Are Baby Carrots Really Soaked in Chlorine?
Recently I read an article that those baby carrots you buy in the store are soaked in chlorine. I wondered if it was true, are baby carrots really soaked in chlorine? Should we be eating them?
The first source I checked was Snopes.com and this is what they had to say, “Baby carrots are just small carrots or carrot chunks, not ‘deformed full-sized carrots that have been soaked in chlorine.”
I decided to investigate further. According to the food network, a carrot farmer, Mike Yurosek in the early 1980s, invented baby carrots. Yurosek found that many of his carrots were not saleable because they were “ugly” — they weren’t the size or shape that could be sold at the grocery store. Instead of tossing these “ugly” carrots, he used an industrial bean cutter to shape them into what are now called “baby carrots.”
Ok I understand how the baby carrots are made but what about the rumor going around that they are soaked in chlorine? Are baby carrots really soaked in chlorine?
According to one source, after being harvested, carrots receive a gentle wash in a small amount of chlorine (the amount is less than is present in everyday tap drinking water), a common practice used with fresh-cut produce. Before being dried and bagged, however, the carrots are thoroughly rinsed to remove any excess chlorine.
When purchasing baby carrots, check the “use by” date on the package. The wetness in the bag is normal. It’s actually filtered tap water that helps keep the vegetable hydrated. For the best quality, store unopened bags of baby carrots in the refrigerator and eat them within 30 days after the packaging date.
Bob Borda, a spokesman for Grimmway Farms, the world’s largest carrot grower (they handle 10 million pounds every day), says that over the years the company has developed a hybrid that combines the best qualities from over 250 known commercial varieties.
In order to create thinner vegetables, baby carrots are planted closer together than traditional carrots. In as little as 120 days from planting, the carrots are dug up and trucked to the processing house to be cut and peeled. But before packaging, all carrots receive a brisk scrub accompanied by a chlorine bath.
Borda says Grimmway Farms, whose labels include Cal-Organic, uses a chlorine solution on all its carrots – organic and non-organic — to prevent food poisoning, before a final wash in water. Grimmway says the chlorine rinse is well within limits set by the EPA and is comparable to levels found in tap water.
So I guess it’s true, baby carrots, as well as some other fresh produce, are washed in a chlorine bath but they are also rinsed before ending up in the store. Bottom line if you are concerned about chlorine rinses just buy whole, unprocessed carrots and wash, peel and cut them up at home the old fashioned way!
Myself, as fun as those little baby carrots are to eat I think the best carrots are the ones we grow ourselves! I know exactly what’s in my soil and what’s in the carrots!