Is it better to peel them?

Many people’s default when preparing fruits and vegetables is to peel them. But often, this is not necessary. There are important nutrients in the peel. Moreover, fruit and vegetable peels contribute to climate change.

Fruits and vegetables are rich sources of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and many phytochemicals (phytochemicals), such as antioxidants (substances that protect your cells from harm). Not eating enough of these nutrient-rich foods is linked to an increased risk chronic diseasesincluding cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. In 2017, the World Health Organization reported that about 3.9 million deaths annually worldwide are attributable to people who do not eat enough fruits and vegetables.

– Eat 400 grams of fruits and vegetables daily, As recommended by the World Health OrganizationIt is difficult to achieve for many people. Could eating the peels of fruits and vegetables help solve this problem by adding important nutrients to people’s diets?

They can certainly contribute. For example, nutritionally important amounts of vitamins, such as vitamin C and riboflavin, and minerals such as iron and zinc, are found in the peel. Seven root vegetablesBeetroot, mustard, wild carrot, sweet potato, radish, ginger and white potato. and the US Department of Agriculture It shows that unpeeled apples contain 15% more vitamin C, 267% more vitamin K, 20% more calcium, 19% more potassium and 85% more fiber than their peeled counterparts. Many of the peels are also rich in bioactive phytochemicals, such as flavonoids and polyphenols, which have antioxidant and antimicrobial properties.

Another reason not to get rid of the scales is their impact on the environment. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture OrganizationUneaten foods, including the peel, generate 8%-10% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. (Food rot in landfills releases methane, the most potent greenhouse gas.) New Zealand alone reports an annual waste of 13658 tons of vegetable peels and 986 tons of fruit peels A country with a population of only 5.1 million.

Given the nutritional content of the peel and its contribution to food waste, why do people peel fruits and vegetables at all? Some of the outer parts must be peeled off It is inedible, does not taste pleasant, is difficult to clean or causes harmSuch as banana, orange, watermelon, pineapple, mango, avocado, onion and garlic. Also, peeling may be a necessary part of the recipe, for example, when making mashed potatoes. But many peels, such as potatoes, beets, carrots, kiwi fruit, and cucumbers, are edible, yet people peel them anyway.

pesticide residues

Some people peel fruits and vegetables because they are concerned about pesticides coming to the surface. Pesticide residues are certainly kept on or just below the surface, although this varies for different types of plants. But most of these residues can be removed by washing. In fact, the United States Food and Drug Administration People recommend washing produce thoroughly under cold water and scrubbing with a stiff brush to remove pesticides, dirt, and chemicals.

A person washes a potato.
Can scrape pesticide residues and dirt.
suwinai sukanant / Alami Stock Photo

Cooking techniques, such as boiling and steaming, can also reduce pesticide residues. But not all pesticide residues are removed by washing and cooking. And people who are concerned about their exposure to pesticides may still want to peel. Lists of pesticide contents for fruits and vegetables are available in some countries, for example, Pesticide Action Network Single production for the United Kingdom. This can help you decide which fruits and vegetables to peel and which type of peels to eat.

If you want to learn more about peeling fruits and vegetables and what to do with them, there are plenty of tips online including help on how to use the peels for Fertilizerto feed a wormsor Incorporate it into recipes. With a little research and creativity, you can help reduce waste and increase your fruit and vegetable intake. Definitely worth a try? It will help achieve one of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals: to Cut food waste in half by 2030.

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