Apples: To peel or not to peel?

Via Warshaw

Question: Can you help resolve an ongoing discussion among my friends and family about non-organic apples? Is it healthier to eat the peel for its health benefits or discard the peel to get rid of any toxins? At home I buy organic apples, but when I travel I can’t always find them.

Answer: Your question focuses squarely on the debate about buying conventional or organic fruits and vegetables. Before digging in, let’s cover a couple basic points:

• Conflict remains about whether organically grown produce is nutritionally superior to conventional. The U.S. Agriculture Department, which oversees the U.S. National Organic Program, states, “Organic is a labeling term that indicates that the food or other agricultural product has been produced through approved methods that integrate cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity.” The certified-organic label is not an indicator of nutritional superiority.

• Apples and other fruits, whether organic or conventional, are inherently nutritious, disease-fighting foods. According to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, there’s moderate evidence to show that eating at least two and a half cups each of vegetables and fruits per day is associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and certain cancers. But take note: Our current fruit intake is abysmal. Statistics from a 2013 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey show nearly 40 percent of Americans eat fruit less than one time a day. So a round of applause to you for eating apples regularly and seeking them out during your travels! Read full article.

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