What’s the deal with peels?

Holden Foreman, entertainment editor

Nature gives us much to take for granted, and its more subtle offerings suffer even more neglect than essentials such as air, water and light. For example, trashing billions of dollars of food has become second nature to Americans, and nothing illustrates this wastefulness better than fruit peels. Fruit itself is commonly incorporated into the KHS student’s lunch; yet, munching on an orange peel tends to draw stares, despite the undeniable health benefits the food provides. In the interest of KHS’s fitness and respect for nature’s bounty, I examined the nutritional benefits of four commonly discarded fruit peels.


Orange Peel

According to the Department of Agriculture, 100 grams of orange flesh contains 47 calories, 2.4 grams of fiber, 89 percent of one’s daily vitamin C and 4 percent of the daily calcium recommendation. On the other hand, the same amount of orange peel packs 10.6 grams of fiber, 227 percent of daily vitamin C, and 16 percent of daily calcium into 97 calories. So, by mass, the orange peel provides over four times the fiber and calcium than the fruit within. Try them plain, candied or even dipped in chocolate for a refreshing treat.


Apple Peel

McDonald’s deprives children of one gram of fiber for every apple it processes. Seriously, the USDA reports 52 calories in a 100 gram apple but only 48 calories in the same sized apple without the peel. The reason for the difference: the peeled apple contains 1.3 grams of the entire fruit’s 2.4 grams of fiber. Not to mention, 27 milligrams of potassium, the fluid-regulating mineral which roughly 98 percent of Americans lack enough of, are contained in the apple’s skin.


Banana Peel

In India, banana peels make their way to plates boiled or baked, but here in the United States, where about 12 billion bananas were consumed in 2013, the nutritious skin seems reserved for slapstick humor and Mario Kart. Regardless, Americans lose a significant source of vitamins B6 and B12, potassium, magnesium and fiber when they toss a banana peel. They also contribute to the increasing issue of organic waste in landfills across the country, which could be avoided simply by eating fruit as it’s packaged.


Kiwi Peel

Kiwi preparation often involves scooping the green fruit out of its brown, fuzzy skin, but at what cost? First of all, the time spent in this process could easily be saved by eating the whole fruit, skin and all, but there are nutritional benefits to the latter method as well. For instance, the California Kiwifruit Commission states that eating the kiwi’s skin triples fiber intake from 2.1 grams to about 6.3 grams per fruit. The skin also provides vital nutrients such as vitamin C and potassium.