Cut avocados with care to avoid a trip to the ER

Fresh Avocado

Have you increased your avocado intake since going low carb and suffered from the dreaded “avocado hand”? These delicious, fatty green fruits are becoming increasingly popular. But, with the rise of its popularity, the injuries connected to the avocado have also increased:

According to the Chicago Tribune, avocado consumption has increased by 250 percent since 2002. There aren’t reliable statistics on how many Americans have been injured cutting an avocado, but emergency rooms report that it is becoming more frequent.

In New Zealand, an average of 100 people a year who have cut themselves while handling an avocado request compensation from a government fund for injuries.

The British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons called for safety labels on the fruit. One London doctor said he was treating four patients a week for avocado-related injuries.

The Washington Post: A new, easy-to-peel avocado promises to send fewer people to the ER. There’s just one problem

The problem The Washington Post identifies is that avocado-related injuries result from the knife slipping and cutting the hand when cooks are trying to remove the pit. An avocado that is easier to peel, like the one covered in the article, obviously doesn’t solve this issue. Many companies have developed products that do address it. On the market, you can now find specially designed avocado slicers, and other companies have even developed new types of avocados. There’s now a so-called “cocktail avocado” on the market that doesn’t have a pit at all. Alas, it only grows in Spain and is only available in December.

If you don’t live in Spain and want to enjoy avocados more frequently than only in the month of December, just be careful when preparing your avocado. Always cut the avocado in half on a flat surface, preferably on a cutting board, and never in the palm of your hand. Cut around the fruit, down to the pit, and twist the two halves apart. Then, (still on the cutting board folks!) nestle the half with the pit in a folded tea towel so it does not slip, carefully position fingers, take a gentle whack at the pit with the flat blade of your knife, twist the knife sideways, and the pit will come out. This way, you can always enjoy avocados without the risk of a trip to the emergency room!

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32 comments

Top comments

  1. Outraged
    The author is ridiculous with the click-bait title suggesting avocados are bad for you. And for the idiots who end up in the emergency room because thay can’t handle themselves in the kitchen should probably just stay fat and order take out and delivery. I’ve never seen an article on how dangerous the apple corer/slicer is. That thing will cut you to the bone if you’re not careful. Or how about a food processor; maybe we need an article telling people not to stick their hand in the chute and don’t touch the spinning blade. I’ll never visit this site again based solely on the lack of relative content.
    Replies: #15, #18, #28
    Read more →
  2. Kenrick
    Most stupid article I have seen on this site - I assume the readership is older than 5 yrs old ...don’t run with knives, hand to some one handle first, don’t place in washing up bowel until ready to wash it and most important don’t chop off your fingers unless you are a carnivore and fancy a bit of fried finger with your steak...hmmmm nice !

    Common sense really should prevail here ...sharp knives can cut !

    Or become a carnivore like me and avoid all plant based foods - some plants really don’t want you to eat them ...just maybe this is avocados secret weapon - slippery beasts they can be ...

    Ric

    Read more →

All comments

  1. Donna P.
    I use an apple corer to remove the pit once the avocado has been cut in half. All you need to do is press the prongs into the pit and twist. The prongs aren’t sharp so even a child can use it safely. Just make sure the avocado is ripe, otherwise it won’t work properly.
  2. Vasi
    Hey. The perfect solution to this would be not using sharp knifes. Buy a simple knife and remove the shapness. Keep using it which might help. With less sharpness we can cut a avacado and in case it touch the fingers it will not hurt badly. I have been doing this for years and never had issues.
    Reply: #14
  3. LC
    Seriously?? Why use a knife to remove the pit? I always just grab it with my nails and out it comes.
  4. Outraged
    The author is ridiculous with the click-bait title suggesting avocados are bad for you. And for the idiots who end up in the emergency room because thay can’t handle themselves in the kitchen should probably just stay fat and order take out and delivery. I’ve never seen an article on how dangerous the apple corer/slicer is. That thing will cut you to the bone if you’re not careful. Or how about a food processor; maybe we need an article telling people not to stick their hand in the chute and don’t touch the spinning blade. I’ll never visit this site again based solely on the lack of relative content.
    Replies: #15, #18, #28
  5. Marc
    It's just like anything. You have to be careful using a knife. Maybe people have to invest in a pair of chainmail gloves to avoid these injuries!
  6. Charmaine
    Hell's bells! I never understood this warning. With a ripe avocado, you can remove the pit with a spoon! Come on, people!
  7. Kenrick
    Most stupid article I have seen on this site - I assume the readership is older than 5 yrs old ...don’t run with knives, hand to some one handle first, don’t place in washing up bowel until ready to wash it and most important don’t chop off your fingers unless you are a carnivore and fancy a bit of fried finger with your steak...hmmmm nice !

    Common sense really should prevail here ...sharp knives can cut !

    Or become a carnivore like me and avoid all plant based foods - some plants really don’t want you to eat them ...just maybe this is avocados secret weapon - slippery beasts they can be ...

