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Are Baby Carrots Soaked in Chlorine?

If you’ve been following along on Facebook, you know that I was in NYC earlier this week to film an investigative report… well, now it is out! Inside Edition interviewed me as a food expert, regarding the “baby carrot controversy” sweeping the web.

Watch the full story here:

For the record: I love carrots, I eat them or juice them almost everyday, but personally I do not buy baby carrots, because I prefer the taste of larger, non-ready to eat carrots better.

Also, if you know me, you know this – I want the least amount of environmental chemicals to enter my body. I filter my water at home (to remove chlorine and other chemicals) and wash my vegetables with filtered water before consuming them.

The most important decision you can make at the grocery store regarding carrots is not whether they come in a bag or not but rather if they are organic or conventional.

According to the USDA Pesticide Data Program, conventional carrots can have up to 26 different pesticides on them (16 of them are hormone disruptors, 8 are carcinogens, 7 are reproductive toxins, and 3 are neurotoxins). My recommendation for everyone is to choose organic carrots for this reason. 

Here are some behind the scenes photos from the shoot. I had an absolute blast chatting with Paul Boyd from Inside Edition – he’s quite the comic! We even taste tested the carrots. Baby carrots are grown from a sweeter variety and you can definitely tell the difference in taste!

Sneak PeakCarrots



Hope you enjoyed the clip!

Food Babe

P.S. If you have any additional questions or concerns about baby carrots – please let me know in the comments below.


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149 responses to “Are Baby Carrots Soaked in Chlorine?

  1. Could you tell me anthing about Krogers Line {Simple Truth} products if they are really organic? I have been using there simple truth products and have not heard anything bad about them. I love there baby carrots and other produce. But I want to make sure they are Organic. Please let me know about them. I love your web site so many things to learn. Knowledge is Power. Thank you Vani.

    1. In the Northwest we have a grocer called ‘Fred Meyer’ and they sell Simple Truth and Simple Truth Organic. I asked about this brand and was told that the Simple Truth is not organic but uses less chemicals than other conventional brands however Simple Truth Organic is indeed organic. Personally, I always watch for the USDA Organic to be present, or the non-GMO Project verified. Hope this helps.

    2. Be very careful with Simple Truth. You see the label and assume it’s organic and fresh, but not all of it actually labeled organic. Also, read the ingredients labels. Although they claim to leave out 101 additives, the ones they leave in are surprising. Don’t be fooled by the logo. Read the ingredients list.

      1. I myself am also a Simple Truth fanatic! But I purchase this brand with caution and usually choose the Organic Simple Truth products. Kroger never stated that “all” Simple Truth products were Organic. You may want to do more research on Organic labeling. It’s quite simple really, if it’s not labeled “Organic” with the USDA stamp, than it’s NOT Organic. 🙂

      2. Even the “organic” products from Simple Truth are stuffed with cheap fillers. Compare their organic “sour cream,” for example, with actual sour cream from other brands. You’re buying fillers (pectin, etc.) that are allowed in organic products but are cheaper and less nutritious than what you think you are buying (cream). So even though the price tag is cheaper than other organic products, so are the ingredients. Don’t just look at the “organic” stamp on the packaging. Actually read the ingredients labels. Organic does not automatically mean wholesome–especially with Simple Truth (Kroger).

    3. For the record, Fred Meyer, Kroger, and Fry’s are the same grocery chain. They just had different names throughout the Country. Simple Truth is also in Target. It’s not strictly a Fred/Frys/Kroger thing.

      I moved to Oregon 8 months ago and only recently went to Haggen’s Grocery… totally my new fave health food store. They’re a little more reasonably priced with more options than New Seasons Market. Not everything is organic there though. And reading the ingredient list of Haggen brand products didn’t make them look too good, unfortunately.

      On topic of carrots… I’m all for organic carrots. They do taste more amazing than non-organic ones, and let’s not state the obvious about how non-organic carrots are a big huge vs organic ones. … Insinuating a definite use of chemicals that make them grow larger.

      1. Um, no. Variety, soil tillage, planting date, locale and irrigation are the primary factors. Certified organic can just as big.

      2. Now that you mention it; I have seen big and oddly shaped carrots at farmers markets. However, the organic ones in grocery stores always look the same; (like in the picture above). But thanks for correcting me.

