Can you eat carrots with nematodes?

In this brief article, we will provide an answer to the question, “Can you eat carrots with nematodes?”. Moreover, we will discuss the life cycle of nematodes, the effect of nematodes on carrots,  management options for nematodes, different recipes of carrots, the health benefits and some disadvantages of eating carrots.

Can you eat carrots with nematodes?

Yes, we can eat carrots with the nematode. Although the appearance of carrots gets changed when nematodes become visible. When nematodes grow on carrots, their shape becomes malformed and stubby. But rest assured, their flavour does not change.

Effect of nematodes on carrot

Once nematodes attack carrots, they cause forking and stubbing in carrots. Nematodes are also responsible for the destruction of roots and they also affect the ability of carrots to absorb water and nutrients. The pathogen can enter in open galls and cause roots wilting.

The life cycle of nematodes 

Nematodes that attack carrots are obligate endoparasites. These parasites complete the major part of their life cycle by residing within host roots. Sac is present on the eggs of nematodes which protect them from dehydration. Juveniles are the second stage of parasites that penetrate host roots. Stationary nematodes obtain their nutrients from giant cells.

Branching off main roots is carried out by inducing galls that are enlarged around the feeding site. The life cycle of nematodes depends on the host and the temperature of the soil. Nematodes are dispersed by irrigation water within and among fields. 

Management option for nematodes

Nematodes are not very beneficial for carrots. Therefore, some suggestions have been proposed to manage nematodes and their attack

  • Crop rotation: If we rotate carrot with some non-host crop such as sweet corn and grain. Currently, this crop rotation method is not of much use as most crops are still susceptible to it, despite crop rotation.
  • Biological control: Nematodes can be controlled by using some biological agents. Some available biological controls are not much effective while some are much more effective.
  • Chemicals: Some chemicals like pre-plant fumigants are very effective to control nematodes. But there is a concern regarding chemicals is that some of these chemicals are very costly and their applying conditions are also not very feasible.

To control nematodes, chemicals like Chloropicrin are very effective and are widely used in the United States.

  • Covering crops: By using some covering agents like covering sheets nematodes can be prevented from entering the carrots.
  • Cultural and management practices: Root-knot nematode damage can be prevented by cultural methods. Cultural practices include eliminating the roots of each crop as soon as the harvest is completed. An effective strategy is to till the soil two to three times after the elimination of roots.  

Symptoms of root-knot nematodes

After the attack of nematodes on carrots following some symptoms become visible.

  • Stunting
  • Wilting
  • Chlorosis

Nutrients present in carrots

Following are some nutrients that can be obtained by eating carrots

  • Carbohydrate
  • Fibre
  • Sugar
  • Protein
  • Magnesium
  • Potassium
  • Manganese

Some dishes made with carrots

Carrot is used in making several dishes. Following are some dishes in which carrot is used as an ingredient

  • Carrot, Date, and feta salad: This salad is rich in antioxidants. The purpose of adding carrot in this dish is to enhance crunch and natural sweetness.
  • Carrot cake: Carrot cake is easy to make and does not require much time. The cake is baked, frozen and a carrot is added to it. 
  • Cumin-spiced roasted carrots: All the ingredients are mixed in a saucepan and covered with water. These are seasoned well with salt and cooked.
  • Spiced carrot and lentil soup: Two teaspoons of cumin seeds and some chilli flakes are boiled in a saucepan. Lentils are simmered until they become soft and swollen

Health benefits of eating carrots

.Following health benefits can be availed by eating carrots

  • Nutrients: Carrots are very rich in nutrients. These nutrients are very beneficial to maintain good health.
  • Fibres: Carrots are very rich in fibre. These fibres help to keep blood sugar levels in control and also helps to keep the body full for a longer period.
  • Vitamins and minerals: Vitamins are composed of beta carotene and many minerals.
  • Decreases blood cholesterol level: High intake of carrots leads to lower blood cholesterol levels.

Disadvantages of eating carrots

Following are some disadvantages of eating carrots

  • Eating a lot of carrots can lead to discolouration of the skin.
  • Carrots can cause skin rashes, diarrhoea, and allergies in extreme cases.
  • Sometimes carrots can lead to bloating

Conclusion

In this brief article, we have provided an answer to the question, “Can you eat carrots with nematodes?”. Moreover, we will discuss the life cycle of nematodes, the effect of nematodes on carrots,  management options for nematodes, different recipes of carrots, the health benefits and some disadvantages of eating carrots.

References

http://vegetablemdonline.ppath.cornell.edu/factsheets/RootKnotNematode.htm

https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/photos/carrot-recipes
https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/foods/carrots

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.