Why Baby Carrots Are Killing You

Why Baby Carrots Are Killing You

There has been great discussion and confusion over baby carrots lately. It seems some feel that these little veggies, perfect for small hands and a quick snack, may not be quite as healthy as once thought.  As with anything else regarding health, it is always best to do all of your own research before setting into full-force panic mode.

Why Baby Carrots Are Killing You

In addition, we always recommend organic fruits and vegetables whenever possible.

Here are a few things to consider when choosing baby carrots:

  • The leading manufacturer of organic baby carrots (Grimmway) use a smaller type of carrot for their baby carrots. The carrot has a slender core, and  grows to about 8-10 inches in length.
  • The carrots do undergo processing where they are peeled, cut, washed and packaged. The edges become round because they go through a tumbling process where carrots rub together.
  • Carrots are washed with a water/chlorine solution that is comparable to tap water.
  • Representatives from Grimmway state that the chlorine is necessary to help prevent the spread of food borne pathogens. An interesting point to keep in mind is that the chlorine allowed in swimming pools is actually less than what is allowed in public drinking water.
  • The white color that comes to the surface of the carrots is actually due to dehydration not chlorine – a quick soak in a bowl of ice water will help revive the carrot.

Chlorine Ingestion

As defined by the EPA, Chlorine is a pesticide. Its purpose is to kill living organisms. So it would make sense that when you ingest chlorine, it kills some parts of our body like the healthy bacteria in your gut and intestinal flora for instance. Chlorine is a highly toxic, yellow-green gas most heavily used in chemical agents like household cleaners and can be found in the air near industrial areas especially around paper processing plants.

Exposure to Chlorine has been linked to health problems such as sore throat, coughing, eye and skin irritation, rapid breathing, narrowing of the bronchi, wheezing, blue coloring of the skin, accumulation of fluid in the lungs, pain in the lung region, severe eye and skin burns, lung collapse, a type of asthma known as Reactive Airways Dysfunction Syndrome (RADS).

Chlorine is also added to the public water supply. So not only are you drinking it, but you are absorbing it through the largest organ in your body, your skin. In fact, 2/3 of human absorption of chlorine is from inhaling the steam in the form of chloroform and fast absorption through your open pores in the warm shower or bath.

The inhalation of chloroform is a suspected cause of asthma and bronchitis, especially in children… which has increased 300% in the last two decades. Other health risks associated with chloroform is cancer, potential reproductive damage, birth defects, dizziness, fatigue, headache, liver and kidney damage. Chloroform is also found in the air and in food, like baby carrots.

Caveat Emptor

As with any product you are concerned about – it is best to gather all the information you can before making a decision. Call the company that you purchase your baby carrots from and ask about their growing and manufacturing process. Most are willing to provide honest answers to your questions. If you are going to choose baby carrots, stick to the organic ones.

Remember, eating produce, of any kind, is far better than eating a bag of chips.

– The Alternative Daily

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  • Deanne

    Buy organic… Those carrots are the real deal…

  • wendyrogers

    Carrots are so easy to grow….. be safe

  • jwillowb

    is this also true of Organic Baby Carrots? anyone know?

  • This is not correct, u can go to Snopes, or produceapedia, or even YouTube. By stating they are ground up and pressed u have lost your credibility. I prefer while carrots, but if its a choice between someone feeding their kid a baby carrot or a French fry, come on.

  • Angela Garrison

    Great discussion here!
    Let me expand on a few things:

    There are “Manufactured” baby carrots that are pressed.

    There are “Cut & Peel” baby carrots that are widdled
    into a miniature form.

    Regardless of the type of bag you are purchasing (unless
    organic) they ALL take a bath in CHLORINE, which is highly toxic.

    Organic baby carrots do not use Chlorine, they instead
    use Citrox (The ProGarda™) which is considered safe.

    And I am in no way saying that French fries are healthier
    than carrots, obviously!

  • Angela Garrison

    Organic baby carrots use Citrox a citrus based natural cleanser. Keep in mind that most of the nutrients are in the skin and the top surface of the carrot so eat whole organic carrots whenever possible 🙂

  • Matt, thanks for the comment, we always appreciate a fresh and different perspective. Mike Yurosek was the original creator of the baby carrot. He took deformed, rotten and mature carrots then would grind, widdle and shape them down using a potato peeler and a green bean slicer to look like little carrots. This same process is also used today while bathing them in chlorine to increase their shelf lives. Interestingly enough, Mike Yurosek passed away from a long-taught bout with cancer in 2005.

  • Karinajoy

    I’ve always wondered about these carrots. They often smell bad to me, so I’ve avoided them. What’s the big deal to wash and peel (or not) your own?

  • Deb

    First of all I don’t buy the grind and pressed notion. Also how can you say they are large whittled down to small carrots when the core is so small? I can see the whole issue with the Chlorine but the rest seems a bit far fetched for me.

  • Karine, spot on! A little extra effort goes a LONG way! 🙂

  • Hi Deb, thanks for the comment. From my reply above, here are just a few noteworthy sources on the grinding/widdling/shaping of “baby” carrots – http://www.care2.com/causes/do-you-know-where-baby-carrots-come-from.html and http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/07/28/Chlorine-in-Your-Baby-Carrots.aspx

  • SwimSurf

    The Chlorine is the biggest issue here. Angela, what do we do about pools? I love to swim and don’t want to give it up.

