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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. You are getting smoother and more “yourself” with every interview. You are a true star! I am so happy for you!

    1. Awe… thanks Alyssa. The nerves of being on TV have finally lifted (after doing like 30 interviews in the last month of course…!) Can’t wait to come out to LA and visit you and the little one 🙂

      1. Now I understand when you walked into any store everything is legalized to get American people sick there too many god damn industry all over are outta of control !!

      2. @Bubba The FDA is making sure we all get sick from something they approved. That is why we are being forced into Obama Care. If we had a government that stood-up to the Big Corporations (that are ALL cheating on their taxes) we would at least be better off. Instead Big Corporations run our government. It’s always the workers to take a cut while the companies profit and never give back!

    2. VERY Helpful and encouraging clip. Thank you, I truly did NOT want to throw away my two bags of Organic Baby Carrots!

    3. 4 parts per million !! Wtf if our tap water DOES NOT HAVE 4 ppm, thats rediculous, this lady has no clue, in in our community we draw our water from a brown colored creek, true color is anywhere from 25-50( dirty) we remove most suspended particles then Chlorinate at a dose of .60 ppm, most of the remaining organic compounds eat up much of this dose, we are left with a residual chlorine level of around .15-.25 parts per million.
      4 parts per million is dangerous !! Period
      you wont see me eating baby carrots lol

      1. You should check out the EPA site re chlorine products in water…She is right about the amounts for chlorine and chloramine. The amount you stipulated is the amount for chlorine dioxide.

  2. Of all the convenient foods on the market (chips, crackers, candy bars, etc.) this is one snack that I would buy if I was in an airport or traveling or somewhere where I didn’t have many choices. Nonetheless I still prefer (and buy) organic full-length carrots. I peel them myself and they are great. Good report Vani. I agree organic is key too!

      1. Rose, do not eat the skins on root vegetables. It is a protective layer to protect them from being eaten. Fruits, on the other hand, want to be eaten. This is how they scatter seed. Fruits will grow mold since bacteria want to eat them too, while non-irradiated, organic root veggies just shrivel up as if dehydrated. The bacteria couldn’t eat them.

      2. Really? What about potatoes, always thought that the skin had so many nutrients!! Food Babe???

      3. how silly! Bacteria helps break down organic matter, organically grown or not, with skin or without. If you leave a carrot (organic or not) long enough, it will rot (thanks to bacteria). Yes, if you dessicate (dehydrate) food and completely remove the moisture, bacteria is less likely to grow on it. But that is hard to do. Leave anything out at room temp or even in the fridge and stuff will grow on it and break it down. Moisture is in the air

      4. Food Babe eats peels on organic fruits and veggies and so do I.

      5. The eyes in potatoes, and I suspect the eyes in carrots, have toxins that protect the potatoes from pathogens, much like legumes. So to peel or not to peel, that is the question.

    1. Same problem here. Where the video would be it’s just blank. Maybe it’s because I’m on my phone? I’ll just read the inside edition page. Thanks for being awesome and standing up for what’s right Food Babe! You’re an inspiration! 🙂

  3. What ever happened to old fashioned peeling and cutting regular carrots… REALLY, seriously, are how lazy have we become?

    1. If convenience helps people choose baby carrots over a candy bar or a bag of chips, I’m all for it!

    2. With 64 percent of families requiring two working parents to just get by precut and sliced food is a huge timesaver. It’s not laziness.

      1. If “getting by” is the reason, spending less seems like a wise choice. It takes very little time to cut up vegetables. Also, everyone seems so worried about organics for health reasons, but local makes more health sense. How much pollution is created by the diesel engines in the ship that hauls your organic mangoes from across the globe? Or better yet, grow a few rows of your own.

  4. I heard that baby carrots are really just regular carrots ground down and are ecologically irresponsible (but not necessarily unhealthy food-wise)…isn’t that true??

    1. Yes, baby carrots are a specific bigger carrot bred to have a sweeter taste and has a smaller core, so they are less hard and more crunchy. I don’t think there are any environmental impacts to be concerned about specifically with using these type of carrot.

