You guys, I have a confession. I had no idea that "baby cut" carrots and "baby carrots" were two different things. But they are, and apparently this is a misconception that's sufficiently common to merit a Wikipedia entry.
I didn't realize that the shiny little peeled carrots I buy in a bag in the organic section of Fred Meyer and feed to my kids with the smug satisfaction of a mom watching her kids eat vegetables don't come out of the ground like that.
I mean, on a subconscious level, I had to realize this was the case. I'm no green thumb, to be SURE, but I've never seen any plant in the shape of a smooth orange cylinder with no skin that really looks more like it tumbled at a high rate of speed through a special machine in a factory to acquire its shape, which of course it did. God knows what happens to the scraps.
And learning about "real" baby carrots didn't make me feel any more sanguine. Who would have the heartlessness to yank an immature carrot in the prime of its life from the ground? For what? A stir fry?! This is some form of carrot abortion and the anti-Planned Parenthood peeps should divert their attention away from mammograms to this.
Baby carrots are like the vegetable version of lamb or veal (both of which, bee-tee-dubs, I ALSO did not realize were baby cows and sheep, until I fed some at the children's zoo exhibit at the Bronx Zoo in second grade). I'm from NYC. Whaddya gonna do?
I will never look at a baby carrot OR a "baby cut" carrot the same way again, and now I know that the white stuff is a preservative to hide the baby cut carrot's insidious origins, and not just part of the "natural aging process" like I had told myself for so long.
Then again, it took me until high school to realize Humpty Dumpty was an egg. Prior to sophomore year, I thought he was just an ovoid white ceramic sculpture that sat on a wall and broke.
Please don't tell me he's not an egg after all. It will blow my mind all over again.