Apple Cores Are a Myth

You can eat the whole apple. Americans could be throwing away $13.2 billion.
More

Hamblin eats apple (The Atlantic Video)

What do you think an apple core is? What's the thing we throw away?

It is a ghost. If you eat your apples whole, you are a hero to this ghost. If you do not, you are barely alive. Come experience vitality.

[IMAGE DESCRIPTION]
 

Earlier this year, in "How to Eat Apples Like a Boss," a video by Foodbeast, the Internet was promised the gift of confidence in apple-eating. Elie Ayrouth ate an apple starting at the bottom, proceeding to up to the top, and finishing with a wink to the camera, as bosses do. Eating as such, Foodbeast said, the core "disappears."

I do them one better and say that it never existed. The core is a product of society, man. There is a thin fibrous band, smaller in diameter than a pencil and not bad to the taste. If you eat your apple vertically, it is not noticeable.

There are usually a couple seeds toward the top, which are easy to swallow, though it's probably a better idea to spit them because they contain a substance called amygdalin. That can release a small amount of hydrogen cyanide when digested. God/nature wants those seeds on the ground, not in our colons. You would have to eat a ton of apple seeds for it to kill you, but I'm not here to coax you guys into testing your bodies' limits in metabolizing cyanide.

I also don't advocate doing anything "like a boss," much less professing it, much less actively aspiring to it by watching YouTube infotorials, but this is an imperative behavioral modification. If you want to feel like a hero by doing essentially nothing, think of it in terms of the national deficit and world hunger. By eating your apples in their entirety, you are a boss in the most endearing sense—not in that the practice confers swagger or panache, but because you are actively part of a meaningful solution.

[IMAGE DESCRIPTION]
Google image: apple core; see: waste. Don't google apple core myth. They will come for you.

If each of us eats an apple a day, as we all do, and we are all wasting 30 percent of our apples at $1.30 per pound, that's about $42 wasted per person per year—which is $13.2 billion annually, thrown in the trash or fed to pigs.

With that kind of money, we could rebuild the Gulf Coast after a hurricane the size of Rita or buy an entirely new Mark Zuckerberg.

As a health writer I make a point of not trying to tell people how to live their lives. Today I make an exception. This is the cause I will champion to my grave. I was a guest on MSNBC recently to talk about "chicken" nuggets, ostensibly how disturbing they are as a concept, and I endured criticism for being too ambivalent. Eat what you like, in moderation. Chicken nuggets are not my war. On this point I abandon moderation. Bring me on your television programs, and I will eat an apple in its entirety, and I will disparage anyone who does not do the same. As a nation we must redefine apple consumption, lest it define us.

 

 

Jump to comments
Presented by

James Hamblin, MD, is a senior editor at The AtlanticHe is the host of If Our Bodies Could Talk.

 
 
More

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity


Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity

Video

Is Technology Making Us Better Storytellers?

The minds behind House of Cards and The Moth weigh in.

Video

A Short Film That Skewers Hollywood

A studio executive concocts an animated blockbuster. Who cares about the story?

Video

In Online Dating, Everyone's a Little Bit Racist

The co-founder of OKCupid shares findings from his analysis of millions of users' data.

Video

What Is a Sandwich?

We're overthinking sandwiches, so you don't have to.

Video

Let's Talk About Not Smoking

Why does smoking maintain its allure? James Hamblin seeks the wisdom of a cool person.

Writers

Up
Down

More in Health

Just In