Baby Carrots

This entry is part 30 of 34 in the series Small World


As if carrots were yeast cells,
reproducing through budding:
the baby an adorably rounded
chip off the old block.
This triumph of marketing
has in fact reversed a trend
toward shorter carrots, because
of course the long ones can yield
as many as four “babies” each.
But are they infantile enough
to compete with junk food?
One ad psychologist recommends
dusting them with powder —
not Johnson & Johnson but
something orange, like Cheetos.
Carrot breeders lament
that selecting for succulence
makes them brittle as glass.
They can crunch in the mouth
but they mustn’t shatter —
they’re not bombs.
And a faint trace of bitterness
must remain, or the consumer
no longer perceives them
as true carrots. Authenticity is key,
along with air-tight packaging.
I struggle to open a bag, & find
I’m all thumbs.

Sources: “Digging the baby carrot” and “Baby carrots take on junk food with hip marketing campaign.”

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Dave Bonta (bio) crowd-sources his problems by following his gut, which he shares with 100 trillion of his closest microbial friends — a close-knit, symbiotic community comprising several thousand species of bacteria, fungi, and protozoa. In a similarly collaborative fashion, all of Dave’s writing is available for reuse and creative remix under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License. For attribution in printed material, his name (Dave Bonta) will suffice, but for web use, please link back to the original. Contact him for permission to waive the “share alike” provision (e.g. for use in a conventionally copyrighted work).


    1. Thanks, Maria and Hugh! I’m not sure what led my sleep-deprived brain to pursue this topic last night, but it was fun.


  1. Interesting. Had I been asked, after the one and never-to-be-repeated occasion upon which I had the misfortune to ingest one of these mini monstrosities, I might have guessed the torture (mutilation, waterboarding, systematic beating etc) which had been employed to produce this undifferentiated pap-clone from a fine, upstanding individual carrot of character.


    1. Well, now, that’s putting it a bit strongly. I mean, at least we’re not talking something truly horrific, such as the great gray-green greasy lumps of leguminous glop celebrated by your people as “mushy peas,” for example.


      1. Mushy peas are, of course, delicious. I suspect you haven’t ever tried this wonderful European dhal. It’s merely dried marrowfat peas (an ancient and venerable large-seeded variety) soaked and simmered to softness. Not a gobbet of grease involved. And the grey-green is entirely natural. If it’s luminous green you know food-colouring has been added. Think of it as a variant on lentil soup :-)


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