The Secretary of the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS), Simon Eccles, was recently in the news for raising awareness of hand injuries sustained by removing an avocado pit by impaling it with a knife. He himself sees an average of 4 cases of ‘avocado hand’ a week. Apparently, numbers are increasing in parallel with the increased popularity of the avocado. Injuries can be serious if the knife cuts a tendon or a nerve, and recovery can take months. The possibility of putting a warning label on the fruit (avocados are a berry) was raised by Eccles. I am sure most people, including myself, would not take such a label seriously. Plus, you would then probably need a label on pumpkins, and even bagels it seems. Suggestions vary from removing the pit with a spoon, to cutting the half containing the pit in half again so as to remove the pit by hand. However, there is a more elegant approach that gets less press – just give it a gentle squeeze, as I show here:
By the way, the avocado seed is edible and has antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. It is a little bitter, but can be ground and added to smoothies or to other food preparations. It can take on an orange colour when blended with water and exposed to air, with potential application as a natural food colourant.
Or, quarter the avocado to pop out the seed.
There’s more than one way to cut an avocado
Meryl Streep – perhaps the most famous case of ‘avocado hand’.