Are Baby Carrots Bad For You? [VIDEO]

Baby carrots

Baby carrots might be a snack-sized way to add veggies to your diet. But are they good for you? (Photo by m01229, Flickr)

Upon perusing the produce section at the supermarket, ‘baby carrots’ may seem ready made for mindless, healthy eating. After all, they’re already cut, peeled and ready for munching. But are they bad for you? The answer may surprise you.

First of all, these bite-sized carrots aren’t babies at all. Instead, they’re full-sized carrots that have been cut, peeled, and whittled down so they look like an easy addition to your lunch box or the vegetable tray at your next party.

Unlike other dietary products that are fresher and taste better than their full-grown counterparts, however, baby carrots aren’t babies at all. Instead, they’re the veggie equivalent of serving up mutton disguised as lamb. As Epicurious reports, “they’re often made from older carrots, hence the starchy, not-very-sweet flavor you get from some bags.”

Check out the video below to see exactly how baby carrots are made.

Second, baby carrots don’t have the same nutritional value that traditional full-size carrots do. This is because many of the health benefits in carrots are contained in the skin and just below it, according to the Carrot Museum. Those nutrients are lost during the baby carrot making process.

Third, have you ever noticed that baby carrots tend to get slimy before you even eat them? Deb Van D, a contributor on Chowhound, has. She writes, “I have been stuck with these slippery little suckers over three different brands. New bags, small bags, hasn’t mattered,” she says.

This slime, although benign, is the onset of rot, according to an article in the Sun Sentinel. Baby carrots are prone to rot faster because their protective peels, which regulate moisture within the vegetable, have been shorn off, the article reports.

Finally, farmers have made some modifications to the carrots they plant in order to produce smaller, sweeter vegetables. While this sounds good in theory, scientists like Dr. Aruna Weerasooriya, a researcher and professor of agricultural sciences at Prairie View A&M University, have something else to say about the manipulation of certain vegetables.

“When you look at wild carrots, they have high levels of Thymol, a photochemical that is essential for the body to control bacteria and ward off viral infections,” Weerasooriya told Fox News. “Now, when you look at some of these new carrot breeds, this type of phytochemical just isn’t there.”

So even though baby carrots are convenient, you may want to reconsider before purchasing them again. If your goal for the new year is to eat better and live a healthier life, ditch the baby carrots and buy the old-fashioned, full length variety. They may not be pretty, but as the old adage says, simple is best.

 

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About Jathan Fink
Jathan is a journalist, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. He is also a travel junkie, foodie and jazz aficionado. A California native, he resides in Texas.

2 Responses to Are Baby Carrots Bad For You? [VIDEO]

  1. Sam says:

    Good to know Jathan, thanks for today’s health lesson!

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