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Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 23, 2014

Baby carrots — a healthy snack option

By PATRICIA STEINER, Nutrition & Health Program Specialist, Iowa State University Extension | Jun 06, 2013

Baby carrots are a favorite snack of many — they’re healthy, full of vitamins and easy to eat and serve to children.

Are you wondering whether the rumor about baby carrots is true or a myth? The rumor circulating on the Internet says that baby carrots, or baby cut carrots, are dangerous to eat. It claims that the white film that sometimes forms on carrots is chlorine coming from the inside of the carrot to the surface. This has alarmed people, and in some cases they have begun to refuse to eat or serve these carrots.

Our state nutrition specialist, Jody Gatewood, says this rumor is a myth. She explained that the white film that forms on the carrots is a natural occurrence of the carrot drying out. The same occurrence can be seen on other vegetables.

“If you leave them out, they will turn white,” said Gatewood. “That is not the chlorine.”

Baby cut carrots are cut from regular sized carrots. Next, they are put into a machine that peels the skin and forms them into their short, rounded shape. The carrots are then washed in a chlorine water mixture to help reduce bacteria and food borne illnesses.

This chlorine mixture is then rinsed with potable water as an acceptable food safety precaution. The chlorine water wash isn’t harmful and is a necessary procedure to protect against bacteria such as E. coli. So, don’t be afraid of this nutritious, healthy snack option!

Preserve the taste of summer…

Brush up on your home food preservation skills before you’re in the midst of canning and freezing season. A couple options for you: Go to www.extension.iastate.edu/store and choose ‘food preservation’ category for up-to-date research-based publications on canning, freezing, pickling and drying.

For more in-depth information and attending a workshop, sign up for Preserve the Taste of Summer and take online courses at: http://www.extension.iastate.edu/families/preserve-taste-summer. Yes, you can, can food!

 

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