Welcome to the blog for Colgate University's interdisciplinary course on food. This is the place to keep up with what students in the course are experiencing in their work at Common Thread Community Farm and through their everyday encounters with food.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Baby Carrots Are Indeed A Lie


I found this video on buzzfeed a couple weeks ago and thought it fit in perfectly with my first  experience on Common Thread Farm. This video shows the process of how baby carrots are made, which makes me a little sad. I always knew that baby carrots didnt come from the ground looking so round and perfect, but I had NO idea they were transformed in such a dramatic way... which also made me think... why even shave them down in the first place? Why must they look so unnatural?? Just eat a regular carrot, it tastes better anyways.

The first task I did while working on the farm was helping to harvest carrots.  After pulling up the topsoil with a plow, we sorted through the soil to find and pull out the new carrots from the ground.  We were told to sort the carrots into a "perfect" pile, a secondary pile, and to leave the rotted ones out completly.  A perfect carrot is one that had not been chopped off, nibbled at, or showed signs of rotting. A secondary carrot is one that was accidently chopped by the plow or one that is a little too deformed.  Unfortunately, because this bed was not harvested right away, there were not so many "perfect" looking carrots.  But to me, they all looked pretty good. And very fresh. These carrots looked nothing like baby carrots they sell in the grocery store.  They were large, with rivets and imperfect bodies. And honestly, they looked a lot better than the nubs you see in the grocery stores.

Here is a picture of a newly harvested carrot:

My experience harvesting carrots gave me a much more realistic view of how much work it takes to plant and harvest vegetables and also gave me even more incentive to buy fresh and natural produce. I dont think I will ever be able to look at a baby carrot in the same way again.  

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