They're small, therefore they are cute

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If you're like me, you always sort of assumed that baby carrots were one of the best fruits of the work started by Gregor Mendel. That is to say they are a special breed of carrots, selectively bred to become compact and delicious and peel-free. Apparently, this is not the case. Why, they're nothing more than big carrots that have been peeled and cut down to size. I'll let this paradigm shift sink in for a few moments.

For the terminally curious, you can learn more about the history of baby carrots, which stretches all the way back to the mid-80s, by reading this article or this one.

Both of these articles mention that carrot consumption has increased in recent years, up by about 50% from the mid-1960s level of carrot eatin'. Now, here's my question: don't Americans just eat more over all now? I mean, has the percentage that carrots make up of the food consumed in one year's time gone up or just sheer volume?

In other, carrot-related tidbits, carrots are related to parsley. Oh, and every time you eat an orange carrot, you're tipping your hat to Dutch nationalism. Carrots, naturally occurring in all sorts of colors (white being the most common) were bred to be oranger and oranger by the House of Orange in 15th/16th Century Netherlands.

Yep, I spend a significant chunk of workday yesterday learning about baby carrots. Related to my duties? No. Informative? Certainly.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Too much free time?

Jabco

Annie said...

I'm actually quite relieved to know that baby carrots prevent waste instead of creating tons of it as I've always thought. Thanks for making my baby carrot eating a little more guilt free.

cameron said...

I believe you win the award for blogpost with the highest concentration of beta carotene. Just saying.

Kasie said...

Wow. That takes the cake for the most random blog post I have ever read. That job of yours must be very intellectually taxing; or just that dull.

Lizardbreath McGee said...

Don't you love librarianship? It gives you an excuse to be informed about all sorts of wonderful odditites.

[ɞɪ wʌndɚɻ] said...

Wikipaedia? I love it!

And what other colours do they come in?

alea said...

phonetically correct wonder-

check out this photo for the color options. I guess the white, turnip-like ones are the originals, more or less.

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