Fruit-eating: An apple a day? Go away!?

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A couple of days ago, my very adventurous husband brought home two exotic fruits – Kiwi and dragon fruit. I call them exotic because I’ve never eaten them. Maybe there are people in this city who eat them so regularly that they’ll roll their eyes when they hear me call those fruits ‘exotic’. I don’t care. I don’t talk to them. And if they are regular fruit eaters and exotic fruit eaters at that, I don’t want to talk to them. I am scared they’ll sound too much like my mom, and I hear from her far too much anyway.

It’s not exotic fruits that I have a problem with – it’s all the fruits. I am a very reluctant fruit eater. They give me the creeps. They taste like they’re supposed to taste very few times. When you bring them home, they’re too raw. Wait a couple of days, and they’re too ripe. Wait another couple of days, and then they are all shriveled up with flies and other organisms swarming around them. Then my stomach turns because I have to touch those shriveled up fruits and clean them. Yuck!

Now don’t irritate me by saying something stupid like, “But why wait all those days? You could eat them, you know.” Yeah, right. What’s the work involved in eating chips? You open a packet and pop as many chips in your mouth as you wish. Now, what’s the work involved in eating a fruit? You pick one, wash it, peel it, cut it, and eat it. And depending on how ripe it is, it’s going to be a fantastic experience or a “meh-it-could-better” experience. I don’t know about you, but my approach to things is strictly a cost-benefit analysis. Every single time I will choose something that’s going to give me complete pleasure with the least effort. So buh-bye fruits. You’re like meditation. Everyone knows you’re good for their health, but no one’s industrious enough to eagerly choose you.

If you’re thinking, “This woman can’t be all that healthy if she takes a ‘pleasure-first’ approach to nutrition,” you’d be absolutely right. I am not healthy. I haven’t been healthy for a few years now. So yeah, I’ve begun to recalibrate my cost-benefit analysis. To reduce my future medical costs, I’ve started to incorporate fruits into my diet. I’ve taken a medicinal approach to it. Do you know how people respond to a god awful pill that they have to take to fight an infection? That’s my general reaction to fruit-eating. A few seconds of intense fruit-staring to psyche me up, a glass of water at the ready and then big bites and minimal chewing to make it as short an experience as possible.

I’ve started with bananas and recently graduated to oranges. You’re probably thinking I have become very mature indeed if I am eating oranges what with all the peeling involved. It is indeed twice in case of oranges, the main peel, and the icky white thing that covers the sub-sections. Five hundred words in, and if you still think I can grow, you’re either very gullible or very optimistic. Anyway, I guilt my husband into doing it. First, I request him to do it. Then I get a “Shameless idiot, do it yourself” for my honesty. Then I activate my puppy dog eyes and stare sadly into the middle distance. He eventually caves in and does the double peeling for me. I happily slurp the juicy pulp. I am an evil genius, I know. But I am also an evil, lazy genius, so my ingenuity stops at outsourcing orange peeling.

Can fruits compete with processed foods? | Picture Credits: Public Domain Pictures

Before you roll your eyes and sign me off as a hippie/imbecile, let me tell you that people, as great as Michelle Obama, found fruit-eating very daunting. She took a very casual approach to food as well, that is, until a doctor warned her that her youngest daughter was showing signs of obesity. Then she had to hire a cook/nutritionist so that her children would eat tomatoes and peaches. Don’t believe me? Here are her exact words:

He waited until the peaches were rich and plump before serving them to the girls knowing that then they might actually compete with candy. Sam also has an educated perspective on food and health issues, namely how the food industry marketed processed foods to families in the name of convenience and how that was having severe public health consequence.

From Michelle Obama’s book, ‘Becoming’

So, Michelle Obama, an all-around superwoman and a kickass first lady, knew that fruit had a tiny window to compete with candy. The fruit had to be rich and plump in order to compete with the processed food that’s aggressively marketed by the food industry. Now tell me honestly, how many fruits you find in the market are rich and plump and delicious? How many of you have the requisite knowledge about fruits to select the right ones to buy? And even if you do have that holy grail of fruit wisdom, how many of you have the time and resources to go to a fruit market and apply all that wisdom to buy fruits and eventually eat them? Still feel like you can judge me?

So that’s the point of this article. To convince you about the obstacles to healthy eating and the rewards of healthy eating if you persist despite the obstacles. There’s a lot of work involved. You have to sit down with an older person (my dad in my case) and learn about the characteristics of the fruit that’s going to taste heavenly when you eat it. For example, according to my dad, if you select a mango that has tiny solidified beads of a substance that looks like sugar solution on its peel, the taste is going to be magical (his words, not mine).

In my case, I still depend on my husband to support my fruit eating efforts. He selects the fruits and prepares them for my consumption. I haven’t yet requested the sacred fruit and vegetable wisdom from my dad. But when I do that, I will share it with you. Maybe I will become the sadguru of fruit-eating and release CDs and podcasts about this life-changing miracle. Wait, are there already such gurus? Don’t tell my dad. He’s going to be pissed.

Charitha is pursuing PhD in political science. She writers because speaking to people, on a daily basis, is too complicated

Featured Image Credits: Public Domain Pictures

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