Have you ever wondered how producers make those convenient little baby carrots also called cocktail carrots? I did, and what my investigative search uncovered is not a healthy conclusion. Approximately 3 billion pounds of carrots are sold each year in the U.S. alone—20 percent are peeled and processed as miniature “baby carrots,” carrot sticks and other varieties of fresh, processed carrots.
Those crunchy little carrots are made using larger crooked, deformed or partially rotten carrots and giving them a face-lift. What is disturbing is that once those carrots are cut and shaped into the little size, they are dipped in a solution of water and chlorine…yes; I said chlorine…in order to preserve them. Allow me to expand on that toxic concept.
Blushing Takes on a Whole New Meaning
You’ve all experienced baby carrots turning white, called white blushing. This condition of mostly dehydration causes huge profit loses for the grocer if they have to be discarded. Instead, those carrots are dipped in chlorine to prevent the white blushing. Now let me make it clear that white blush does not affect nutritional value or taste. That said, most consumers consider this condition as inferior and stores can’t sell them.
The patent for the white washing recipe calls for one or two chlorine baths during processing—using a chlorine concentration between 50 –150 ppm (parts per million). Experts say the amount needed to kill bacteria for instance is 15 –20 ppm…wouldn’t you say the 50 –150 ppm is over-kill?
Water chlorination has virtually eliminated waterborne diseases such as cholera, typhoid, dysentery and hepatitis. However, over the last 30 years growing research shows that chlorine and its by-products are actually quite harmful to your health.
Over time, chlorine and disinfection by-products buildup in the environment, in your food, and your body. So although the amount of chlorine you ingest from cocktail carrots may be minute, it’s added to your overall toxic burden from a number of other sources—your water supply probably being one of the most concentrated.
However, just like in water, it is not the chlorine you have to worry about. When chlorine interacts with organic matter it will form dangerous disinfection by-products (DBPs) which are many thousands of times more toxic than chlorine—literally a toxic cocktail! Research has now confirmed the by-products formed when chlorine reacts with organic material in water are some of the most potent toxins out there. Among them are trihalomethanes (THMs) and haloacetic acids (HAAs). These disinfection by-products are believed to be over 10,000 times more toxic than chlorine.
It’s important to understand that chlorine forms these DBPs in ALL carrots, organically and non-organically grown. Long-term risks of consuming chlorinated water and DBPs include excessive free-radical formation (which accelerates aging), increased vulnerability to genetic mutation and cancer development, hindrance of cholesterol metabolism, and promotion of hardening of arteries.
Excess free radicals created by chlorinated water also generate dangerous toxins inside your body. These have been directly linked to:
- Liver malfunction
- Weakening of overall immune system
- Pre-arteriosclerotic changes in your arteries
In addition, chlorine destroys antioxidant vitamin E, which is needed to counteract excess oxysterols/free radicals for cardiac-and anti-cancer protection.
Chlorine has also been shown to destroy protective acidophilus that nourishes and cooperates with the immunity-strengthening “friendly bacteria” lining your colon.
We all KNOW that chlorine is a proven carcinogen, in other words, capable of causing cancer. My suggestion to you as to my patients: Buy whole, unprocessed carrots and wash, peel, and cut them yourself.
Digest These Facts
When chlorinated water is run through a hose or carried in a pail followed by milk as in a dairy, “very tenacious, yellowish deposits chemically similar to arterial plaque” form; with unchlorinated water this doesn’t happen.
The residents of the small town of Roseto, Pennsylvania, had no heart attacks despite a diet rich in saturated animal fats and milk—that is until they moved away from Roseto’s mountain spring water and drank chlorinated water. After that, consuming the same diet, they had heart attacks. The Roseto example is dramatic enough, but the needed detailed comparisons and follow-up have never been done.
A physician team led by William F. Enos autopsied three hundred GIs who had died in battle in the Korean War. These men, who had passed induction examination as healthy, averaged 22.1 years of age. To their shock and amazement, in seventy-seven percent out of 300, the pathologists found “gross evidence of arteriosclerosis in the coronary arteries.” In several, one or more heart arteries were partly or completely occluded. The water the American soldiers had to drink in Korea was so heavily chlorinated that many could hardly tolerate it. In Vietnam too, autopsies of American solders found heart-artery damage. Again, water supplied to them had been heavily chlorinated. Did much of the soldiers’ arterial damage develop gradually and not quickly? Not likely, the chlorinated water seems to be the culprit.
With the above facts in evidence, it also becomes extremely important to drink pure, unchlorinated water. Many inexpensive devices are now available that remove chlorine and other contaminants. While the body can survive without food for about five weeks, it cannot survive without water for longer than three days; make sure the water you consume is as pure as possible, naturally.