots. I used to get genuine baby carrots from the store. And I bet Europeans wouldn't put up with the baby cut ones we get here.

Which is harder on the environment, sending crooked/broken/outsized carrots to municipal composting facilities or to local pig farms for feed, or running them through a carving/polishing contraption, packaging them and shipping them to Nova Scotia?

Next time we plan a trip to town we'll bring conventional carrots from Nova Scotia or even the US, cut into pieces, instead.

Good topic for a slow day on the OG forum, anyway.

*Not really
**I wasn't

    Bookmark   May 9, 2009 at 4:45PM
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