  2. So I am a little late to the party… It was my understanding that they put citric acid (MSG in disguise) on them as well. I have a sensitivity to it and stupidly ate a few at a friends house thinking they were safe. I did have a reaction. I have also had reactions to pre washed bagged organic lettuce and received a reply from one of the organic manufacturers that described putting citric acid on the lettuce. PS I would really love for you to go after the Organic Standards Board for allowing GMO/MSG Citric Acid in our organic and health food!!!!

    1. Seriously!?? I was reading Andrea’s reply and I didn’t know that citric acid is really MSG! I thought is was a form of vitamin C. That stuff is in almost everything! So does organic lettuce from Earthbound Farm have it on their lettuce?

      1. Email them and ask. I emailed another company and that is how I found out. I get my greens from a hydroponic local farm and when they closed for a few weeks during the summer to clean the system I was sick the whole time. So it was easy to figure out the culprit. Also Google the “Hidden Sources of MSG”. You will be shocked. PS. MSG is pretty much all GMO.

      2. Citric acid is neither MSG nor vitamin C…. SMH.

        Ascorbic Acid = Vitamin C.

        Monosodium Glutamate = MSG.

        “Hidden” sources of MSG are ingredients that produce free glutamic acid, and include things like disodium guanylate and inosinate. As well as tomatoes, mushrooms, cheese, and many other foods.

        Citric acid is likely produced from corn, though, and is likely GMO unless the product is organic or non-GMO project verified.

        As a side note… most all pre-cut veggies (including organic, gasp!) are washed with chorine to kill bacteria that make you sick. Organic production requires an extra rinse step to make sure that it’s removed.

  3. Vani, you are really awesome!
    Interesting title/question turned my attention to it; Are Baby Carrots Soaked in Chlorine?
    I presume the answer is hiding in the video that I did not view. Adobe App is mandatory and I will not have it on my computer. I like my computer the way you like your food – CLEAN. Anyway, after reading the whole page and viewing few photos of breathtaking you and healthy carrots I am still uncertain if they are soaked in chlorine or not. I wish the answer would appear somewhere in the text of the complex media article.

    1. Long version short, it’s the same amount of chlorine you would find in tap water. When they turn white after sitting around for a while, it is just a sign of dehydration. A quick run under some cold tap water will pick them back up. Hope this helps!

      1. Interesting. As a kid my mom would keep cut up carrots in a, covered, bowl of water in the fridge. (read that tupperware or a casserole dish) We ate them so fast they never went off (bad) or the water never had to be changed.

  4. Thank you Food Babe, I just finished almost a year of cancer treatment for breast cancer, I’m learning a whole new way of eating, and your site is extremely helpful – I’ve questioned everything I ever did, but I can only start from now to do the best I can for my health and the health of my family. Keep up the good work! I’m on the organic wagon and no to GMO too! I’m so happy to have “found” you!

    1. Glad your around! Keep fighting for your health and PLEASE question everything! And welcome to a whole new world of good, healthy and (I hope) unprocessed organic foods!

  5. Thank you for a great posting. Please consider rinsing, cooking and drinking only the purest & healthiest water on the planet – steam distilled! My LifeMist distiller has produced pure water for me for over 14 years, without fail. It’s awesome to rinse and ‘rehydrate’ my veggies in pure water. Of course, it’s the only type of water you should be drinking too. I don’t want any extra toxins if I can help it, at least I know my water is PURE. Unfortunately filters are another catch-22; they are prime offenders – a filter will turn into a toxic, moldy, festering mess thus polluting your water as it passes thru. Plus, most filters are made of materials that will leach into the finished water and filters are so very inefficient at removing toxins from water. Don’t trust them with your health.

    1. To be honest, this is the first time I am hearing about “steam distillers,” so I don’t know much about their efficacy. But in case others are interested in purifying their water, I have found that reverse osmosis is the best system for filtering your water. It’s the only filtering system that is capable of removing fluoride, something your typical house or fridge filter cannot remove. But, yes, you must replace your filters when recommended (every 6 months) to prevent accumulation of bacteria.
      The EWG website has more info on water filters and what each type if capable of doing:

      1. I love love love my RO (reverse osmosis) filtered water! It’s all I give to my family, including pets and plants. It tastes amazing and we only change the filters once a year and the company sends us a reminder! They have RO filters at Costco, but we bought ours at pure water Their customer service is unparalleled and so are their RO water filters!

  6. Can you provide a transcript for the video clip as I could not find any captions? This would be huge and make it accessible for the deaf and hard of hearing community. Thanks!

