Bagged baby carrots are convenient and cute. And orange. But in my house, we’ve gone back to the original convenient-cute-and-orange snack: cheese doodles. Just kidding. Carrot sticks. That’s because I recently admitted a long-suppressed truth: bagged baby carrots are gross.
I’m not talking about true baby carrots – that is, immature carrots pulled out of the ground all tender and delicious – I’m talking about manufactured baby-cut carrots, bagged and shipped by the metric ton.
6 Reasons Bagged Baby Carrots Are The Worst
1. The slime. How do people pretend this doesn’t exist? How did I pretend it doesn’t exist? Rationally I know that the slimy film inside baby carrot bags is just moisture (ew, moist). But carrot slime, no thanks.
2. The lack of carrot flavor. Maybe the lack of flavor doesn’t matter since baby carrots are often just a vessel for getting hummus or peanut butter into your mouth. But whole carrots taste awesome. Carrot is a delicious flavor. You might have forgotten this if you’ve recently only eaten bagged baby carrots. To be fair, baby carrots can be crunchy and sweet, but so is an ice cube with a little sugar in it. (Sidenote – invent a carrot flavored popsicle.)
3. The vaguely industrial aftertaste. If baby carrots have a distinct flavor, I would describe it as “factory fresh.” I used to blame the chlorine baby carrots are rinsed with before they’re bagged up. But it turns out that minimal chlorine is used to wash baby carrots – sometimes even less than what’s found in drinking water.
Maybe the aftertaste is just part of the bagged baby carrot experience.
4. The expense. Baby carrots cost more than twice as much per pound as whole carrots.
For example, on Amazon Fresh, organic baby carrots cost $1.99 per pound while organic whole carrots cost .90¢ per pound.
To put that in real world numbers, imagine using baby carrots instead of whole carrots in this amazing carrot cake recipe. That would add $1.20 per cake.
If you made and ate one of these cakes every day for year (highly recommended), that would cost an additional $438. That’s the cost of an Apple Watch plus sales tax.
That’s what baby carrots are potentially costing you. An Apple Watch. If you don’t own an Apple Watch, you can blame the baby carrots disintegrating in your fridge.
5. The waste. Bagged baby carrots were originally invented to reclaim malformed carrots that no one wanted to eat. They were designed to cut down on carrot waste. I think can we all can agree that not wasting carrots is a very noble cause.
But whole carrots last longer in the fridge. Since they’re larger and less processed, they don’t get limp and gross as fast as baby carrots. That means you can put off eating them longer, which is actually what many people do.
Anyway, maybe farmers should simply compost the funky carrots, and then use the compost for kale, before that trend finally runs out of steam. (Get it?).
6. Baby carrots are the margarine of vegetables. Ok, they’re quite not that bad. But, like margarine, they’re an industrial food product, grown and distributed by giant companies, backed by market research, packaging, and advertising. That’s another kind of waste entirely.
They’re just carrots, man. Enjoy them for what they are.
A Traditional Carrot Recipe
This recipe for carrots has been handed down for generations. It’s found in several regional cuisines.
- get a whole carrot
- rinse it off
- cut off the top and the tip of the carrot
- cut the carrot in half
- lay the halves flat-side down on the cutting board
- cut them in half the long way
- then cut them in half in the middle
This dish is called “Carrot Sticks.” It’s delightful.