There are plenty of reasons why you may want to keep the skin of your fruit and vegetables. First of all, consuming the skin means less food waste. Secondly, you may prefer the taste. And thirdly, there may be a nutritional benefit, as the skin often contains healthy nutrients and can be where the most antioxidants, vitamins and fibre are found. But for several reasons, it is not recommended (although it is not forbidden) to consume the skin. To understand why, here are 7 examples in which it is preferable not to keep the skin, or at least to wash it very well.
If there is one subject that can divide opinion, it is potato skins. Some people love to keep them for making chips or baked potatoes, while others are against it.
In fact, if potatoes don’t grow in healthy soil, they may have been treated with fifteen to twenty pesticides which you definitely don’t want to swallow! What’s more, the skin naturally contains molecules that can be toxic (solanine and chaconine), especially around any green areas.
Peel your potatoes with a peeler in order to remove only a fine layer of skin, so as not to remove all the vitamins just below it.
Find plenty of tips for how to re-use potato skins by clicking on this link.
Unless your carrots are organic, it is recommended that you scrub the skin well or else peel them, because they are covered in nitrates. If they are baby carrots, it may be better to keep the skin (but scrub them well), because their skin is rich in vitamins.
Finally, remember that even if your fruit and vegetables are organic, you still need to give them a good wash, because even if the soil is not soaked in chemicals, it could still naturally contain bacteria such as listeria.
In this case, removing the skin is recommended due to digestive problems that could make the intestines more sensitive. The skin is acidic and contains components such as cellulose, which the body has difficulty breaking down.
To easily remove the skin, place the tomato into boiling water. The skin will then come off very easily.
It is the skin of the apple that contains pectin (a molecule that helps provide a feeling of fullness). However, the quality of the soil in which this fruit grows typically exposes us to around 20 types of pesticides, which reside on the skin.
If you really want to eat the skin, buy organic apples, which you wash in cold water and scrub well. Eat them quickly afterwards to prevent them from going mouldy.
Peeling a grape is not the easiest task, but it is recommended due to the amount of fibre on the skin as well as the presence of pesticides. To do so without too much hassle, put the grapes that you are planning to eat into boiling water for a few seconds, and then put them directly into iced water. The skin will then be easier to remove.
When it comes to cherries, be aware that they contain many pesticides, especially if they come from Spain (where they chemically treat the majority of fruit and vegetables as standard). Buy organic, ideally.
Peach skin can unfortunately cause allergies and this is one of the reasons why it is recommended that you remove it. Additionally, the taste and texture is not terribly pleasant, as well as the inevitable presence of pesticides on non-organic peaches.
Find all of our tips for avoiding food waste in this article.