Baby carrots aren’t actually baby-sized carrots. Let that sink in for a second.
Baby carrots are just pieces of a fully-grown, regular adult carrot, cut into two-inch fragments by a machine.
Once cut up, another machine rounds off the edges, so that the carrots end up looking like the ones you buy at the grocery store. The shredded leftovers usually end up in cattle feed.
Why not just use actual baby carrots? Real baby carrots aren’t very tasty, and are often too thin and flimsy to pack a real crunch.
Marcelissen, a company that makes the machines that turn grown carrots into baby carrots, shows us how it’s done.
Those are then individually dropped down a moving staircase, where they slip to the side and have their tops sliced off. This is called 'plugging.'
The carrots are now the right size, but they haven't been peeled yet, and the edges are still blunt.
The next machine spins them around, both peeling them and smoothing out the edges. This part is called 'polishing.'
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