  • Angela Garrison

    Great discussion here!
    Let me expand on a few things:
    There are “Manufactured” baby carrots that are processed.
    There are “Cut & Peel” baby carrots that are widdled
    into a miniature form.
    Regardless of the type of bag you are purchasing (unless
    organic) they ALL take a bath in CHLORINE, which is highly toxic.
    Organic baby carrots do not use Chlorine, they instead
    use Citrox (The ProGarda™) which is considered safe.
    And I am in no way saying that French fries are healthier
    than carrots, obviously!

  • Juicing Jane

    I purchase organic baby carrots at the local Kroger. Do I still need to worry about Chlorine since they are labeled ‘organic’?

  • Angela Garrison

    Hi! No need to worry about chlorine as long as they are labeled organic. Organic baby carrots are still “processed” but use Citrox, a natural based citrus cleanser.

  • Angela Garrison


  • Matt

    Perhaps these are not the ideal carrot to consume but please. Your title is inflammatory to begin with and in this age of junk food driven wide spread obesity to discourage folks from eating any carrots seems counter productive considering all the wildly unhealthy alternatives. Are there any good qualities of these baby carrots? I think you know the answer and you failed to mention any of them in this article. You go on to point out we get most of our chlorine from steam and showering anyhow??? At my home we use untreated well water.

  • Adam KS

    I was getting sick from too much chlorine absorbtion and my doctor told me to rub down with olive oil before swimming. Works like a charm!!!

  • karen miller

    I bet that is the horrible odor I smelled when I used to buy the popular bagged/precut salads. The smell is why I stopped buying them. Convenient but I knew something was up with that chemical smell.

  • Nicci

    Why even buy any of the prepackaged produce? Have we become so lazy that we can’t chop carrots into bit size pieces. It seems all packaged produce has some sort of health issue from bacteria to chlorine.

  • “R”

    This is an Internet hoax that has been circulating around for a few years. Check out, “Baby Carrots”: Bad for You? Dr. Weil

  • Rabbit

    I think the sensational title gives way to some pretty basic information and we should be weary of unnecessary negativity. Even if your baby carrots are organic, it doesn’t mean they are exempt from bleaching because, like the article states, stuff added during the manufacturing process are not considered ingredients and therefore are not labeled. As a concerned citizen I feel as though Angela is just sharing advice, she’s not claiming to have every answer nor should she have every consumer basis covered. Do your own research and further the movement, do not rely on others to tell you right from wrong. And just because your well water is untreated does not mean its free from industrial or agricultural/ livestock contaminants, which I’m sure you’re aware of already. Be thankful such things are being talked about. I know I’ve gained a greater perspective, so thank you Angela.

  • Rabbit, what a great outlook 🙂 All we are trying to do is provide an alternative perspective on what is being “fed” (pun somewhat intended) to us on a daily basis. We want to empower our subscribers to always question what is being put down their throats. Organic, inorganic, processed, unprocessed etc… As a human being, we are entitled to know what is being put in our bodies, and we have the absolute nature-given right to make an educated decision to consume what we deem as healthy/unhealthy. What a great comment, Rabbit! Thanks for your perspective.

  • Mike

    Angela – did you mean the carrots are “whittled” down? You might invest in a dictionary rather than scare tactics. I would respect your opinion a lot more if you actually used real words, properly spelled. As I read the comments, I see you doubled down on your made up word “widdled”. Geez, buy a dictionary.

  • Inflammatory and fear mongering…wont be reading this blog again.

  • WHITTLE. WHITTLE, WHITTLE, WHITTLE. “Widdle” is not a word, unless you’re talking baby talk about how little someone is.
    And what on earth is a “long-taught bout”? I’m all for researching one’s food options and making healthy, sustainable choices, but I cannot take you seriously when you have no actual, verifiable studies in your sources, and you can’t even take the time to spell-check, edit, or fact-check.

    As my Norwegian ancestors would say, uff-da!

  • APD0420

    Dr. Mercola is a very controversial, to put it nicely.

  • APD0420

    Where are your facts? Dr. Joseph Mercola, who has had run-ins with the FDA and been accused of being a quack and a sensationalist for years, is not a credibly source for this information. These sources still don’t seem to cite any real and credibly sources, any real MDs or anything of real credibility.

    It still seems just like sensationalist bs. Even Dr. Andrew Weil, a world renowned doctor who is very knowledgeable when it comes to healthy living, endorses them. http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/QAA400972/Baby-Carrots-Bad-for-You.html.

  • kim waite

    Can chlorine be boiled out of drinking water? thanks

  • Healthy Me

    Widdled is not a word (whittled)…also, if yo have looked at a baby carrot recently there is a root in the middle of it, I am not so sure that companies manufacture ugly carrots and reform them. I have a garden and I often get baby carrots out of the ground, sure they need to be peeled to look that perfect and orange but the color is always as bright as they are in a store. I would say folks should be cautious when reading articles such as these, without spell check and any proof of research, who can validate what any of this author/journalist claims is true. Get informed!

  • cj

    Seriously, where did you come up with the whole “choroform” thing? Just curious what your sources were because some of this info seems a bit skewed