In her book, Zero Waste Home, Bea Johnson reveals that she doesn’t own a vegetable peeler. As a result, “food prep is much faster, my compost output (peelings) is considerably reduced, and we benefit from the vitamins that are locked into vegetable skins.” Is it crazy not to peel your vegetables, or is Johnson on to something? It seems the latter is true.
We are too quick to peel out of habit, without taking the time to analyze whether or not a vegetable really needs it. Much of the time, it doesn’t! An article from Healthline backs the benefits that Johnson listed, stating that up to 31 percent of the total fiber can be found in the exteriors of vegetables. Therefore, to keep you fuller for longer and your gut happier, a good wash is sufficient to clean a vegetable for eating.
Generally speaking, unpeeled produce contains higher amounts of minerals, vitamins, and more. Take a potato, for example, a boiled unpeeled potato contains up to 175 percent vitamin C, 115 percent more potassium, 111 percent more folate, and 110 percent more magnesium and phosphorus than its peeled counterpart.
As for dealing with pesticides, peeling isn’t as effective as some people may think considering pesticides penetrate from the outside and find their way into vegetables. So while there are some foods that need peeling, such as celery root, you have every reason to leave the peel on when you cook foods, such as carrots and potatoes.
With the positives of reduced waste, healthier bowel movements, and more vitamins in your life, why not give this idea a go!