  7. You know organic doesn’t mean pesticide free right? There are natural pesticides used on organic crops such as sulfur, copper, and nicotine compounds. Not to mention plants produce their own natural pesticides to defend themselves against fungi, insects, and other predators. 99.9% of the chemical we ingest are natural. The amount of synthetic pesticides we ingest is insignificant compared to the natural pesticides we eat and are just as carcinogenic. Organic crops tend to require more pesticides than Genetically engineered crops. Organic foods are also more likely to contain human pathogens such as E. coli.

    1. Jessica,

      Your comments were amusing, but please go away. You are making false claims and not providing any evidence to back up what you say. And because you are in support of GMOs and pesticide use, something that Foodbabe supporters are clearly against, your GMO- and pesticide-loving claims are unwelcome here.

      There are natural pesticides used on organics, yes, like those derived from certain bacteria. But these pesticides are non-toxic, which is a night-and-day difference between typical commercial pesticides.

      “The amount of synthetic pesticides we ingest is insignificant…” INSIGNIFICANT? You’re joking, right? Glyphosate (Roundup herbicide) is now COMMONLY found in breast milk, umbilical cords, and placentas. It doesn’t take a genius to realize that such toxins are unsafe for adults, let alone developing fetuses.

      “Organic crops tend to require more pesticides than Genetically engineered crops.” LOL the exact opposite is true.

      “Organic foods are also more likely to contain human pathogens such as E. coli.” LOL again, also untrue.

      Thanks for the laugh. What’s not funny, though, is how you are in some serious need of re-educating. Here’s hoping you one day see the truth.


      1. Agreed-however, you do not back up your comments other than the Mercola article.

      2. Diana

        THANK you for straightening out Jessica’s lack of knowledge, which just creates confusion for people like me, new to the Food Babe Army. You rock!

  8. I cannot believe what I just heard~! It is one thing to chew and swallow a dead adult carrot, but to actually have the lack of sensitivity to go after their babies!! OMFG.

  9. Most likely that package of spring mix is washed with chlorine that is on the table in the picture, companies need to start labeling packages on the kind of water they use and what’s in the water, even if it is called organic.

    You should start getting on restaurants to label their menus with GMO and non-GMO certified organics items and what kinds of water they cook their foods in too.

    All these companies are poisoning the public with their added chemicals.

  10. Great write-up, thanks for sharing. I’m interested to hear your method for washing your fruits and veggies.. Here you say you use filtered water but is that it? I’ve heard soaking fruits in a water/vinegar wash is beneficial for removing pesticides, is that true?

  11. Let’s talk toothpaste!!! Why all the dye and CARRAGEENAN?! In toothpaste? What toothpaste do you recommend?

    1. Earthpaste. It’s made of natural ingredients and free of nasty chemicals and fluoride. Clay is the main ingredient. My teeth have actually never felt cleaner and I’ll never go back to my old toothpaste ever again. EVER! If you want that fresh pepperminty feeling you get from regular toothpaste, get the Wintergreen flavor.
      You can find it on Amazon.

      Some people just brush their teeth with baking soda but the taste isn’t very good. Plus, I love that “minty-clean” feeling 🙂

  12. What if you can not afford organic vegetables such as baby carrots? What is an alternative…would it be reg carrots? This is so frustrating and overwhelming as a mom trying to have a healthy family

    1. Serena,
      Costco has great organic vegetable options at great prices. For example, I can buy a 3 or 5 (can’t remember but I think. 5) lb. bag of frozen organic vegetables for about $6. They are so convenient and affordable! HEB also has frozen organic vegetable options for Ia good price… If you get a costco card, since you can have another person on it as a member, perhaps you can split the cost. 🙂

    2. From my experience, baby carrots are more expensive than regular carrots, so yes, buying regular carrots is the alternative and makes more economical sense anyways. Costco has a great price on a huge bag of organic carrots. That’s where I buy mine.

      1. Also thought I would mention that if Costco isn’t an option for you, farmer’s markets typically offer organic produce and pastured meats at prices comparable to conventional produce and meat.

        Use this website to find farmer’s markets near you:

    3. organic carrots (regular size, not baby) are just a few cents (maybe 40 cents) more per bag. Certain things are more important to purchase organic and carrots are definitely one of them….. there are many…. good luck

  13. Food babe – what water filtration system do you recommend? Have you written about that topic yet? Thanks!

  14. A Farmer friend told me that the baby carrots are the broken bits the occur during processing and the farmer actually selling the carrots gets nothing for the broken bits. Just another reason to not eat the baby carrots.

