Small Changes: Carrots
Recently, this Barre Bee heard that baby carrots, one of the cuter vegetables at the supermarket, are soaked in chlorine to preserve them and keep them looking pretty. This gossip led to some investigation, because:
1) It forced me to seriously think about what I am putting in my body.
2) It reminded me that food can be just as good as people at lying.
& 3) It was a reminder that some people/things will go to extreme lengths for fashion.
Channeling my inner Sherlock Holmes yielded the following results:
- Yes, the baby carrots you purchase at the grocery store were washed in chlorinated water.
This practice, however, is not as scary as it sounds. You might have noticed that I said “chlorinated water.” Thus, the carrots, baby and otherwise, that you see at the grocery store have not been dunked in the cleaning supplies beneath someone’s sink. There is also a reason that the carrots are washed in this diluted chlorine – to kill bacteria that, if present, might make us very ill. The practice of disinfecting foods with a very diluted chlorine solution is approved by the FDA, and occurs with many of the ready-to-eat veggies available for purchase in the supermarket. The small amounts of chlorine are safe to ingest (unlike the bleach you use to clean your bathroom – don’t consume that, or attempt to use it to dye your hair).
So, you are not slowly killing yourself every time you consume the easy snack of baby carrots. Plus, many of the small bags of carrots sold in the supermarket are pieces of larger carrots that are fine to eat but don’t look very nice. More people are eating carrots, less waste is being produced, and farmers derive more profit – win, win, win, right?
Well – not exactly. Consuming baby carrots is better than not eating carrots, at all. So if it comes down to baby carrots or nothing, then by all means, eat baby carrots – and don’t feel guilty about it.
On the other hand, if you have a little extra time, it does not require very much extra effort to eat full-size carrots. You can cut them yourself, and wash them instead of peeling them, which has the benefit of giving you extra nutrition. Like many other fruits and vegetables, the skin of a carrot contains many nutrients, so if you can eat it, you should try to. It is a small change to make, but slowly making small changes to your lifestyle will result in having a great impact.
Due to this philosophy, we will be periodically featuring small change suggestions on this blog, for education and inspiration. We would also love to hear about the small changes you are making in your life – feel free to tell us about them in the comments below!