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Carrots or Baby Carats?


Think about the fascinations of our fruits and vegetables. I marvel over the intricacies of an apple's "star" core when cut horizontally, or the politely compartmentalized sections of a grapefruit. Why do avocado pits yield a red, milky substance and bananas turn brown (and not blue) when greeted by oxygen? These whims of Mother Nature fascinate me. Today's man-made, mass-marketed Baby Cut Carrots do not.

Manicured 2 inches long, rounded tips, water-bathed, and blemish-free, the Baby Carrots we think of are a plant-altered novelty. A cleaver way to satisfy California farmers in the 1980's who were "unhappy at having to discard carrots because of slight rotting or imperfections, and looking for a way to reclaim what would otherwise be wasted product." - Wikipedia

Packaged Baby Cut Carrots, as vain as they are in my opinion, do offer convenience that cannot be dismissed - especially when the marketing goal is to increase consumption of vegetables in our diets. At the end of 2010, nearly 50 carrot growers united to roll out an "Eat More Baby Carrots" campaign rivaling junk food.

A commendable effort, but $25 million to encourage people to eat more carrots? I wonder what Mother Nature could do with all those carats?

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