Thursday, March 26, 2009

baby carrots...friend or foe?

if you live in or around white rock, you must have heard of the Bread Box. and for those of you who haven''s a tiny fruits and vegetable store where they pack a ton of no spray produce into small quarters and charge so little for it, you wonder how they're making any money. the place ALWAYS has a huge line up and when you get to the front of the line, the lady behind the counter will be wearing a decorative straw hat with some kind of fake flowers or feathers on it. mary. famous in White Rock for never missing a day behind the till at the Bread Box.

so where are we going with this?

today i went to the Bread Box with my mom at about 12:45pm. didn't matter the time, there were still about 10 people in line. so we stood in line for about 20minutes to buy our cheap veggies. but when we got up to where the story begins:

my mom's first. i'm standing behind her holding 3 bags of baby carrots and a bag of red peppers. mary keeps looking at me so my mom says, "this is my daughter."

mary "we've met before."

bec "yeah, i've been in a few times with her."

mary "what's with the carrots?"

bec "i eat lots of them?"

mary looks back and forth between me and my mom.

mary "i should say it. should i just say it?"

judy "you can say whatever you want."

mary looks back at me. "don't eat those carrots."

bec "what? why?"

mary "they're fake. when my daughter was pregnant, i wouldn't let her eat them."

judy "what do you mean?" judy and bec give each other skeptical looks and are laughing good naturedly.

mary "they're made of powder. look, i'll prove it to you."

(keep in mind the line up behind them) mary cuts open one of the carrot bags and holds it out to bec.

mary "what do you smell?"

bec "uhh...plastic?"

mary "they don't have a smell. because they're fake."

bec "ok, well thanks for letting me know...."

mary "well now i've told you, you can decide what you want to do."

bec "great."

i bought the three bags of baby carrots. i don't think they're made of powder. though i have heard many rumours about baby carrots. what have YOU heard? but really...don't you think they're just small carrots?

(mary also predicted that i'd be having a boy and she told me that a gemini boy..."oh all the girls will be after your gemini boy!")


Elizabeth said...

i heard they are big carrots whittled down through a machine. a big fat waste of carrot. but so good, just like most wasteful things are ;)

theRachel said...

I would tend to agree with Elizabeth's view of how the baby carrots are made...I wonder what they do with all of that extra carrot?

Megan Thiessen said...

I went to a nutrition workshop a few weeks ago & they also slammed those baby carrots. They are not the actual size of carrots so they make them that size & also they spray a lot of unhealthy stuff on them to make them last for so long in the bag. Eventually if they are left too long they turn white & you know that can't be good...

I still have a bag of them I haven't finished since I took that workshop but once they're done I plan on switching to regular carrots. More work but more natural & healthy.

PS. I love Mary, she is hilarious & I love the cheap prices there!

judymacd said...

Here's a fascinating article about the 'history of the baby carrot' -- ( no, its not powder, but in fact the whittling down of the ugly bettys in the pack.. AND, this article also says that they breed these 'ugly betty's' to grow faster so they can make their buckets of money for baby carrots.. unfortunately they have about 70% less beta carotene and have no taste (hence mary's point of no carrot smell). At the bottom of the article, there are a ton of comments -- some for and against.. some saying its the only way they will eat carrots, etc. A fascinating article.. and a great story, Bec.. And I was there to witness the strange encounter :)

Margaret said...

I was going to post a comment saying pretty much exactly what Judy just said, but now that that's been done...

Certainly baby carrots are not the healthiest produce we can put in our bodies, but if a person is simply not going to go to the effort of peeling and chopping normal carrots or otherwise preparing fresh veggies, I say they're worth it. Baby carrots are probably THE most convenient form of 'fresh' produce around, so it just depends on what kind of person you are. Every few weeks I but a head of broccoli with the best of intentions, but sadly about 50% of these heads of broccoli eventually end up in the trash.

All that to say, a bag of baby carrots that gets eaten is ten times better than a bag of regular carrots rotting in your fridge.

Alyssa said...

Well, I also heard they were whittled down from big carrots. I switched to regular carrots a while back, not because of health concerns as much as the fact that baby carrots don't really have any taste. The carrots from the super market aren't much better, but in the summer I LOVE carrots from the farmers market or garden. It is amazing how sweet and flavourful they are... really, it's like a whole different vegetable.

Joy said...

Directly from Wikipedia (of course the most trusted source on the internet:o) ) "In North America, Baby Carrots are adult carrots chopped into smaller pieces and peeled (known as baby-cut carrots). Taking fully grown carrots and cutting them to make them smaller was the idea of California farmer Mike Yurosek."

ashlee said...

i never knew that baby carrots had such a dark side... :)

Anonymous said...

eat the baby carrots.
who cares.
at least it's better than mcdonalds.
hannah b