At breakfast the other day, I peeled a satsuma, separated the sections, and realized it’s a single-portion whole food, which fits nicely in the palm of my hand.
Of course, all fruits and vegetables are categorized these days as whole food, a term that’s been popularized to encourage us to avoid processed foods and get back to basics.
We don’t hear much about the abundance of fruits that seemed to be designed for us and other creatures with hand-like appendages.
But such fruits are easy to pick from a tree or bush and easy to wash and eat. Not only that, but they’re also packed with nutrients and fiber, have a unique flavor, and are usually sweet. Which got me to thinking about apples, pears, plums, peaches, and grapes, all of which come in a natural, edible wrapper that protects the fruit. What a concept!
While the skins of bananas, oranges, tangerines, lemons, guavas, mangoes, and passion fruit are not edible, they’re biodegradable and serve to nourish the soil. Group-sized fruits – melons, coconut, pineapple, jackfruit, and honey (is honey a fruit?) – also have inedible but biodegradable containers. Can’t get much greener than that!
What if we don’t like the taste or texture or even the smell of a particular fruit? Giving it a chance now and then might change our feelings about it.
When I first tasted mangoes while living on Guam as a kid, they smelled like rotten peaches. When I tasted them in Panama as an adult, they smelled awful again, like turpentine. Same thing when I tried them in the Philippines. But a strange thing happened in Africa.
One day as I was slicing a mango into diamonds for the kids, I caught a whiff of something wonderful, so I tasted it. Yum! I thought. And I’ve been avoiding it all my life? I’ve enjoyed mangoes ever since.
It’s easy to find vegetables that come in single-portions, too, e.g. potatoes, green beans, carrots, tomatoes, beets, avocados. Talk about nutrients! In the Bible, Daniel and his three friends chose to eat whole foods – vegetables and fruits and legumes – instead of the king’s rich fare, and they thrived. In fact, they were the healthiest men of the kingdom.
Today, I plan to include whole food in my meals – a salad with carrots and tomatoes, maybe a mango. But no guavas. They smell funny.
In what ways have your childhood tastes changed?
Posted on May 24, 2016