What are Baby Carrots? What are Baby Carrots?
Baby carrots are small carrots or carrot pieces, which are conveniently packaged as convenient, nutritious snacks. The term ‘baby carrots’ may refer to young carrots that are harvested before they are fully grown, or to fully grown carrots that are cut into smaller pieces.
True Baby Carrots
Actual baby carrots are immature carrots that only grow to a size of less than 2 inches. These carrots are grown by either planting them close enough to each other to restrict the growth of the roots, or they are harvested before they are fully mature. True baby carrots are more tender and sweeter than fully grown carrots.
Manufactured Baby Carrots
Manufactured baby carrots are fully grown carrots that are cut to miniature size. These carrots are also known as baby-cut carrots. This technique of manufacturing baby carrots was discovered by a California farmer who wanted to cut down wastage of carrots at his packing plant. Before he began using the process of cutting carrots, any disfigured, bent, or broken carrots were deemed unfit to sell and were discarded or fed to pigs and cattle. Almost 70 percent of the carrots produced had been wasted this way. Not all of the wastage could be fed to the animals because they would have been affected by carotenosis, which in turn, would have affected the sale of their meat.
Grown carrots are harvested and picked by industrial harvesters. The tops of the carrots are cut off, and then they are given a cold treatment to preserve them longer. The carrots are then sorted into thin carrots and thick carrots. The thick carrots are further segregated into the flawless carrots that can be sold, and the flawed ones that will be used for cattle feed. Carrots that are bent or broken are used for making carrot juice. The thin carrots are sent to automatic cutters that cut the carrots to the desired shape and roundness.
Usefulness of Baby Carrots
The introduction of baby carrots has affected us in a healthy way. This easy, tasty snack has blossomed in popularity because of the convenience it offers. You no longer have to peel, wash, and cut carrots before they can be eaten raw. All you need to do is give the baby carrots a quick rinse before you eat them. Baby carrots have found their way to several commercial establishments, and are most usually eaten raw with a dressing or dip.
Baby carrots share the same nutritional value as their full size counterparts. High in beta carotene, antioxidants, and dietary fiber, these miniature vegetables can fight several diseases, including cancer and heart disease. However, baby carrots are usually more expensive than fully grown carrots. The arrival of miniature carrots has also spurred the introduction of several other cut versions of fruits and vegetables.
The creation of baby carrots has proven very useful in eliminating the unnecessary wastage of carrots. All the carrots used for making baby cut versions are perfectly healthy carrots that may only have had minor flaws or imperfections.