Trivia

Hard

Which Of These Foods Was Created To Cut Down On Food Waste?

Brussel Sprouts
Waffles
Tater Tots
Baby Carrots
A group of baby carrots.
m01229/Flickr

Answer: Baby Carrots

In the early 1980s, carrot consumption in the United States was on the decline; not only were people not purchasing a whole lot of carrots to take home, not much of the actual crop was making it to the shelves either. Nobody likes ugly carrots and at the time, roughly half of each carrot crop was too small, misshapen, or just plain ugly to sell—and the farmers discarded them.

The stagnation of carrot sales and excessive waste all changed when a single man completely revolutionized the industry. In 1986, carrot farmer Mike Yurosek, was sick of all the waste. Rather than throw away all those odd shaped and undersized carrots, he attacked them with a potato peeler and shaped them into something that looked far more palatable: small, perfectly orange and unblemished, baby carrots. While manually carving them into a desired shape showed Yurosek that there was something worthwhile in the process, it was far too time consuming. He purchased a machine intended for use on green beans and cranked out bags of uniform two inch baby carrots.

After supplying a few local grocers with bags of the baby carrots, the entire industry took notice and by the following year, baby carrots were lifting the entire carrot industry out of a long slump. Within a decade, per capita carrot consumption in the United States had doubled and today nearly 70 percent of all carrot sales are bags of baby carrots.

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