This one is for Pepper Mill, who was exasperated last night that a relatively new bag of carrots should already be slimy/
“What makes them slimy?” she asked.
“Put it up on the Board,” I suggested.
It seems clear to me that it must be the action of some kind of microorgamisms getting a free munch of our dearly-bought produce asa it sits in the Crisper of our refrigerator. Bacteria, maybe, or a fungus. But exactly what is it? And what can you do to prevent it, or at least slow it down?
And now for a useful answer. It sounds to me like your veggie storage area is too humid. If you wash them before you store them, make sure they are patted dry before they go into the fridge. Maybe even keep a dry paper towel in the bag with them.
Since the carrot is a root, I wonder what would happen if they were stored in water (like fresh parsley, cilantro asparagus are supposed to be).
Q. Once I harvest my carrots and place them in the crisper, they soon deteriorate into a slimy, foul-smelling mess.
A. This is usually associated with bacterial soft rot which enters the carrot at harvest time through cuts and breaks. Harvest your carrots before the soil temperature rises above 80 degrees F and the bacteria become active. To control, wash carrots thoroughly. Broken or damaged carrots should be consumed immediately. After washing, place them in a crisper and keep them at a cool temperature.
Does this advice make sense to any other gardeners on the board? So far as I know, carrots are an autumn harvest. So if the soil ever gets above 80 F, it’ll do so well before the carrots are big enough for harvest.
Maybe that’s where baby carrots come from?
Yeah, we dig up our carrots in the fall, and bury them in an old tub to keep them from freezing. When the wife needs carrots, I go out, pull the top off the buried tub, and grab a bunch of cool carrots.
That does sound sort of bizarre. I’d agree with you that if the ground temperature ever gets above 80 F, then it will definitely have done it before harvest time.
Anyway, air temperature is not ground temperature. I’ve always found the dirt to be cooler than the air, especially if you dig down a little bit. Maybe some one should stick a thermometer into the dirt down to carrot depth and check the temperature on the hottest days.
I occaisionally have the same problem, but in my case the carrots are cut and peeled baby carrots prepackaged in a sealed 1 pound plastic bag. I eat a lot of these, as I am supposed to have a serving of vegetables every lunch and dinner, and the prepackaged ready-to-eat carrots are the easiest to make (that is, there is zero effort required aside from opening the plastic bag and sticking them in my mouth one at a time).
Anyways, from time to time I get a “slimy” carrot in a bag. Once in a while there are several carrots in a bag that are “slimy,” and (very rarely) a majority of a bag.
I have found that if I want to bother with it, rinsing off the slimy ones under running cold water gets the slime off.
Pepper says that there’s always a hole in the bag, and the “crisper” isn’t set too humid. She says that she doesn’t notice the problem with organic carrots, so now she’s going to try and buy those. We’ve noticed it with “baby” carrots quite a bit.
And I hab to agree that 80 degrees F sounds pretty darned hot for ground.
If your carrots turned slimy and stinky, then they’ve probably got soft rot, caused by the bacterium Erwinia carotovora. Aside from carrots, it also infects other vegetables like potatoes, onions, cucumbers, and lettuce. I’ve been unfortunate enough to work with this micoorganism in a class. The, uh, aroma of rotting vegetable is quite distinctive.
Is it dangerous to eat a slimy carrot, or other carrots that have been in the same bag as a slimy carrot? I bought a bag of the baby carrots and noticed a few slimy ones too. I threw those out, is it ok to eat the rest? (I hope so, because I have been, and also gave some to my dog).