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You Asked: Carrot Peels?

You're asking and I'm answering . . .

Dear Fit,
For years I have been peeling my carrots before eating them, but recently I went to a friend's house for dinner. She was making a big salad and she didn't peel the carrots before slicing them. I asked her about it and she said you could eat them. Is this true? Have I been peeling for nothing? Or does the peel have extra nutrition, like apple peels do?
— Not a Carrot Connoisseur Catie

If you're wondering too, then


That's a great question, and I too grew up peeling my carrots, because I was grossed out by the fact that they were dirty and grown underground. Then I realized that potatoes, parsnips, and radishes are underground veggies too and eat those skins. Just like those veggies' skins, the outside layer of carrots is also edible, and it's not necessary to peel them. You just need to scrub them real well to get rid of the dirt. Some people think that pesticides are concentrated in the peel of conventional carrots, but that's not the case. Since carrots are grown underground, the chemicals get into the soil and can seep into the entire veggie, so peeling won't necessarily prevent you from consuming pesticides. If you're concerned about chemicals, then buy organic carrots.

As far as the nutritional value of the carrot peel goes, since this veggie is a bright orange color throughout, there's no more beta carotene in the peel than there is in the inside. So to sum things up, the peel is healthy to eat (as long as you wash it), but you won't be missing out on any vitamins if you don't eat the peel.


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