In the past few decades, there has been an increase in demand for carrots across the US. Nutritionists heavily recommend consumption of carrots due to health benefits. Carrots originated from Asia and spread to Europe and later into North America during the colonization period. Carrots are biennial crops that produce taproots which are consumed and ranges from red, yellow and purple. Carrots can be found in different frozen, fresh and as juice products. Also, carrots can be consumed raw, and the leaves can be used to prepare salads. This implies that carrots are one of the vegetables that have several benefits as the roots can be consumed alongside their leaves. Carrots can be consumed by different categories of people who include those having chronic diseases and those who require nutrition supplements. Carrots are mostly bought by households and also people suffering from chronic diseases such as cancer and diabetes. Some characteristics of carrots include; contain high amounts of vitamins that are useful for the body. Specifically, carrots contain various health benefits which include; contains antioxidants that protect against cancer, Vitamin A that prevents loss of eyesight and also contains beta-coratene as a supplement to reduce lung cancer risks.
However, the demand for carrots can decline due to the availability of substitute vegetables that contains the same nutritional value. Some of these substitute vegetables include beets, cucumber, and squash. These vegetables contain a high level of Vitamin A and other nutritional value as those found in carrots. Nevertheless, the demand for carrots continues to increase due to a wide range of health benefits, and also farmers continue to invest more in carrot farming. For this reason, the supply of carrots will tend to be throughout seasons.
Carrots require cool-season to enable roots to acquire optimal size and color. The production of carrots is usually done when the air temperature is between 60 degrees and 70 degrees. Although carrots can be grown throughout the seasons of the year, the best favorable season to grow carrots is fall and summer as the carrots tend to be flavorful and freshest. Across the year, 2.4 billion pounds of carrots are harvested from 71,550 acres across the US (USDA National Ag Statistics Service, 2017). After production, carrots are usually shipped from California where 85% of the total carrots are grown in the US. Carrots are stored in dry and clean bags and later transported by trucks to different states across the US. During adverse weather conditions, carrots must be protected from moisture, mold, and spoilage caused by self-heating. The raw carrots can either be processed to produce carrot juice, fresh and frozen products ready for consumption. The final consumers can either purchase carrots from grocery outlets across the states.
The prices of carrots range between $31.4 and $14 per cwt. According to USDA National Ag Statistics Service, about 60 percent of carrots are consumed raw while 40% is consumed in the form of carrot juice. The leaves of the carrots are used in preparing salads as they contain a high level of nutrients. In a nutshell, carrots include numerous health benefits that help in improving the health of the American population. Therefore, the government should adopt appropriate policies to boost the growth of carrots across the US for domestic use.