      1. Interesting. The argument I always heard was the energy in manufacturing it took to produce these “baby” carrots, but I’m sure there’s no perfect process for any manufactured food process. Thanks Food Babe!!

      2. Good point Doug – When I answered earlier, I wasn’t thinking about all the machinery and energy that is used. Yes – choosing a non-ready to eat carrot (and other fruits and vegetables) would certainly be better for the environment too!

      3. Whoa, baby carrots are not actually baby carrots? I had no idea. I just thought they were a tiny variety and had been conveniently peeled. But the other day, it did occur to me to wonder just how they were peeled so perfectly because when I peel carrots from the farmer’s market (omg fresh purple carrots are amazing!) they look jagged, not perfectly smooth.

  5. I love baby carrots, and I’ve found organic ones at my local organic market. So you get easy and organic at the same time! 🙂 I just think baby carrots have a sweeter flavor, and I’m lazy so I’m glad to hear there’s no problem with the ones you buy in a bag. 🙂

    1. Nothing wrong with saving a little time – you are still eating something very healthy!

  6. I just caught your current facebook post & totally missed all the carrot hoopla. At first I was scared you were going to say even carrots are bad for you, lol. There will be nothing else before you know it. Glad to see that they are still safe. They are great to bring to dance competitions for the girls so they don’t snack on chips & candy all day.

    I never knew that about dehydration. I’m sure I’ve tossed them before cause of that, good to know. One of the reasons, I don’t buy as often as I’d like is from wasting so many. Oops, that was a great thing to learn tonight.

  7. Vani,
    When I juice while carrots I don’t peel them. Should I?
    (Love you…lol)

    1. I don’t peel organic carrots – but if I were juicing conventional carrots, I would definitely peel them. Good Luck and enjoy the longer eye lashes 🙂

  8. Hi Food Babe, I just love your enthusiasm and passion for searching out the truth of what we are eating. I am doing similar work in Michigan – a true agricultural powerhouse – and am happy to share your information with all of my audiences as well. Carrots are my favorite and as a caterer and restaurant owner (as well as a journalist/writer), I am famous for my Captain Morgan carrots. In the recipe I insist that whole, large carrots that you have to peel are used….and that the other good stuff, like honey, Turbinado or Hawaiian sugar, butter, cinnamon, and the good Captain are melted right on top of the rascals. Talk about a great dish to eat, even for people who ‘hate’ carrots! Now I feel confident to tell folks to use baby organic carrots if they wish. Keep up the good work.

  9. All I have to say is thank you….and whew!!!! Baby carrots can have their rightful place in my fridge once again!!!!

  10. Thank you for the information. I put baby carrots in
    My 6 year old daughters lunch every day. I will o only
    Buy organic moving forward. I have learned so much from
    You and think you are awesome. My daughter knows when
    We see that blue Kraft box to stay far away!

  11. Thank you, Vani, for all your helpful information and insights. What type of water filter do you use and:or recommend? Thanks!

  12. I’m so disappointed Food Babe! I haven’t eaten a baby carrot in years and I would never give them to my kiddos. I understand you don’t want to stop people from eating baby carrots over a bag of chips but it would have been nice if you were true to yourself and told the consumers you don’t eat them but rather whole carrots. Also, you use filtered water to rinse them so they don’t have any chlorine on them. The outer skin serves a purpose and protects the carrot from harboring pathogens. I’ve been telling my friends for years to choose the whole organic carrots instead of these chlorine sticks. I wish you would have done the same. You were just used as a marketing tool to sell a product that isn’t necessary but you already know that because you don’t consume them. :o/ I wish you all the best but hope this is your last gig to sell a product that shouldn’t be bought. Whole organic foods are what this nation needs not another person pushing a product that has been tampered with and chemicals sprayed on it.
    I’ve been a fan ever since you were pulling to label GMOs and now your Kraft fight. Please continue the good work and resist the fame. 🙂

    1. I’m not understanding this persons comments. As Food Babe says; she is trying to help people not ban baby carrots by explaining that the amount of chlorine is negligible. While it is not ideal to have chlorine in our water at all, it is better than having salmonella or e-coli. I don’t buy baby carrots myself because they seem too “convenienced” and I do not find them appitizing sitting in their little water puddle wrapped in plastic. I actually find their packaging more of an issue than the sub par water they are soaked in. Accusing Food Babe of selling out and being used as a marketing tool is really nit picky and weird. Her values are impeccable and being passive aggressive with your comments is the issue not her lack of “resisting fame”.

