Read This Before Eating Any More Baby Carrots

They may be cute, small, and look like the baby-sized version of a carrot, but if you are partial to baby carrots, we have bad news for you — nature doesn't make them, we humans do.

As HuffPost points out, baby carrots aren't actually babies, they are grown up, mature carrots which have been cut down to size in order to look more appealing to those of us who like our food served up in bite-sized, uniform looking pieces. They were born in the 1980s, a time when supermarkets would only sell produce that looked picture-perfect, leaving carrot farmers like California's Mike Yurosek with ugly produce that could only be turned into feed or juiced. 

Yurosek decided to try and give his ugly ducklings a facelift by using an industrial green bean cutter that would cut them up into two-inch pieces. He then bundled up his two-inch babies into an industrial potato peeler to take out the rough edges and sent his repackaged carrots to California grocery stores under the name "Bunny-Luv" (via USA Today). But don't knock the baby carrot, because it actually makes up almost 70 percent of all carrot sales, and they are credited with saving what could be a wasteful industry.

Baby carrots are carefully processed to avoid foodborne illnesses

USA Today says Yurosek eventually sold his business to a rival company, Grimmway Farms, but for a time, Yurosek's grandson Derek worked at Bolthouse Farms. The company tells Food Network that their full-sized carrots are first harvested and are sorted according to size, then are washed in a special rinsing solution, before they are cut down and polished to the two-inch pieces that we know and love. 

In order to keep the carrots safe for us to eat out of the bag, the carrots are washed down with a small amount of chlorine — less than the amount we might see in our drinking water — and then rinsed in water one more time. The entire process takes 48 hours. If you're worried about the amount of moisture you might find in a bag of baby carrots, don't be. Bolthouse Farms says that's just filtered tap water, which is added to keep the vegetable hydrated.

You might be wondering whether baby carrots have the same nutritional value as the vegetable from whence they came. Unfortunately, they don't, as some nutrition is lost during the production process. But Food Network also says that a baby carrot provides just five calories, one gram of carbs, and remains free of fat and cholesterol. It also provides a whopping 30 percent of the daily allowance of vitamin A — so those little bite-size snackable veggies still pack a healthy punch.