Baby carrots are big fat lie. Baby carrots are not baby carrots at all. They are one way to market a prettier and cuter vegetable to the public. They are also less nutritious and more expensive than regular carrots. With a knife, a vegetable peeler and a little time you too can make your own nutritious “baby carrot” snack, without the extra cost and the extra food waste.
Baby Carrots or Baby-Cut Carrots
There are real baby carrots which are a gourmet and pricey produce item. The pre-packaged baby cut carrots you find in the produce section are the not the same as these real baby carrots.
Baby Carrots are not a baby variety of carrots. They are just make to look that way. Call it a food illusion, or genius food marketing. Full-sized carrots are cut and peeled by machines and then packaged.
Unattractive Produce in the Supermarket
One reason that the baby carrot was developed into a marketing concept is because regular carrots, which are often irregularly-shaped and funny-looking were not selling.
Personally, I like a natural-looking and natural-tasting vegetable. I would rather have a vegetable with full nutrients, that looked like it was just plucked from the ground, than a perfect and pristine and less healthy vegetable.
Vegetables that look like they could be found at the local road-side fruit and vegetable stand are more natural. A pretty vegetable does not make it a tastier or a healthier vegetable.
Consider what happened to the tomato. How many people remember the taste of a real, garden-grown tomato? Now we have over-bred tomatoes in the supermarket with bright colors and little bruising that last longer, but they are lacking in flavor.
The same way that tomatoes have been bred for the supermarket, preparation techniques have changed the way we buy carrots.
Better for Farmers, More Costly for Consumers
The upside is that carrot farmers are enjoying more profits. One on hand, it is hard to argue against profits for farmers, but as an everyday consumer I won’t spend twice as much money on a food product simply because it is more convenient.
Convenience at a Health Cost
I realize that for some busy people, the pre-cut baby carrots are better because they simply don’t have time to make their own. But in addition to spending more money, what are you really costing yourself and your family?
Pre-Cut Foods and Food-Borne Illnesses
You may remember that one of the pre-washed and pre-cut foods which experienced a food recall was baby carrots. The same type of recall happened with pre-washed spinach.
The problem with the convenience of a pre-washed and pre-cut food like baby carrots is that it makes it too easy to forget basic food safety rules. Even pre-washed and pre-cut carrots should be washed before they are consumed.
The convenience of the baby carrots can make us neglectful when it comes to basic food safety.
30% Less Beta Carotene
The “baby carrots” everyone loves have up to 30 percent less beta carotene than regular carrots. Why pay more money for less nutrition? Don’t let the junk food mentality reach into the garden, too.
Another reason to re-consider processed baby-cut carrots is because chlorine is used in the preparation method. While the chlorine is washed away during the process, there is no guarantee that trace amounts of chlorine do not remain.
Chlorine is used in different food preparation processes. If you want to avoid the chlorine, make your own baby-cut carrots.
How to Make Your Own Cute Carrots for a Convenient Snack
Save money, get more beta-carotene, skip the chlorine, and help lessen the carrot’s footprint on the environment by cutting up your own baby carrots.
Considering that a bag of regular carrots costs about a dollar, you can save money by buying your own full-sized carrots. All you need to make your own ‘baby carrots’ is a peeler and a knife and some storage containers.
Cut the tips off both ends of a carrot.
Use a vegetable peeler to peel the carrot.
TIp: To retain the most beta-carotene, use a light hand during the peeling process.
Next, cut the carrot into thirds.
Take one third of the carrot and cut it in half the long way. Then cut that piece into long halves or thirds, depending on the size. Continue until you cut up the carrot. Cut up as many carrots ahead of time as you need.
Store the carrots in sealed containers of water in the refrigerator. Pack the carrots in smaller container or a small plastic bag for lunchtime or snack time.
Originally published on Yahoo