Monday, May 27, 2013

Attack of the Killer Carrots: or, do you really know what you're eating?

It's a Monday, and I suppose I must write about something (besides Harold Lloyd, I mean. My frequent repetition of subject matter presupposes that people aren't reading this blog every day, or even every six months.)

You know those cute little baby carrots you buy, the ones that are supposed to be extra-sweet and can be thrown into salads and stews without being peeled or cut up?

Why don't they have any peel on them? Did you ever wonder about that?

It's because they aren't baby carrots.

I think I first read about this in one of Cordelia Strube's rueful dystopic novels, and didn't believe it - surely it was an urban myth that baby carrots were engineered and not really what they seemed.

The other day the subject popped into my head again. In these days of Google, you don't really have to "dig" any more (to use a carrotine image) to get information. I quickly found this (and a lot of other stuff I won't include cuz it's boring):

"Baby-cut" carrots

Taking fully grown carrots and cutting them to make them smaller was the idea of California farmer Mike Yurosek. Yurosek was unhappy at having to discard carrots because of slight rotting or imperfections, and looked for a way to reclaim what would otherwise be a waste product. He was able to acquire an industrial green bean cutter, which cut his carrots into two lengths, and by placing these lengths into a potato peeler, he created the original "baby-cut" carrot, branded "Bunny-Luv".

In other words, what happened is that some farmer had some rotten old carrots lying around, and instead of throwing them onto the compost heap he decided to make use of them for profit. Recycle them, if you will. So he broke them into pieces and ground them down into baby-carrot-sized objects. Not all the same size, of course (though why that would be seen as weird in this age of agricultural cloning is beyond me). Every so
often there would be a really dinky one to make everyone think they were real.

People bought them because they didn't know any different. They more-or-less looked the same as the ones they used to buy. The "baby" carrots always seemed suspiciously wet in the little bag, and once they had dried out they were sort of white-ish, but no one worried too much about that.

Then came the big expose: baby carrots are a sham! They're made from rotten carrots and have been soaked in chlorine bleach (causing the white crust) to disinfect them from the horseshit they have been lying in! Warning, warning: DO NOT eat baby carrots or you and your children will die!

If the X Files was still on TV, this would have made a very good story, with Mulder ducking behind a haystack to watch evil Farmer Yurosek grind his carrots down.

I couldn't find this "certain alarmist email" (which had apparently gone out to everyone and his hound dog) anywhere. Curiously, it doesn't seem to exist any more, though there are umpteen references to the not-true, very-bad, silly-and-inaccurate email written by some scraggly old granola type who won't get her kids vaccinated.

What I found were seemingly hundreds of web pages with strenuous denials from every corner that there is ANYTHING wrong with ground-down, reconstituted, faux baby carrots.

Oh, yes, they DO use chlorine in processing them, but it's only the tiniest drop, and besides, isn't there chlorine in a lot of products, like industrial cleaners? It's the same as the stuff in the water that those old cranks objected to, isn't it? (Oops, that was flouride.) Yes, there IS a nice white patina on the outside of the carrots, a sort of "bloom", a suntan from having their tender little skins removed so the consumer can eat them right away and not have to peel them. (Not that they ever HAD any peel on them.) All you have to do to remove the bloom (as if anyone would want to!) is soak them in cold water (changing the water every 2 or 3 hours) for oh, say, six days.

This is a synopsis, of course, because it's Monday and I don't feel like quoting actual articles, but it's true, ANY mention of the controversy over "baby" carrots provokes the kind of strenuous, foaming, table-thumping denial that tells this reporter there's a coverup going on. As usual, Big Farmer has turned the tables on us: WE are to blame because we never really looked at the soggy wet little bags we were buying. It clearly says on the bag, not "baby carrots", but "baby-CUT carrots".

Got a pencil sharpener, anyone?

POST-POST REFLECTIONS. Since researching this piece (my research mainly consisting of making gifs of rabbits mating), I found this gem. It's one of the rare pieces that hasn't been "corrected" by the carrot industry, which must be run by William Randolph Hearst or something. I really think Ange makes some good points. It seems EVERYTHING we eat nowadays has been adulterated in some way. Is this why 8/10 kids have asthma and allergies, and girls are reaching puberty at age 9? Are carrots really being injected with growth hormones? Read on!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Why Baby Carrots Are Killing You

by Angela Garrison

What could I possibly have against these cute little “healthy” snacks that can be found in school lunchboxes across America? It’s back to school time and baby carrots are one snack to keep out of your childs lunch.

It may shock you that baby carrots do not come out of the ground that way. There is no little baby carrot garden where these are harvested. Manufactured baby carrots are a result of taking all the broken and “ugly” big carrots they can’t put in the package, grinding them all up, processing them into the “baby” carrots and giving them a bath in chlorine to give them a bright happy orange color. There are also “Cut + Peel” baby carrots that are widdled into a miniature form. (Blogger's note. The correct term is "whittled", but "widdled" may somehow have more emotional reality. After all, those fake baby carrots really are "widdle".)

If you look on the package it doesn’t say “Chlorine”, because it was added as part of manufacturing and not added as an ingredient…why is that? Packaged foods contains lots of chemicals both in the ingredients and in the manufacturing process. The tricky part is chemicals added as part of the manufacturing process are not considered to be an ingredient therefore does not have to be listed on the food label. So there is no way to tell what else is hiding in that box or package.

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.

Conclusion: Stick to organically grown whole carrots. They are really easy to find as you can buy them at your local farmers market or grocery store. Wash them and cut them into sticks for your childs lunch box. Carrots are an excellent snack that we enjoy all the time. Enjoy!
Source: thealternativedaily 

Yo! Ange! I think that makes good sense. But how many baby-cut carrots would you have to eat, exactly, to experience "cancer, potential reproductive damage, birth defects, dizziness, fatigue, headache, liver and kidney damage"? If yuz don't like 'em, yuz don't has to eat them.  Like the hippies did in the good old days, why not grow your own?