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Smelly carrots question

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I love carrots and usually buy local or organic ones now, but recently I was lured into buying some non-organic ones at my local supermarket due to a sale. As soon as I pulled them out of my shopping bag, I could smell a very strong chemical odor. (It was a 3 pound bag.) I have noticed this before when I have purchased carrots and am wondering what this is all about. If the smell is so strong, it really makes me think about using them.

As an experiment, I soaked about 6 of them in a mixture of white vinegar and water. Then I peeled one to see if there was a difference. It still smelled. A bit less, but not much.

As I said, this is not the first time I have noticed this. The carrots look decent. But the smell is really weird. Any clues or am I just ultra- sensitive in the nasal passages? And would you eat them/ cook with them?

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  1. I used to buy bagged baby carrots for the lunchbox. Very often, they smelled of chlorine bleach. I assume they get a chlorinated wash as a disinfectant before bagging.

    I have not noticed this in bagged whole carrots but some carrots, particularly thicker, woodier ones, have a bitter taste and smell, like marigolds or Queen Anne's lace, to both of which carrots are related. Could that be what you are smelling?

    3 Replies
    1. re: greygarious

      No, it's really more of a chemical smell. I left the bag on the counter along with the carrots I cleaned, and it's left a pretty strong aroma that wafted around the kitchen. (The ones I cleaned still don't smell so great.) I do suspect it is some kind of strong chemical used to clean them. As I said, this is not the first time I've encountered this- and is one reason I switched to organic- but I'm just curious about it. Think I'm going to chuck them.

      1. re: mvi

        You should return them and explain why, so the supermarket can investigate and perhaps change their supplier.

    2. Heck, you can get organic carrots for under $.50 per pound at Costco.

      1 Reply
      1. re: treb

        I know and thanks so much. My question really is about what causes this, not where to get organic. I'm a vegan, so I eat a lot of vegetables and almost always go the organic route due to the difference in taste. I was just curious if anyone else had encountered this, that's all.

      2. Early humans developed a sense of smell that alerted them to poisonous/spoiled foods. In my book if it smells bad, don't eat it.

        1 Reply
        1. re: pikawicca

          I think those early humans were onto something.

          God only knows what is being used on some of this produce, right?