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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.


Join The Conversation
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 9 years
I never understood why you needed to peel carrots.
CesyBabe CesyBabe 9 years
hehe this post made me go eat a carrot! yay for making me go do healthy things!
Spectra Spectra 9 years
I always buy the baby carrots that come pre-peeled. But when I do eat the big carrots, I don't usually peel them. I do scrub them well, but I kind of like the flavor of the skin so I leave it on.
nuclear_winter nuclear_winter 9 years
does this count for baby carrots that come in a baggie? cause if so.. whoops
heineken67 heineken67 9 years
It's not even really a peel, you're just shaving off the outside of the carrot. I only "peel" my carrots if they have too many little roots coming off them that might get stuck in my teeth.
emalove emalove 9 years
I prefer to peel mine.
svenska svenska 9 years
I've never peeled a carrot in my life - the only time I eat them peeled are the baby carrots I buy at the store every so often.
Ikandy Ikandy 9 years
i usually buy them already peeled too...i eat alot of carrots.
jessie jessie 9 years
i just buy the carrots in the bag...:D
carrotmuseum carrotmuseum 9 years
It is not so. Most of the goodness in carrots is in or very near the skin. Reducing as you get nearer the centre.
kia kia 9 years
My parents peeled and I thought it was silly to see so much food waste. I clean them as well as I can and eat the peel myself.
uptown_girl uptown_girl 9 years
I peel. My mom did!
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
neat...i usually peel mine just because it makes them look nice hahahhaa.
ilanac13 ilanac13 9 years
it's really interesting to see how we all do things because that's what our parents did...i.e. peeling carrots. my mom ALWAYS peeled them before we ate thm, and now to be honest, depending on what i'm cooking, i'll just wash and chop and it'll be just as good. it's great to make the analogy between carrots and taters - since they really are grown the same way.
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
I've eaten carrots with and without.
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