  15. A farmer friend told me that the baby carrots are made from the broken bits of whole carrots and that the farmer actually gets no money for the broken pieces. Just another reason to not eat the baby carrots.

    1. I also recently heard about baby carrots actually being the result of carrot “scraps” being processed together. I am curious about the validity of this. Vani, any ideas? Perhaps the issue is not the chlorine rinse, but that they are not a naturally occurring vegetable, they are processed?

  16. (To Valerie and Dianel

    I LOVE Earthpaste!

    I was out of town with a friend on a trip and forgot mine. She had a little trial tube of “normal” toothpaste and it made my tongue numb ! I hated it. No tube of chemicals for this girl!

  17. To say that carrots or other foods have pesticides “ON” them is actually misleading, because it lets people believe that if they wash the veggies, they can wash off the poisons. NOT SO! The best way to express it is to say that foods “CONTAIN” pesticides. Though some pesticide residues are, indeed, “on” the veggies, much of the pesticide load is actually “IN” the food. Plants absorb minerals and other nutrients from the soil and water — along with pesticides — as they grow. Not only that, but the plant actually metabolizes the pesticides, forming other, new compounds that no one is testing! I have a friend who worked at a lab that analyzed produce for the EPA. Believe me, you can’t wash off the stuff the plant has taken up internally! I think it’s important that people understand that, by using the correct wording.

  18. It looks like you guys have fun! But I have no idea what were you guys saying — I am deaf and I rely on captions to understand spoken language. Is it possible a transcript to be embedded? I love the information that Vani gives out! 🙂

  19. i was under the educated impression, maybe the misinformed impression that baby carrots were the carrots that did not cosmetic inspection and then cut and rounded to make them look as baby carrots… please correct me if i’m wrong 🙂

  20. Can someone tell me what companies sell the baby carrots? I buy at Hannafords, have been buying them, am going to stop as of NOW. I want to write to them & ask about the clorine factor. Every time I turn around, I have another item I believed in, that is no longer okay, and then I think of how much toxins I fed myself & family!

  21. Hi Vani – I was wondering what your opinion is of the Paleo Diet. You may have answered that before, but I’m new to your site and haven’t seen anything about Paleo on it.
    I’ve been thinking about trying that diet, but I’m a little put off by it because it seems to turn everything I’ve learned about healthy eating over the last 20 years on its head. I have long been under the impression that beans are one of the healthiest sources of protein, but they are ‘verboten’ on Paleo – as are whole grains, which I also thought were good, in moderation.
    What do you think about it?
    Thanks for your help.


  23. The issue with “baby” carrots is that they are not “baby” anything. They are fully grown carrots shaved down into a shape that the industry has taught consumers to want.

    I think they start from a whole carrot, more or less. If it was from little pieces it would be harder for a machine to do this quickly and efficiently.

    Wouldn’t it be great if your kids saw you cutting up carrots and learned how to make carrot sticks for themselves as they get old enough to use a knife?

    At home you can scrub your real adult carrots and retain some of the skin and its nutrients. The “baby” carrots have no skin.

    It is useless processing that adds a labor cost and multiplies the entry points for microbes. The water added to make the carrots look nicer might also be a vector.

    Bagged and shipped produce is inherently less fresh and less safe than produce you buy locally grown, simply because the bad microbes have more time and a good enclosed environment in which to multiply. This is why there are more recalls of bagged salads and spinach than for heads, bunches or loose mixes sold in bulk.

  24. I heard years ago that the baby carrots were put together from ground up carrots with a type of GLUE like chicken nuggets. Is this true?

  25. Wow! Eye opener on the baby carrots. Thanks for all you do, your website is so informative and is changing lives. I had a question, what kind of water filter do you recommend?

  26. Ascorbic acid is used in supplements, recently found out from my supplement maker it comes from corn which probably is gmo unless it’s organic.

  27. It appears as if the full story regarding the baby carrot controversy has been taken down. Is there anywhere else I can view it, please?

  28. Organic doesn’t mean pesticide free though. In order to be labeled as organic, farmers are only permitted to use certain pesticides – and other chemicals. A local farmer may be growing produce without using any chemicals and they can’t mark them as organic.
    I would prefer anybody reading this to look into this themselves.
    Just learn & know what organic labels really mean and then perhaps find a local farmer’s market.

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