Paco wrote: ... when I don't feel like being healthy, I let them go a while.
Yep, these are just roots. But if you take the time to find good carrots, you won't think of them when you're feeling healthy; you'll think of them when you're feeling hungry. I don't know who the good local growers are, but the difference between a good local carrot and a california industrial organic is like the best clover honey compared to liquefied clay. I do know they prefer sandy, alkaline soil.
In the meantime, give the hairy beasts a good rinse and toss 'em in the pot.