I’ll admit that there’s nothing quite like that first bite into a crisp apple. Crunching off the overhang you’ve made as you’ve gone around the fruit is almost as satisfying. Which begs the question: why on earth do we stop there? When we throw away the core, up to 30% of an entirely edible apple is lost.
I’m an all-apple advocate, I’ll eat the “core”, the seeds and even the blossom end. So, I’ve come up with the top five benefits of eating an apple properly to try and convince you to, too:
- No waste
Have you ever eaten an apple with nowhere to throw it away? Maybe you’ve forgotten it on your desk, or in a pocket – later discovering a browning, decomposing, sticky mess. If you eat the whole shebang you are left with nothing but the stem!
Also, apples are terrible for the environment when sent to a landfill. There is hardly any oxygen inside landfills, due to the compacting. When apple cores are left to microbially degrade in these conditions, instead of producing some carbon dioxide, they produce a lot of methane (which has a 100-year global warming potential 20 times worse than that of CO2).
- More bang for your buck
Let’s do some maths. As you now know, throwing away the core means throwing away 30% of the apple. Say you’ve bought 6 apples for £3. If you aren’t eating the full monty you’re basically throwing away a pound! “Okay, what’s a pound? Eating the whole apple is gross” you might say. Well let’s expand our little calculation to the global scale, shall we?
If we all had an apple a day, to keep the doctors at bay, only to throw the cores away (much to my dismay) – that’s the equivalent of 15p gone astray. Get a calculator out. Times that 15p by 7.9 billion people. Times that number by 365 days. You’ll end up with £433 billion, that’s like Ireland’s GDP in the bin. Just because of the social constructs that (1) apple cores aren’t edible and that (2) seeds are scary!
- Immunity to cyanide
Okay, maybe I went overboard on the calculation, not everyone likes apples. But seeds aren’t scary. Yes, they have a little cyanide in them in the form of amygdalin, but the poison only emerges after amygdalin is metabolised, and to be metabolised it has to be released from the seed. Thankfully, seeds have evolved to pass through the digestive system unscathed, so that they can be shat out in ready-made soil to become mystical trees.
Even if you do decide to meticulously crush each one with your molars, you’d have to grind and ingest roughly 2000 of them in one day to get cyanide poisoning. So, anything less than that and you are partaking in mithridatism, the practice of protecting oneself against a poison by gradually self-administering non-lethal amounts. Ever seen The Princess Bride? That could be you if you ate the whole apple.
- Probiotics galore
A single apple has about 100 million bacterial cells, but if you toss out the core, you’re only consuming about 10 million of ’em. The seeds and each end have most of the good stuff, with the peel around the apple’s equator having the least. This fantastic gut flora helps with food digestion, immune system regulation and vitamin synthesis (especially Vitamin K, almost half of your daily requirement is provided by these bacteria).
- Expanding your palate
Just as we discard the most nutrient dense parts of apples, we discard the most nutrient dense parts of animals (organ meats, offal, marrow, etc.) in favour of steak, chicken thighs and pork chops. Nose-to-tail eating is the philosophy of cooking and consuming every possible part of an animal. It’s kind of awesome, and the almond notes of apple seeds might be your gateway to the butteriness of beef marrow and the coppery sweetness of chicken heart. Open your mind and your mouth!