Why I’ll Never Ever Buy Baby Carrots Again

published Mar 13, 2024
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I love carrots in most forms: glazed carrots! Roasted carrots! Carrot cake carrots! But you will never ever see me with one type of carrot, which is the baby carrot. Baby carrots are, in my opinion, one of the worst produce items you could ever buy. Before you @ me, hear me out. I’m not just ranting for fun — I’ve got my reasons.

1. Baby carrots get slimy way too soon after you open them. 

Never have I bought a bag of baby carrots that didn’t turn into a slimy, wet mess after being open for only a couple of days. TBH, sometimes before you even open the bag the bottom carrots are already swimming in a pool of liquid. Apparently, baby carrots are sometimes rinsed and stored with filtered tap water so they don’t dry out on their way to grocery store shelves, but the result is not something I personally find appealing for my carrot texture.

2. If baby carrots aren’t slimy, they’re “blushing.”

You might be asking “Huh? Carrots can blush?” Blushing is what it’s called when carrots lose their moisture and take on that whitish-looking skin as they dry out. This also seems to happen long before I have made my way through a bag, and I end up composting the rest because just like slimy baby carrots, dry and shriveled one aren’t really my thing either.

3. Bagged baby carrots are imposters.

Turns out, a quick poll gets you very different answers on what, exactly, baby carrots are. Some people on The Kitchn team are convinced that they’re just the odd bits left over from large carrots (aka the dregs of the carrot patch). Others think they’re their own carrot variety. The comments are funny:

“I’m pretty sure they’re made from massive unattractive carrots??”

“I thought I heard they’re cut from regular carrots but I can’t remember.”

“I read somewhere that they’re just larger carrots that are trimmed down and shaped.”

“I thought they were literally baby carrots???!!!”

Turns out, both theories are true. Some companies cut baby carrots from larger ones, but the tiny vegetable has become so popular that most do indeed grow specific varietals that are baby in nature. 

4. Baby carrots are more expensive than large carrots.

Loose organic carrots at my grocery store are consistently a vegetable I can rely on staying pretty cheap, despite inflation. They’ve never surpassed three bucks a pound, which is affordable for how many carrots you’re getting — that can stretch across two dinners! Meanwhile, a bag of organic baby carrots will run me $3.99 and zero dinners (and that’s assuming I can get through the bag before they blush or get slimy).

5. They lack flavor.

The reason I love roasted carrots is because of how time in the oven and a little caramelization brings out their undeniably sweet flavor. Baby carrots lack this signature sweetness and taste woody. “They taste much more watered-down and have no flavor!” says Alex Foster, The Kitchn’s editorial assistant, who also doesn’t buy baby carrots. “In my book, I always buy whole carrots and just chop them.” Same.