Are Hairy Carrots Safe To Eat?

Carrots are one of the first vegetables our tender palates and digestive systems experience as infants. According to San Francisco Gate, carrots are toward the top of the list when it comes to sweet vegetables. Per Statista, in the United States, we ate 7.71 pounds, per person, in 2020. With the lengthy list of nutrients this beta carotene vegetable contains, it is easy to understand why we are crunching on carrots at meals and during snack time. Healthline notes that these cruciferous veggies are 88% water and are the perfect food to help keep you feeling full without adding empty calories.

Carrots are delightful and may even have you parroting everyone's favorite Looney Tune character's catchphrase, "What's up, Doc?". Bugs Bunny sure knows a thing or two about this vegetable, and we appreciate his good eating habits. It makes us want to reach into the fridge, grab an orange carrot and crunch down on it. But what happens when you go into the crisper drawer and pull out a bag full of hairy carrots? Does that mean it's time to toss them? Are hairy carrots safe to eat?

It depends on a few key factors

According to the Herald-Star, we aren't the only ones who have been pondering this question. A gentleman from Pennsylvania wrote to columnist Heloise Bowles Cruse hoping that the "Hints from Heloise" author would answer, and she did. The inquiring man wrote, "What causes the hairy strings to grow on carrots, and what causes carrots to have cracks in them? Oh, and are they still safe to eat?"

Heloise did not disappoint. The columnist explained that those "hairy" bunches that grow on your carrots are actually small roots that are parched and in need of water. Heloise says these carrots are safe to eat unless they are slimy and limp. And what about those hairs? Well, she suggests taking a vegetable brush and getting after them. You should also look for any mold and do a smell test. As Seattle Local Food points out, fresh carrots smell "amazing" and "if they smell good, they will taste good."

How long do carrots generally last? Per Does It Go Bad, if you deal with whole carrots and store them in the refrigerator, they can last for about two weeks. And if you store these babies covered in water, they last even longer, up to a month.