For $1,000,000…

March 19, 2009


Would you consume enough carrots to maintain an orange color for a year?

Ugh. I hate carrots. I’ve probably spent, cumulatively, a year of my life just picking them out of soups and salads and dishes where the menu didn’t specify that they’d appear in my food. They’re gross, and what makes them even grosser is that they’re one of those filler foods. Like celery, people mindlessly toss carrots into recipes just to make the dish go further. Think about it: Did that fried rice really need those peas and haphazardly thrown in carrot cubes?* No, it did not. Wasn’t that pot pie fine without the last minute addition of those bland orange discs?** Yes, it was. Did that stir fry or that salad – which were both pretty delicious once I picked the carrots out – really need that useless shredded orange pile of yuck? No, sir, they did not.

But here’s the other thing: I’m a strong believer in the idea that this game should be a challenge. You don’t suffer a little, you don’t deserve a million dollars. So I’d say yes to this and start working on making my hate relationship with carrots into more of a lovehate relationship. Carotenoderma, which results from too much carotene (the thing that gives carrots their color) in your system, can occur at what seems like fairly low levels of consumption to me: Just three to five large carrots a day can essentially turn you into Lindsay Lohan. I think I could pull off that much. And truth be told, I actually like carrot juice.*** So maybe I could create some less-than-awesome-while-still-not-being-full-on-horrible carrot consumption schedule that would keep my skin orange while not destroying my will to live.

The real bummer about this dare is that orange skin – which is harmless, btw, and goes away when you chill with eating all those damn carrots – happens when you consume too much of any carotenoid, and that list includes food I would quite happily eat all the time. Asparagus, broccoli, cheese, cucumbers, collard greens, spinach – they all make you go orange if you eat enough of them (although you’d have to eat LOTS more of them than carrots, which pack far much more carotene and vitamin A), which I’d be totally down to do because I wuv them. But that’s not the dare, so there’s no use dwelling on it. So, in summary: Yes, I would eat carrots all the time, round the clock for a year, and then never again once I got my money. That’s definitely worth $1,000,000.

* I hate Chinese food too, but that’s another story.
** I love pot pie. Especially the crust.
*** I know. It makes no sense.

– Kali

A million dollars for regularly eating a food that I enjoy? Sure. Unlike Kali, I just love carrots.* Carrot risotto, carrot-ginger soup, balsamic-roasted carrots, carrot and parsnip mash, Morrocan-style carrots with cumin and lemon, raw carrots with dip, carrot moochim, steamed carrots with butter and fresh mint, carrot tempura, carrot tzimmes… Bring it on.

* Except for – wait for it – carrot juice. I can’t stand that stuff.

– Lauren


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