Feature Articles: Food, Fitness and Scams
Dispelling food-related myths: baby carrots
Janet Hackert, Regional Nutrition and Health Education Specialist, University of Missouri Extension
In this age of fast communication, e-mail and other technologies can get important information to many people in a short amount of time. One problem with technology, however, is that when the message shared isn’t true, misinformation gets around just as quickly.
One example of this problem is a recent food-related myth about baby carrots. The rumor was that baby carrots are cut from larger, gnarly carrots, then shaped into little carrots and dipped in a mixture of chlorine and water. The myth mentions that this is the same chlorine used in swimming pools and goes on to say that the carrot soaks up an extra amount of chlorine because the protective peeling has been removed. As the carrots sit in the refrigerator, the chlorine surfaces and shows up as a white coating on the carrots.
This myth may have started because some of the information has some truth to it or was once true. For example, cocktail carrots were once made from larger, more poorly shaped carrots. Now, however, baby carrots are typically bred to be smaller, sweeter carrots. They are dipped in a chlorine water mixture to destroy or reduce microbial contamination. They are then rinsed with clean water to remove residues. The white that shows up on the surface of baby carrots can also show up on the surface of large, peeled carrots and other vegetables that get dehydrated. To remedy this, simply place veggies in cold water in the fridge — this allows them to rehydrate and regain their color and crisp texture.
Being an alert consumer can help you decipher fact from fiction. Research information and check facts or contact MU Extension for help. For more information about rehydrating vegetables, or any other subject, contact Janet Hackert at 660-425-6434 or your local University of Missouri Extension office.
Last update: Wednesday, July 01, 2009