On more than one occasion, when the family would settle down for a nice bowl of grapes, I would do as usual and pop one in my mouth. Almost assuredly my wife’s face would contort into a grimace that would make you think I just licked a dog’s butt. This would soon be followed by a lecture on how the pesticides used on it seep into the skin and cannot be washed off along with pleas to stop this barbaric act.

However, I figured if I haven’t died or gotten so much as a tummy ache thus far, it’s probably okay. Nevertheless, every once and a while my wife would try to slip me a peeled grape to convert me, only to have my face contort into the shape of having licked a dogs butt.

The whole point of all this dog-butt talk is that my wife is not at all alone among Japanese people who refuse to eat the skins of certain fruits. However, in recent years, this trend has been changing according to a survey by Tropicana Japan and Dr. “Fruit” Motohashi.

Tropicana Survey
Tropicana surveyed 1,002 women about their fruit habits and among those who regularly ate fruit 87 percent responded that they would eat the peel of certain kinds of fruit. The other 12 percent said that they don’t eat the skin of fruit at all. And then there was one percent who said they eat the skin of all fruits who were clearly lying just to feel special.

That first 87 percent was then asked what fruits they ate the skin of. Blueberries were the highest response with 76 percent of respondents eating the skins, apple came in second with 74 percent, and grape was third with only 69 percent of women not peeling.

Dr. Motohashi believes this is a recent trend in Japan because people are becoming more aware of health issues and discovering that in addition to the flesh of the fruit, the skin is an excellent source of nutrition. He reminds people that eating peeled apples deprives them of antioxidants, potassium, calcium, vitamin C, and dietary fiber. We trust him because he looks really confident.

He goes on to say that while this has only been recently studied in Japan, fruit skin nutrition has been well understood for decades in North America and Europe whose residents tend to eat it more.

Our Survey
Although it’s probably a move to better health with more and more Japanese people taking on the habit of eating at least some fruit peels, the numbers of the Tropicana survey still seem particularly high compared to personal experience.

So we at RocketNews24 have conducted our own survey adhering to the strictest of scientific standards and just asked anyone we happened to bump into today. While Tropicana focused solely on women, we asked all genders and age groups.

“I sometimes eat an apple with the skin, but my teeth have gaps and it’s annoying when the peel gets in between. I just don’t like the texture of grape skins.”
(Female, 50s)

“I don’t like apple skin because it’s not clean and too hard. Grape skin’s also dirty but has more of a bitter taste.”
(Female, 30s)

“I used to never eat grape skins because I was worried about the chemicals. Now, I mostly buy organic and even if I don’t I just take a chance and eat the whole thing. I don’t eat apples much but I always peel pear because the skin isn’t very good.”
(Male, 70s)

“I don’t eat apple peels because they just don’t taste very good. I don’t like grape skins because they are too thick. It’s like eating a melon rind.”
(Male, 30s)

“I never have eaten the apple’s skin just out of habit and the grape skins are too thick. However, now that I hear it’s healthy I will try to eat apple peels from now on.”
(Male, 40s)

“I don’t like grape or apple skins because they’re hard to bite and they taste bitter and sour. I don’t even think of them as part of the fruit.”
(Male, 20s)

“Dumbass, eating grape skins is like sucking on the barrel of a loaded gun. Enjoy the poison! Now go take out the garbage and sit next to it. Hopefully they’ll pick you up too this time.”
(My Wife, Undisclosed)

Our answers seemed to almost unanimously land in the “no way” category with only a few lukewarm interests in eating apple or grape skins. No one eats blueberries in our survey aside from yogurt toppings or pastry fillings. Needless to say, we don’t exactly roll in the healthiest of circles.

This is a rather large assumption, but if we take both the Tropicana and our survey into account it would seem that health conscious women are getting into eating fruit skins en masse. These women are perhaps the best demographic for Topicana’s new series of juice squeezed with the peel starting with “blueberry blend” and “black grape” which just happened to have been released on 8 April.

On the other hand, it would seem that many of the people on the streets are still weary of a fruit’s outer coating but perhaps open to change. On a more global scale it’s a case of one’s trash is another’s treasure. While many shun apple and grape skins in Japan, fish with its skin attached is readily available and eaten whole. I love bread heels for all their crusty goodness and yet they’re surprisingly hard to find attached to loaves of bread in any supermarket in this country. Go figure.

The world’s full of many different types of people who enjoy many different types of food in many different ways. It’s part of what makes this a wonderfully diverse planet. So, please don’t judge people based on their diets… Unless they’re one of those types who eat light bulbs and billiard balls on TV. I judge them, and they are weird.

Source: PR Times, Tropicana via Entabe (Japanese)
Top Image: Wikipedia – Tomomarusan