DEMAND AN END TO DESTRUCTIVE TARIFFS HURTING CARROT FARMERS!
A baby carrot is a carrot sold at a smaller size before reaching maturity. A baby-cut carrot is a small piece cut from a larger carrot; baby-cut carrots are often marketed as "baby carrots," leading to potential confusion.
The immature roots of the carrot plant are sometimes harvested simply as the result of crop thinning, but are also grown to this size as a specialty crop. Certain cultivars of carrots have been bred to be used at the "baby" stage. One such cultivar is 'Amsterdam Forcing'. This process was developed at Beechnut Farms, bought by Zellwin Farms. These farms originally developed food for World War II, but wanted to sell food for civilians. A team of two led the research. According to Dole, baby carrots are sweeter and more tender than full-grown carrots.
Taking fully grown carrots and cutting them to a smaller size was the brainchild of California carrot farmer Mike Yurosek in 1986. 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 2006, nearly three-quarters of the fresh baby-cut carrots produced in the United States came from Bakersfield, California. Bolthouse Farms and Grimmway Farms are the world's two largest growers, processors, and shippers of baby-cut carrots. The Green Giant company, which resells carrots from Bolthouse Farms, markets their product as "baby-cut carrots."
Generally, consumers can determine whether small carrots are true baby carrots or not by looking at what is listed on the packaging. Labels that say "baby carrots" appear on packages of very young carrots that are harvested while the vegetables are still quite tiny. Labels that proclaim "baby-cut carrots" appear on packages of petite carrots made by chopping down and polishing much larger versions of the vegetable.
"Baby-cuts" are part of a sharp upsurge in the carrot's popularity in the United States. Between 1970 and 1986, Americans ate 6 pounds of carrots per person per year. However, American consumption of carrots began to soar in 1987, and by 2002 it had reached 11 pounds per person.
Production of baby-cut carrots
To make "baby-cuts," large carrots are machine cut into 2-inch sections, then abraded (scraped) down to size, their ends rounded by the same process.
The white blush sometimes visible on the surface of "baby-cut" carrots is caused by dehydration of the cut surface. "Baby-cut" carrots are more prone to develop this because their entire surface area is a cut surface. Low-temperature, high-humidity storage can minimize the white appearance.