In the 1980s, Mike Yurosek, a carrot farmer in California, had an idea. What if he could take the knobby carrots that he was composting or selling for livestock feed and turn them into a baby-cut carrot for consumers? He started out making his baby carrots by hand, washing, peeling, and cutting them. He contacted a grocery store, which agreed to try selling these little carrots. The shoppers loved them. A new product was born.
Yurosek bought a used green-bean cutter (which is why the standard length for a baby-cut carrot became 2″) and an industrial potato peeler. His carrots, which were marketed as Bunny-Luv, hit store shelves in the late 1980s. By 1989, baby-cut carrots were available in stores across the country. By 1999, sales of baby-cut carrots passed those of whole carrots.
Today, Americans eat 11 pounds of carrots per year, up from 6 pounds in the 1960s.
So, the baby carrots that you eat at your 4th of July picnic are the result of a farmer trying to reduce his waste! How cool is that?