      1. I agreed with the comment from jess. I lost a little trust in food babe because she is in a way promoting them and encourging people they are okay as long as organic.. She will not eat put she is going to shove down others to make a buck. How much did baby carrats pay you food babe!?!

  13. I saw the Inside Edition interview and you were fantastic! Since I switched to (almost) totally organic, I have been buying regular carrots unless I’m really in a time crunch; then I buy organic babies. It just makes more sense from an environmental standpoint relative to the processing. Also, I don’t need to worry about even the smallest amount of chlorine. Thanks, Vani.

  14. Thanks for the great info about the baby carrots.

    You mentioned bagged salads being treated with chlorine as well. I can see the logic behind all of that. However, what causes that gawd-awful smell that bagged salads have? I noticed that even washing the salads copiously doesn’t get rid of the smell, and the salads even taste like they smell and that doesn’t wash away–which is pretty disgusting tasting. Any ideas on what this foul stuff is?

    I just now buy greens from the organic section of the local health food store and make my own.

    1. Bagged ice burg salads have that awful smell, but I’ve never noticed that smell in green leafy bagged salads.

  15. Thank you so much for this. All the kids in my classes know how I feel about baby carrots (addicted). I use baby carrots a lot in my word problems that I make up. Way better to buy pounds of baby carrots than ounces of chips. 🙂 Baby carrots are very easy for me to grab and keep on my desk. Wish they weren’t so noisy to eat!

  16. It’s great to see someone on a show that is not falsely telling us about food while representing a company that wants us to buy their contaminated food. The ‘experts’.
    A BIG THANK YOU for doing this out of the goodness of your heart. You are and inspiration to all.

  17. It concerns me that anti-science, or maybe what should be more aptly called scientific ignorance, is consistently lobbed out via websites and the press. Of course, that is mostly because journalism has died in this country, but I digress. Nevertheless, Food Babe claims she filters her drinking water to reduce its chlorine content. That is ironic because unless she doesn’t shower or ever swim, she ingests more chlorine via those activities than she would drinking tap water. Yet, though Food Babe is doing a commendable job to dispel concerns on chlorine in regards to packaged carrots, it concerns me that some basic understandings are not sufficiently addressed in this dialog. As others have suggested, one puts oneself at much greater risk without chlorine treatment of water and other food products. In fact, the following brief article, which was written by scientists from UC-Berkeley, discusses how even carbon-based Brita and Pur water filters for drinking water capture heavy metals and chlorine, but not microorganisms or known disinfection byproducts, such as trihalomethanes (THMs), which are known carcinogens:

    It’s probably also worth mentioning that heavy metal contamination of water is largely due to our water infrastructure and most likely, one’s own plumbing, as suggested in the article. I just want to be clear that there is no evil genius deliberately poisoning anyone and we ought to be aware that the water treatment industry is a very responsible one.

    Thus, another irony in this debate is that all of this fear of chlorine and attempting to remove it is actually putting one’s health at greater risk. Nevertheless, I was pleased to see some comments above by those who are aware of this. As for some of the other comments, I think some people would benefit from understanding some elementary science prior to sharing their thoughts.

    I suppose the last comical part of this fiasco is that it wouldn’t surprise me if some justified this fear of chlorine to eat more Snickers and fewer carrots.

