The earliest carrots are believed to have originated in Afghanistan, and they weren’t orange at all — they were purple, white, red, black, green, or yellow!
It wasn’t until the 1700s that the common orange carrot we know today arrived on the scene. It’s thought to have been developed by the Dutch as a patriotic tribute to the royal House of Orange. Today carrots are the most popular and familiar of the root vegetables, readily available year-round.
Commercial carrots are bred for uniform color and size, but there are actually numerous types of carrots — including dozens of heirloom varieties — that grow in all sorts of shapes, colors and sizes.
Mini peeled carrots, sometimes referred to as “baby” carrots, are actually fully mature; they’re cut and sculpted from a special varietal that grows close together, resulting in smaller, more tender specimens.
Why choose organic carrots?
- We believe that almost all fruits and vegetables have more flavor when grown organically because of the health and vitality of the soil — and that’s especially true of carrots, which grow in direct contact with the soil. We grow Earthbound Farm Organic carrots without synthetic pesticides, using farming methods that regenerate the soil and protect the health of the land and the people who work on it. Organic food is the healthiest choice for people and the planet — and we think organic carrots taste better, too!
- WhatsOnMyFood.org from the Pesticide Action Network shows you searchable results for vegetables like carrots and a wide range of other organic and conventional foods. It’s an empowering tool for learning about pesticide residues and their health effects.
How to select and store carrots
- Look for firm carrots with no splits, cracks or damage. The brighter the color, the sweeter the carrot; a darker orange means more beta-carotene is present. Avoid carrots with black tops, which is a sign of age.
- For bunched carrots, choose ones with bright green tops that look fresh and perky. Cut off the greens before refrigerating your carrots, or they’ll rob the roots of moisture and vitamins.
- Store your carrots in the refrigerator in a sealed container, and they’ll keep for 7 to 10 days. Keep them away from apples and pears, as the ethylene gas those fruits emit as they ripen can turn make carrots bitter.
Tips for using carrots
- Carrots contribute a foundation of sweetness and texture to both sweet and savory dishes. Delicious raw or cooked, carrots have the highest sugar content of any vegetable other than beets.
- Farmer’s markets often sell bunches of slender, young carrots with their tops (greens) still attached. Mature carrots, however, are often much sweeter and more flavorful.
- If your carrots develop a dry white bloom on their surface while stored in the refrigerator, it’s a sign of dehydration. Simply soak the carrots in ice water for 10 minutes to regain their bright orange color.
- Preparing carrots is easy. Always wash and scrub carrots before using, because they’re harvested directly from the soil. Peeling is optional, depending on your preference and the size of the roots. Larger carrots generally require peeling; if there is any bitterness, it resides in the peel. If you’re using very large carrots, you’ll want to cut out and discard the tough, fibrous core.