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Baby Carrots and Bleach: Yum-Yum

baby carrots are bleached with chlorineEditor’s note: The following post was originally published on Green and Clean Mom. “Green & Clean Mom can inspire you to try a little harder, be a catalyst for change and to offer you some new tips and news on how to be the green, sexy and sassy mom…I know you are!”

An email came to me, warning me that baby carrots are dipped in chlorine. They are made from deformed carrots, peeled and then dipped in a high solution of chlorine to keep them from turning white and being deemed, “bad”.  This made me scratch my head. Food dipped in chlorine that I am feeding my children, who love baby carrots. Thus the research began. Could this be true?

I hate to say it but, yes.

When a baby carrot turns white they call this, “white blushing” and often times this “white blushing” causes the bags of carrots to pulled from the shelf and thrown away. Consumer waste.  To prevent this consumer waste the carrots are then dipped in the chlorine.

To date, white blush has been controlled primarily by washing freshly processed carrots with chilled water, usually in a hydro cooler, followed by refrigeration and/or by packaging of the freshly processed carrots in specialized containers, including some that maintain modified atmospheres within the containers. Chlorine has also been added to the chilled water treatments for sanitation purposes, and primarily to control microbial bacteria growth on the processed carrots. However, depending upon the above variables, the onset of white blush may only be delayed for a few days. Therefore baby carrots tend to have a shorter shelf life.

Read the rest of this post on baby carrots (Michael Pollan calls them carrot bullets) on Green and Clean Mom!

Image: Dan4th on Flickr under a Creative Commons License


  1. I always wondered why I couldn’t eat those baby carrots — they make my mouth feel like I am having an allergic reaction (I am allergic to tree nuts — so I know the feeling). Maybe this is why!

  2. No molly that is not why, and the reason is that this article is semi-fictional.

    The white blush has nothing whatsoever to do with chlorine, and echochildsplay should be ashamed of themself for posting fiction. The white blush is simply dehydration and is caused because the carrot is peeled.

    Baby carrots are not “deformed”, they are regular carrots that are cut into small pieces.

    Yes they do wash them in chlorinated water – it’s called tap water, which has chlorine in it. (They sometimes also use somewhat stronger concentrations, maybe the level of pool water. You can’t dip anything in chlorine anyway – it’s a gas, so that part of the post was also fiction.)

    The article that this post linked to has more information – perhaps next time read it?

    ecochildsplay – you should issue a retraction.

  3. Chlorine added to the water, just like tap water. This doesn’t mean that the carrots are dipped in bleach as your headline implies.

  4. This is another urban myth. Some baby carrots are washed in a WEAK chlorine solution and then washed in clean water. This solution is perfectly safe and passed by the Dept of Agriculture. Anyone stupid enough to waste their money on “baby” carrots is stupid enough to believe this rubbish.

    Organic growers use Citrox a “safe” natural alternative.

    The answer? eat whole carrots or cut them up yourself.

  5. Why would anyone want a peeled carrot anyway,all the vitamin content has been removed and sold as beta carotene. Baby carrots aren’t even baby carrots, they are whats leftover from processing all the good out of the carrot. You would have to eat a whole bag to get the benifit of one carrot. If you want the benifits of eating veges, eat the peel.

  6. Chlorineman says:

    This ‘Chlorine’ each of you keep speaking of is most likely sodium hypochlorite also know as chlorine bleach. It is used a a disinfectant and antimicrobial in many industries. It is made by reacting a sodium hydroxide solution (also know as caustic soda or lye) with elemental chlorine gas. All of these chemicals are made from sodium chloride, also known as salt. Next time do some research. Look up cholera if you want a glimpse of what the world was like before the wide availability of chlorine disinfection.

  7. This post is an embarrassment to Eco Child’s Play. I sure hope Jennifer doesn’t figure out that chlorine is also in salt, she’ll have a fit when she does!

  8. Laura Roberts says:

    A new webpage http://www.truthaboutbabycarrots.com is up and it dispels a lot of the myths surrounding carrots and chlorine. Interesting stuff.

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