    1. Hi Michael – Thanks for your feedback. We use a 4 stage water filter for all our drinking water at home (which is the best way to eliminate as many heavy metals and other contaminants as much as possible). It is installed directly under our sink. Also, we do have a filter on our shower but I do enjoy the occasional dip in the pool – but prefer the beach 🙂 The key for me is to limit repeated daily exposure to potential toxins where I have control within reason.

      1. Thanks Vani for putting your heart out to find out the truth behind the food we eat. Could you please tell me if you use the same (reverse osmosis) filter on you shower as you do under the sink. I clicked on the Amazon link posted by Krista, but the filter looks pretty bulky to put on my shower. My city recently started adding chlorine to our water and my toddler started breaking out in skin rashes ever since .
        God bless you.

  18. Hi,Vani……re:your comment about peeling whole carrots.I only buy organic carrots which I scrub but have never peeled them because i thought many ofthe nutrients are in the skins.Where I heard that fact I don’t recall. True or false? Gracias1

    1. Hi Renie – Vani said she doesn’t peel them if they are organic but she recommends peeling if they are conventional.

  19. Hi Vani,

    Thanks so much for addressing this! I know you get like a billion comments so I’m sure you don’t remember but I had commented awhile ago that I was confused about this issue since you and Lisa Leake seemed to be saying different things. I was so thrilled to see this! I get why people prefer regular carrots and I make most things from scratch but as a mom of 4 little ones every once in awhile you need a convenience food and I love that ours is baby carrots and not cookies, chips, or store bought granola bars! Thanks again for all your work! You are providing such a valuable service for moms like me who are trying to raise healthy kids in an unhealthy world!

  20. I do choose baby carrots for convenience. Less chopping required and they are the perfect size for lunch box snacks. I do however rinse them off in my own filtered water and then put them in a container with filtered water to store in my fridge to keep them from turning white. I think this process cuts down any chlorine in them and it doesn’t take much time.

  21. I would love to know which filter system you use? I am about to make the switch but have no idea as to which is the best option out there.

  22. Thanks for investigating & getting to the heart of every health issue & such, Vani!

    As a mommy, I did not want to have to give up giving my 4 year-old & myself baby carrots as a quick addition to lunch or a snack.

  23. Hello Food Babe! I have a question, it is very hard for us to afford all organic produce on our budget for our entire family. If I wash strawberries/grapes/carrots in soapy water before eating them, will that cut down on how many pesticides we consume? The facts about pesticides are very disturbing for sure!

    1. Check out the dirty dozen and clean fifteen lists for which produce to buy organic…
      Berries and grapes have tender skin that you eat – you can’t really clean off the pesticides on those. We suggest always organic. Carrots can be peeled – better if you must buy conventional. Good luck! Hope this helps…

  24. I have noticed in many articles you really come down hard on the FDA as you should. Most of their decisions are based on poilitics, money, and industry influence over science. However, on your interview with inside edition you say its a chlorine based solution and why it is safe is that it has been approved by the FDA? Just wondering why we should trust them with this decision but not others.

    I just want to make it clear that I fully support exactly what you are saying here and I would much rather people go for carrots over a chocolate bar. As well as the chlorine scare being overblown. The very fact that we need to soak our food in chlorine should tell us there must be a problem with the way we manufacture food. I guess the bottom line is

    Organic baby carrots> chlorine soaked baby carrots

    But what we should really be asking ourselves is why have we created a food system that requires us to chemically wash our food because of fear of disease.

    keep up the good work!

  25. This is the real story:

    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).

    This needs to change!!

  26. I’m so happy to have found this site. I am attempting to regain my health, a bit harder since I am now 59 and have eaten terrible, processed food since I can remember. My son and I have omitted all processed foods from our diet and only buy organic. I have been disabled by arthritis for years but have been noticing improvement in the last few months. I am so thankful for people like you and hopeful for a better tomorrow.

  27. MY greatest concern in Vani’s video? . . . . . it appears she plopped those baby carrots into water in a PLASTIC container! I’m not extremist and I’m not opposed to occasionally buying foods housed in all manner of packaging. But I’m definitely NOT a fan of storing foods – chlorinated or not – in plastic, especially re-used plastic that may have had hot soup in it, and then gone thru the dishwasher! And let’s face it,that kind of container IS likely re-used, often from retail prepared food bars or Chinese take-out. I recommend we store our rinsed/rehydrated carrots in glass containers only. Thanks, FoodBabe, for always having your finger on the pulse of what consumers are concerned about!

