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Hidden Story Behind Baby Carrots

"Baby" carrots are not actually young carrots, or even carrots that are grown specifically to be small. In fact, the concept of the baby carrot was born 21 years ago by a California farmer wanting to sell more of his carrots that he was throwing away due to imperfections -- they were too knobby, twisted or broken.

After cutting the less-than-perfect carrots down to a uniformly smaller size, they were fed through an industrial potato peeler to smooth the edges and remove the skin. This marked the birth of the "baby" carrot market.

The success of baby carrots may be a reflection of the desire for food that is uniform in appearance and taste, and for food that is sterile, prewashed, and prepackaged.

Wise Bread May 13, 2007

Dr. Mercola's Comment:

When you're roaming the produce aisles at a grocery store, as a matter of habit you may pick up a small bag of baby carrots from time to time, thinking it's a healthy snack and a fast one at that. You may reconsider spending your hard-earned money on baby carrots, however, after reviewing this interesting story about their secret origins.

The writer of the linked article stopped buying baby carrots upon realizing that those convenient, small and expensive packages of baby carrots she was buying at the grocery store were nearly tasteless compared to the delicious organic kind she purchased previously at a farmer's market.

However, I'd be concerned about consuming any conventionally grown carrots from a grocery store because they were only recently removed from the list of fruits and vegetables most contaminated with pesticides. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 60 percent of herbicides, 90 percent of fungicides and 30 percent of insecticides are known to cause cancer.

You can also check the link I posted last year to find the 12 best and 12 worst fruits and vegetables, pesticide wise.

Numerous studies have discovered that pesticides may contribute to:

To protect your health, your best and safest option is to seek out local sources for the organic foods you eat whenever possible. Foods that are grown according to organic standards are not contaminated with pesticides by definition.

However, even if you eat organic vegetables, remember you can overdo eating carrots. How do you know if you are eating too many? Well, if your skin starts to turn orange I would consider that a major clue.

Also, carrots are still relatively high in quick-releasing carbs so I would limit them if you struggle with high-insulin issues like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes or extra weight.

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