10

I grew up in a family where we had mangoes with the skin intact in fruit salad.

After I got married, I was exposed to the "fact" that "nobody" eats the skin of mangoes.

It is true that I have never seen anyone else besides my childhood family eat mangoes, which would explain why I have no idea that you would not eat the skin of mangoes.

Perhaps, my childhood was too impoverished that we even ate the skin of mangoes. Perhaps, eating skin of mangoes is not an unusual practice, I don't know.

A reason that seems valid is that there is too much chemicals on the skin. But then we would have to say that about strawberries, peaches, apples, wouldn't we?

And what about people in India, China, Japan, Germany, Indonesia or Brazil? Do they eat mangoes with the skin?

It seems such a waste not eating the skin.

Q1. Is it unusual to eat the skin of mangoes, unusual to include mango skin in fruit salads?

Q2. Does mango skin have more chemicals than the skin of other fruits, which we have to eat with their skin intact.

  • 2
    A data point: The only time I have heard of eating mango skin is in recipes for Indian mango pickle. – Sobachatina May 26 '14 at 12:04
  • 3
    I'd never known anyone to eat mango skin either, and then just about a week ago I saw a friend at work doing it. So you aren't totally alone :). To me, the main reason not to eat the skin is it doesn't taste good or have a pleasant texture. – Michael Natkin May 26 '14 at 15:27
  • I didn't realize people are the skin. I'll have to try it. Is it not bitter? – Preston May 27 '14 at 6:12
  • 1
    It's actually tart for green and unripe mangoes, but tastes sweet and like raw celery for red and ripened mangoes. – Cynthia Avishegnath May 27 '14 at 6:15
  • 1
    @Sobachatina is right. Indians often use mango skin in pickles and dry mango powder or even chutney. But When i got married my husband told me people in his state are used to eating Mango along with Skin all the time. – User56756 Mar 29 '15 at 23:10
10

It's not about chemicals on the outside of the fruit; washing the fruit well should take care of that. Whether we eat the skin of any given fruit basically boils down to whether it a) tastes good and b) has a pleasant texture. For example, some people eat the skin of the kiwi, despite it having a hairy texture that many people find unpleasant. Many people do not eat the skins of mango because it tastes bitter and has a tough, fibrous texture, but if you don't mind the texture and enjoy that taste, go ahead, enjoy :)

Note: I'm seeing sources that say if you're particularly sensitive to poison oak, you should not eat mango skins, as they contain one of the chemicals in poison oak but in a much lesser quantity, so it might cause an allergic reaction. You'll probably also break out from touching the mango skin to peel it, so take that as a warning sign. This doesn't apply to the OP, since if you've been eating them all your life you're obviously not allergic, but might apply to other people googling this question.

  • 1
    I can confirm, from personal experience, that one can break out in a rash consistent with poison oak after working with mango skin. This happened after I cut up an Alphonso (?Ataulfo?) mango, but never happened when I cut up Haden/Tommy Atkins mangos. I am pretty sensitive to Poison Oak, and I now leave the mango cutting to my wife. – Trey Jackson May 28 '14 at 19:45
  • I have a huge doubt about human allergy/sensitivity to mangoes or mango skin. I have never encountered anyone who had such allergy. There is so far only one single research on this subject, and the same "research" has been referenced by every page attempting to document the subject, all over the internet. I'm afraid it could be simply like the doctor who fraudulently attributed autism to vaccination, which then everyone virally referenced his unverified "research" until some common-sensed people decided to verify his claims. – Cynthia Avishegnath Mar 29 '15 at 20:37
  • I think its more that people are not using fruit/veggie detergent or baking soda to wipe the pesticides and whatever-cides before they ate the mango skins. Especially the ones you bought straight from the orchard. Mango skin has a layer of sticky oil that retains such chemicals well. A lady who had eaten mangoes all her life blogged that when she ate the mango with its skin intact from an orchard in FL, her lips started swell, and attributed it to the mythical presence of urushiol, she had just read. Wouldn't the "urushiol" could simply have easily merged into the cutting board too? Illogical! – Cynthia Avishegnath Mar 29 '15 at 20:59
  • @BlessedGeek I'm seeing several sources, including ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1838873 and dx.doi.org/10.1111%2Fj.0105-1873.2005.00454.x if you want to do research. – Yamikuronue Mar 29 '15 at 21:10
  • There is only one research. The one in Israel is referring to that one research. It could be the mango tree beetle-cide that is used on the orchard. That particular "research" needs to be repeated. People should stop the circular referencing based on one "research", even if it was done with the NIH. – Cynthia Avishegnath Mar 29 '15 at 21:24
5

Mango skin has an oil (natural, not an artificial pesticide) that commonly causes a reaction similar to poison oak or poison ivy. Not everyone is affected - your family probably has the good luck to be immune.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mango#Potential_for_contact_dermatitis

2

I have found some answers online.

Eating mango skin is good for you:

http://www.dirtdoctor.com/organic/garden/view_org_research/id/105/

Only eat the skin if the mango is organic:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4L3FJk9LNLI

Let me repeat the comments I made to Yamikuronue's answer:

  • I have never encountered anyone who had such allergy.
  • There is so far only one single research on this subject, and the same "research" has been referenced by every page attempting to document the subject, all over the internet.
  • I'm afraid it could be simply like the doctor who fraudulently attributed autism to vaccination, which then everyone virally referenced his unverified "research" until some common-sensed people decided to verify his claims.
  • Some people prefer calling it a peel. No, it's banana peel but mango skin.
  • Wash the mango skin using fruit/veggie detergent or baking soda to wipe the pesticides and whatever-cides before they cutting the mango.
  • Especially the ones you bought straight from the orchard.
  • Mango skin has a layer of sticky oil that retains such chemicals well. Some people are hyper-sensitive to the pesticides and chemicals retained on the mango skin.
  • A lady who had eaten mangoes all her life blogged that when she ate the mango with its skin intact from an orchard in FL, her lips started swell, and attributed it to the mythical presence of urushiol, she had just read.
  • Wouldn't the "urushiol" could simply have easily merged into the cutting board too?

I am not saying that the presence of urushiol on mango skin is not a possibility. I am saying there is only one single "research" which so far has not been verified by any other, and therefore the presence of urushiol on mango skin should be considered mythical, or otherwise anecdotal.

  • How is it possible that of so many people around me who are sensitive to poison ivy, there is not a single incidence of sensitivity to touching mango skin ???
  • How is it possible that people could eat mangoes and that the urushiol could not have slipped and absorbed into the flesh, while slicing the mango ???

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