Mini carrots seem like an ideal snack food that can help you to trim your waistline. What could be more wholesome and low in calories than a tiny carrot? It seems like a no-brainer to replace ice cream and potato chips with bite-sized veggies that have long been promoted as healthy.
In today’s world of genetically-modified products, however, it pays off to take a second glance at any type produce that wasn’t growing out of the ground when your parents were children. GMO foods, unfortunately, are found in abundance in today’s food market, and, in many cases, baby carrots are not an exception to this rule.
Here’s the real scoop…
Regular carrots develop increased sugar content as they grow. As a result, a carrot that is picked early will not be as sweet as a fully grown carrot. To give mini carrots the sweet flavor that appeals to individuals looking for a healthy snack alternative, many of the packaged baby carrots that you find in your supermarket have been genetically modified to produce higher sugar content.
In other words, GMO and mini carrots go hand in hand.
Another interesting fact is that many brands of mini carrots are not actually young carrots. Most supermarkets require carrots to be of a particular shape, color, and size. Anyone who has a backyard garden knows that carrots grow in all sorts of shapes and sizes (and color; we actualy grew purple carrots this year in our garden), with only a few growing into that ideal carrot shape. The same happens on a carrot farm.
So, what happens with all of those misshapen carrots? Many otherwise perfectly tasty and nutritious carrots had to be chucked. To solve this costly and wasteful dilemma, California farmer Mike Yurosek decided that he would find a new use for less-than-perfect carrots. In the late 1980’s, he used a bit of innovation to cut and shape these carrots into what has become the mini carrot or baby carrot.
Consumers expect carrots in a bag, whether they are mini or not, to be uniform in color and taste. If you take any given carrot and cut it down into a few small carrots, you will notice that each mini carrot has a slightly different level of sweetness and color.
Over the years, researchers have bred carrots to be uniformly sweet and to be uniform in color and sweetness.
The result is GMO carrots. These genetically modified carrots help in creating uniformly colored and flavored small carrots when they are cut and trimmed down to size.
Now You Know!