For about five years now, my lunch has generally consisted of the following: A grilled chicken sandwich, almonds, blueberries or cherry tomatoes, an apple, even though I almost never eat the apple, and carrots. Lots and lots of carrots.
On average, I eat a bag of carrots per week. But there is a caveat. This is only weeks that I can convince myself to do what might be my most dreaded chore; peeling and cutting carrots.
I absolutely hate peeling and cutting carrots. I will do anything or make any excuse to get out of doing it. Given the choice between peeling and cutting carrots and cleaning feces off a wall, I would much rather clean feces off a wall.
Why do I hate cutting carrots?
Honestly, I’m not sure.
Maybe it’s because it’s an extra chore on top of all the chores that I already have. Finding the motivation to cut up carrots, especially if it is at the end of a workday can be challenging.
Maybe it’s because I’m just lazy. Let’s face it: I have slacker tendencies when it comes to anything associated with cooking. Now, I’m getting better at defeating these tendencies, but again finding the motivation to cook, especially after being gone at work for almost 12 hours a day, can be a battle.
Maybe it’s because it feels like cutting and peeling carrots takes forever. First you have to peel them all. Then you have to wash them all. Then you have to cut them all up. Next comes the struggle to find a Tupperware container that can actually fit all the cut up carrots inside it. Lastly, you’re are stuck cleaning up all the peels and little pieces of carrots that are left over in your sink.
To me, all of this feels like an eternity. Yet, the last time I peeled and cut carrots, I timed myself. It only took me 21 minutes to do an entire bag. This is not a lot of time when I think about it compared to most other cooking tasks. Also, during these 21 minutes, I can easily watch or listen something. So, it’s not like I have to be mindless and miserable while peeling and cutting.
Now, you may ask why I don’t just buy baby carrots? Well, it’s because at some point a few years back, I read a tweet, that may or may have not been from a carrot expert, saying that baby carrots are bad for the environment.
In case you didn’t know, baby carrots, like chocolate milk cows, don’t actually exist. (Shocking, I know.) Instead, baby carrots are created by cutting larger carrots into the small, rounded shape of baby carrots. This creates large amounts of carrot that goes to waste.
This runs contrary to the history of their creation, as baby carrots were originally invented to keep carrots from going to waste. In the 1980’s by Mike and Dave Yurosek came up with baby carrots as a way to use carrots that were deemed unsellable due to deformities. The deformed carrots were cut and peeled into the now iconic baby shape.
So, why are they an environmental problem when they keep carrots from going to waste, you might ask? Well, indeed they are saving carrots from going to waste, but they are more like a band-aid than a bullet when it comes to solving the problem of industrial food waste. The deformities that would prevent the carrots from being sold as is, are often just superficial blemishes and non-uniform shapes. Yet, since these carrots don’t match the Bugs Bunny perfect image of a carrot, they are deemed unfit for sale in a supermarket.
A better environmental solution would be to just sell the deformed carrots as is and push back against the need to have picture perfect food.
But, this of course will never happen.
Despite their questionable environmental, I have ended up buying baby carrots from time to time when I really, REALLY didn’t want to peel and cut carrots. And, I have to admit, the environment can be damned, I would much rather buy baby carrots than peel and cut carrots.
I would like to claim that I am the perfect environmentalist that would choose the opposite. But, I am not this. The convivence of not having to peel and cut carrots, far outweighs the negative environmental concerns for me.
The real reason I don’t buy baby carrots is that they just always taste bad to me. For whatever reason, they seem dryer than the carrots that I peel and cut myself. And with this dryness also comes a less appealing carrot texture. (Does this make sense?)
So, I guess I’m stuck peeling and cutting carrots for the foreseeable future. Fingers crossed that one day I’ll convince myself that I like doing so.
P.S. I now an in the business of making custom, butcher block, walnut cutting boards. (An example of these cutting boards is in the image at the top of this post.) So, if you are in the market for a new cutting board, let me know.