  28. I am looking for a good web site to order – hemp, Golgi Berries , cacao, Maca, Acai Berries, Golden Berries, etc. items from the eating guide shopping list

  29. Do carrot chips come from baby carrots? We buy bags of carrot chips in the produce section every week and my 5 yr old daughter loves them.

  30. I have a question, if its true that water is contaminated with fluoride, would it be safer to not eat baby carrots soaked in tap water?

    1. Fluoride is intentionally added to our water- a contaminant is something that inadvertently winds up in the water.

  31. Just one more veg not on the dirty dozen that we need to buy organic. Unfortunately this site is becoming like the news, never any good news!

  32. I am so glad you posted this! I’ve been sending people the Snopes report on this topic when they post that urban legend. Now I can send them your video! Keep up the good work! BTW – I tried Chia seeds last night thanks to your video with Marie Forleo!

  33. Very timely post. I noticed a friend had posted on facebook that she was a horrible mom for giving her kids baby carrots. He he… I passed it on to her!

    I also saw your recent interview with Marie Forleo! Awesome! Loved it! You are inspiring! I hope to make a living at what I love too in the near future! Thanks so much for the inspiration.

  34. Unfortunately, carrots, even organic, are a magnet for cancerous cadmium and arsenic in the soil, which California and many states have plenty of. Ideally you buy from a local farmer that knows his soil. Even if soils were not directly contaminated in the past, it can absorb such toxics from the environment, specially from water or from vehicles, highways, gas stations, etc. near by. If the soil is contaminated, good farmers can plant tobacco or other plants that absorb heavy metals not for consumption but to “detox” the land. Otherwise, I would avoid eating carrots.

  35. Back in the 1970’s I was involved in selling biological and organic soil amendments.
    During that time I visited many vegetable farms throughout Florida monitoring crops my products were being tried on test plots. In those days you would find mounds and mounds of misshapen and odd looking carrots. You would go to ‘farmer markets ‘ and find people that would come with pick up loads of these peculiar carrots. Usually carrots that would get nematodes or such would grow in strange multiple tap root carrots. These surplus carrots disappeared when someone came up with a machine to cut them into ‘baby carrots’.

  36. So oglad to see this archived blog post as i was really concerned when I read this info and actually had stopped buying these organic baby carrots from Costco. I was even going to email you to find out if you had researched this at all as I’m a new follower of yours. Thank you for being a dedicated researcher and sharing the full scoop so us moms can continue to pack healthy lunches for our kids!

  37. 25 years ago I worked on a carrot farm and yes all carrots were dumped into a huge vat of chlorine.

  38. Dude like thanks! I use carrots in my smoothe every weekday morning! I am sooooooo passing your site around to my co-works so they can be in the “know”!! Thanks for you research!

  39. Grimmway Farm organic carrots are the best!! They are sold at Costco’s, at least in California at a great price. They are in Bakersfield. The best tasting carrots around!!

  40. I was disappointed in your baby carrot interview. It sounds like you do not know how baby carrots are made. The problem with them is not that they are rinsed in chlorine solution.
    To make more money, the manufacturers take carrots that are rotting and must otherwise be thrown away from store inventories, and chopping up “salvageable parts” and polishing them. Thus they sell diseased, semi rotten carrot parts as a premium carrot at premium prices. What a marking wonder.
    Your video ends up promoting these rotten carrot products. The chlorine just helps mask the smell of rotting carrots and gives them a longer shelf life.
    I stopped eating baby carrots at any time under any circumstances, decades ago. This was long before any info came out on how they were produced. I have never eaten a baby carrot that I did not taste the mold and rot in it. Thats why I won’t touch them at any time. Can not most people taste the mold that is in virtually every baby carrot??

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