What about those “Baby” Carrots?

lemon chicken004-002I have a routine on Saturday mornings and that includes walking to the Santa Monica Cloverfield/Pico Farmer’s market.

My first stop is to see Dolores who sells the most amazing carrots.  For $2.00 I buy a large bunch of different size carrots that lasts me for lunches for the week.

I only recently started liking carrots.  I have never cared for cooked carrots, and baby carrots in the store tasted so artificial to me.  Even fresh carrots at the store always tasted like dirt so I just avoided them.  Then one day I smelled the freshness of carrots at the Farmer’s market and decided it was time for a change.

Organic local carrots are the only carrots I consume due to taste and health concerns.

Health concerns?

Baby carrots or small cocktail carrots you purchase in the beautiful bag in the store are really larger carrots put through a machine, which cuts and shapes them.

After this process the carrots develop a white or chalk-like appearance due to dehydration so they are dipped in a chlorine solution.  Small amounts of chlorine may not be dangerous as they are already present in tap water.

However, when chlorine interacts with organic matter like veggies it can form toxins.  If you are consuming vegetables or salad washed in chlorine a few times a week you are exposed to these 2 toxins:  THMs (trihalomethanes) and HAAs (haloacetic acids), which are thought to be 10,000 toxic than chlorine besides being associated with cancer, heart disease and a host of other health issues.

Bottom line?

Buy organic or local whole unprocessed carrots and wash, peel and cut them yourself.  Besides saving yourself from possible toxins, you’ll get a crunchier tastier bite in addition to lots of beta-carotene, fiber and nutrients.

Quick Recipe Tip:  puree a few carrots with an apple and use for a topping mix for salads or Greek yogurt.