The Orange Man Project

Introduction

The Idea:

A few weeks ago I was talking with my roommate. I can't remember what it was about, but somehow the topic of carrots came up. Now, my roommate is a friggin genius about all things medical and conspiratal. If it involves the two together, he is a super genius. Don't even get him started about how the government is rigging football games to control the population, because it will blow your mind.

So yeah, carrots. He tells me that if someone eats a whole lot of carrots, they will turn orange for a while. I find it hard to believe, but he is always right about such things. It's also important to note that he doesn't actually specify how many carrots or for how long one would turn orange. For all I know at this point, it could be following the, "you are what you eat" principle and turning you into an actual carrot.

Time passes...

I'm driving down the road thinking about absolutely nothing. All of a sudden, BAM!! An idea hits me like a pound a bricks. Passing motorists mistake this as a cursory head banging. I need to find out if this whole, "turn yourself orange" thing works. Ideas start forming in my head, necessitating more head rocking. I know what I need to do, I need to consume enough carrots to turn myself orange!

Hours later reality begins to take grip again. I should probably find out if this is even possible before I go on a potentially deadly carrot eating spree. A few searches on Google turns up a condition known as Carotenemia. So yes, eating a metric ton of carrots (or drinking the milk of someone that has eaten said carrots) can turn babies orange. But can it turn a full sized man orange? I believe it is my duty to find out, and find out I will.

The plan:

Every good project has a plan, and here is mine.

  1. Eat carrots...lots of carrots. Raw, baked, grilled, boiled, or steamed. Carrots in any form I can stomach them. (As noted in the link above, several vegetables and yellow human milk are alternatives, but this is about the carrots)
  2. Take photos. I need to know if I am actually changing color, and to do this I will need to check my skin pigment daily.
  3. Avoid other foods. I don't know what affect other foods will have on carrot absorption rates, so I will be sticking to carrots with extreme prejudice. The only thing other than carrots that I will ingest are spices for the carrots (which should have a negligible effect on anything other than taste), water, and vitamins. (I'm not even going to think about vitamin deficiencies due to eating only carrots.)
  4. Take regular weight measurements. This should allow me to check the amount of carrot in the colon, and any potential weight loss. (Hey, why not?)
  5. Pay attention carefully for any comments about skin color. Obviously doing a double blind test would be impossible, however I think not telling anyone will get me results that are statistically significant enough.
  6. Chew lots of minty fresh gum. I have no idea what only eating carrots does to your breath, but I'm not taking any chances.
  7. Do all of this for 2 weeks.

Preparation:

I guess I could have made up a shopping list, but when all you are going to eat are carrots, it seems a little excessive. My first purchase was a scale from Fry's Electronics, who has one of the worst websites in the world, but is still a hella cool store. It is all the way across town, but I had to go to price out a few computer parts. There were many scales to choose from, but sales associate (Roger) was kind enough to help me pick out a scale. We tested out about half of the available scales together, and let me tell you they varied significantly. Variance in measured weight between the scales was around 8 pounds. Finally I settled on this little number.

Tanita Scale

Testing the scale over and over resulted in no deviation for measurements taken within a few seconds of each other. The weight does seem to vary some over time though. For instance, between going to be and waking up I seemed to gain about 1.2lbs, which is just silly. How do you increase your weight while sleeping? Combining Oxygen molecules with something else in your system to create a denser substance, which causes a greater measured weight due to decreased offset of atmospheric displacement? Perhaps the sensors vary their measurements depending on their temperature. Or maybe I have finally stumbled across conclusive evidence that I sleep walk and eat?

After this I went to H.E.B. (B. for "butt") to purchase carrots. Fortunately I was able to go to a nice one on the way home instead of the uber ghetto one next to where I live.

bags of carrots

3 large bags of full sized carrots, and 4 bags of baby carrots.

Remembering my roommate's caution that the government puts chemicals in regular carrots to sedate the population, I went all out and bought organic carrots. I expect these will give a new sense of awareness, super human strength, as well as extra orange skin.

Next, I have to make room in the fridge for my new found possessions. Again I am fortunate in that I haven't actually purchased any food in the past month or two. With the exception of eating out (which I seem to have been doing a lot of) the only thing I've had to eat for weeks have been quesadillas made with cheap sliced ham, tortillas, and my favorite cheese. Given this, I decided to clean out the fridge and throw away all of my old food. This consisted largely of old carrots (now that is strange...) and a few containers with bits of food I had forgotten about...for a very long time...

To the left are potatoes, or at least they were at some point. Now they are a gelatinous mass that exceeds my ability to approach due to their pungent aroma. I suspect the smell is similar to some traditional nordic foods. To the right are the remains of a delicious chicken/rice/bell pepper meal. I don't know what it was called, but I would gladly have it over again in a fresher form.

Apparently Sponge Bob has his own line of carrots now. Who knew? Are they made with sea water?

The fridge now. I have taken the bottom shelf hostage with carrots. Take that!

After removing all of the old food, I took some cleaning wipes (purchased just for this) to clean the parts of the fridge that were easy to get to. I didn't want mold and such getting to my carrots. I'm not real sure what the shelf life of carrots are, but I'm not taking any risks. Having read the label, I now feel confident that the advertised 99.9% of stuff I can't see is now dead.

Yes, that is garlic with butter. Who can know the mind of a roommate? I can only guess that there is some mysterious property of garlic that protects butter.

My cost so far?

Scale $78.04
3 bags of organic carrots $11.97
4 bags of mini organic carrots $7.96
Disinfectant wipes $2.19
3 packs of gum $2.64
Total: $102.80

Initial Measurements

My initial weight measurement is 248.6 lbs. Shortly after that I took a little trip to the men's room. Upon returning, my weight had dropped to 247.2 lbs. Is that normal? How do you find out what normal is? Aren't scales cool?