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Clever idea. I subscribe to the wacky theory that kids prefer junk food to vegetables because it tastes better rather than because they've been brainwashed by evil advertisers, but either way this will provide useful data.



While I agree with you, I notice that I eat disproportionately few carrots than their taste would suggest (they are pretty delicious), and it's mostly because of the inconvenience of cleaning them and their relative unavailability. If I had a vending machine with carrots, I'd definitely choose them over the other snacks most of the time.

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It'd also be nice if when you do find carrots, they were packaged with something other than ranch dressing as a dip (e.g. carrots + hummus).

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It's not necessary to go over the top with cleaning carrots. Just run them under some water and wipe off any excess dirt with some paper towel (or, as I've been guilty of doing, a t-shirt). Definitely don't peel them, plenty of nutrition there.

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How much dirt isn't excess?

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If it bothers your teeth beyond the point of enjoyment.

When I pick carrots from the garden, I just wipe dirt off with my hands and eat them. So delicious.

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The longer I live in the "real world" the more cutting carrots while watching bad television has become a part of my routine. I can really eat them faster than I have the patience to shell them.

And if we want to make them junk food, all we have to do is up the sodium content to about 25% of that of a bag of chips, and kids will be gobbling them up just as if they were any other snack food. Of course, they won't be such a great thing anymore.

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>all we have to do is up the sodium content to about 25% of that of a bag of chips, and kids will be gobbling them up just as if they were any other snack food

I thought the process was mince the food up, add salt, modified soya protein and flavour enhancers, some sunset yellow (or other diabolical food colouring) and then reshape the resulting mush into mini carrot-ettes.

Finish by frying in a vat of lard, dip in HCFS and then in sugar and crisp on the grill.

Voila, fast-food-ised carrots.

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Is it really that inconvenient to clean a carrot? Just peel it and eat it. I can peel a carrot quicker than most people can even decide what to have at a vending machine.

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You're leaving out the bit where you find a knife and a cutting board, and then you wash the knife and the cutting board, and the bit where you throw away all the peel you cut off, and the bit where some of the peel winds up on the floor so you have to bend over and pick it up, and... wait, can't you just buy packaged prepeeled babby carrots anyway? They sell 'em at my local supermarket.

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I can't tell if this is tongue-in-cheek or not, but I'll reply seriously anyway:

When I want a carrot I grab one out of the fridge, grab the peeler off of the counter, pull my compost box out from under the sink and peel it directly into the compost. Why would you need a cutting board?!

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You don't need to peel carrots, really. They are nice to eat just like they are!

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When I was young we used to pick carrots from the field and wash them in the irrigator before eating them, good times.

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How about all the pesticides though?

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Carrots are roots. Even if the plant has been sprayed, you're not eating the part of the plant that got sprayed.

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if you have access to a knife

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Don't you carry one with you?

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I agree. I'd love to have the option of getting carrots (if they were in decent condition) out of the vending machine at work.

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Why don't you just keep a bag of carrots from the supermarket in a desk drawer instead? If put them in a paperbag instead of the plastic they usually come in (or else condensation will rot them), they'll easily keep for a week.

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Its not as simple as you might think: Children have been shown to prefer the taste of carrots wrapped in McDonald packaging.

Science!

http://archpedi.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/full/161/8/792

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I'm kind of a crazy person when it comes to eating healthily, but I wasn't always. It's clear to me now, sitting on the other side of the chasm, that your notion of what "tastes good" is completely fabricated by marketing and a lifetime of consuming foods that soak your brain in feel-good chemicals.

I literally can't stand the taste of junk food now, on the rare occasions I'll try a bit just for contrast.

It'll take a year or two for your body to reacclimate to what real food tastes and feels like, but once it does, you'll realize what a terrible fog you've been in all this time. That's exactly what happened to me, and I'd bet money that would happen to you if you gave it a shot.

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I agree. Same thing happened to me. Once I learned how nutrition and diseases are linked I started paying attention to what I ate. My wife reversed her type 2 diabetes entirely through nutrition as have thousands of others. I reversed years of severe food allergies. We know many people who have reversed heart disease and cancers through intensive nutritional therapies as well.

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It's part of the picture. It's not only the taste, but the availability of the junk food as well. The marketing doesn't hurt though (i.e. you weren't thirsty until you saw that Coke ad and now your mouth is watering).

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Damn it, now I'm thirsty.

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>kids prefer junk food to vegetables because it tastes better

I'm reminded of the studies in which people perceive that wine poured from an expensive bottle tastes better than wine poured from a cheap bottle - even though they're the same wine. Tasters actually processed the two wines in different parts of their brains.

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Sugar acts somewhat like a slightly addictive drug, that may cause them to prefer the other foods in addition to the advertising.

See http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2235907/?tool=pm...

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Or maybe they just prefer 'em because they're sweet and tasty.

C'mon folks, don't you remember being a kid? Sweet food tasted awesome, whether you'd seen an advertisement for it or not. Human beings, and especially children, are hard-wired to find sweets delicious and carrots merely tolerable. This made perfect sense to our prehistorical ancestors, since if they ever did manage to get access to something sweet it would be an excellent source of much-needed calories which should be prioritised.

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