A group of pranksters on Facebook have helped start a worldwide â€œCarrot Panic Buyâ€ for May 15th at around 2pm. Those participating will flock to markets and buy carrots en masse. All forms of carrots are accepted targets of the event: bunched, baby, canned, frozen and for those desperate some suggest that processed carrot soup even counts. The Facebook groupâ€“â€œOn May 15th Everyone Needs to Go Out and Panic Buy Carrotsâ€â€“explains that the aim of this mass action is to cause a temporary global shortage of carrots. The Facebook group iconâ€“a man holding a lobsterâ€“epitomizes the intent of the event: meaningless random fun. The global group so far has close to 230,000 members from places including the UK, Australia, France, Canada as well as the US.
The Panic Buy, which has been planned for months, comes now on the eve of a global food crisis currently causing events such as the rice shortages in Afghanistan and the flour shortages Japan. However, a mass carrot buy should not significantly impact worldwide food availability; the carrot is part of a varied diet, but not a staple such as corn, wheat or rice. According to Dr. Tim Jones, anthropologist at the University of Arizona, America wastes nearly half of the food it produces. Administrators assure that a percentage of carrots will be donated to feed the homeless.
Carrots can be bought locally at the Isla Vista Co-op on Seville Rd., the Calle Real Center Farmerâ€™s Market from 3 to 6pm and the Isla Vista Market, as well as at Trader Joeâ€™s, Albertsons, Vons, Ralphs, Gelsonâ€™s and elsewhere. Canned carrots, as well as carrots in their sealed, original packages, can be donated to the Santa Barbara Food Bank at 4554 Hollister Avenue. Some good carrot recipes can be found on websites such as allrecipes.com or foodtv.com. If purchased carrots start to go bad, they can be composted at various sites, such as the compost collection buckets in front of the I.V. Co-op.