    Ric

  8. Judy
    I have been cutting into avocados for 65+ years and have yet to cut myself. I have in the past cut myself badly slicing a bagel. I am not blaming the bagel, the carbs or anything but my own distraction. Let's just learn to be careful and enjoy foods that are good for us.
  9. Clg
    I have at least one avo per day. I cut it in half along the long side then whack the pit with the knife and pull it out. Pretty easy and as others say pretty basic knife skills.
  10. LowCarb Finn
    Potential - or unfortunately actual - danger of avocados for the whole human race:
    Those produced in Southern and Central America: Destruction of whole unique ecosystems and cutting down of forests to clear fields where avocados are grown.

    (Those produced in Israel: I do not buy ANYTHING produced there for various reasons to do with hogging water needed for people who live there & many other reasons to do with illegally occupied areas, human rights etc.)

    More reasons why I do not eat avocados at all, I get most of my fat (70-80% of daily calories) from Finnish grassfed dairy fat and would not touch avocados with a 10 foot pole:

    Carbon footprint of transferring avocados across the sea to other continents. Carbon footprint of everything needed in that process including retail and marketing. Human rights - especially womens' rights - in the countries where avocados are grown. Also: I strive to eat what's produced locally. Why would I want avocados when I have wonderful grass fed (grazing & AIV fodder) Finnish dairy fat?

    Replies: #12, #29
  11. Taylor P
    Hey “Outraged”, how about ditching the attitude and just enjoy an avocado. If I find out what side of the planet you’re on, I’ll avoid it, and enjoy my own delicious “alligator pear”. Mmmmm.
  12. Kenrick
    You raise some good valid arguments but let’s not forget you can’t tarnish every farm growing advocado’s with the same brush ...there are many many farms that have adopted sound envromently friendly and sustainable growing practices ...also the damaged caused by mono-cropping cereal crops is far far worse- soil erosion - mineral and bacterial soil destruction - lack of sound biodiversity - wild habitats - the use more frequently of petroleum-chemical pesticides and herbicides and lets not forget the nice portion of glysophate added to the crop for free !

    All in all the destruction caused by these types of crops far outweighs the avocado farming methods ...

    As to politics of the country ...often countries with extremes of political regimes tend to see the farmers suffering more than a majority of the country’s other working populations...buy those crops that are grown by fair trade or another organisation which guarantees a fair wage and fair price for their products ...

    You are a consumer - excercise you right to buy or buy as you see fit ...

    Ric

  13. 1 comment removed
  14. Ryusuke
    No, no, no!! Using a full knife is MORE dangerous than using a sharp one. A sharp one has more chance of penetrating whatever you're trying to cut. A dull one on the other hand, can slip and cut into your hand(it might be "dull" but it can still cut soft things like flesh). And if it doesn't even cut through your hand, it is way too dull and it won't be good for an avocado either.
  15. mark
    *chortle* bye!

    The author is ridiculous with the click-bait title suggesting avocados are bad for you. And for the idiots who end up in the emergency room because thay can’t handle themselves in the kitchen should probably just stay fat and order take out and delivery. I’ve never seen an article on how dangerous the apple corer/slicer is. That thing will cut you to the bone if you’re not careful. Or how about a food processor; maybe we need an article telling people not to stick their hand in the chute and don’t touch the spinning blade. I’ll never visit this site again based solely on the lack of relative content.

  16. Chad
    The injuries are worth it. Love those things.
  17. JM
    Just when you think you've heard it all. Now we have "avocado-related injuries" to add to the list of potential dangers in life. I mean seriously? Must have been a slow day in the newsroom.
  18. Lisa
    Oh my, you are easily outraged! Also, I think you meant "relevant" and not "relative" regarding content. I believe this post was more for fun, than to be taken seriously. One cannot always agree with everything on a particular website all of the time, but there is a lot of good here, and you should take the time to figure out what will work for you.
    Reply: #32
  19. Misty
    I just cut the half with the pit into quarters and then pull the pit from the quarter that got it. You don’t need a knife for that. Don’t know why people are so obsessed with cutting an avocado into two perfect halves 🤷‍♀️ One half and two quarters taste just as good 🥑
  20. William
    When I saw this article I thought, finally, someone is going to address the high Omega 6 Total Omega-6 fatty acids
    2534
    mg
    omega 3 Total Omega-3 fatty acids
    165
    mg
    I was eating 2, sometimes 3 Avacado's per day... when I had my blood work done by Cleveland Clinic(8 pages) my Omega 6 was 38 and my Omega 3 was 3.8... way out of wack... I may be wrong but I believe that Omega 6 is inflammatory and 3 is anti inflammatory... I was suffering from pain near thought my body... when I stopped pounding the Avocados after about 3 months all the pain was gone... it is my feeling that Omega 3 and 6 should be close to equal... if anything the 3's should be higher... it would be great if many of you with experience or knowledge about this would comment...
  21. William
    this is one cup of diced Avocado...
  22. 1 comment removed
  23. Nayara Evelyn
    Oh, come on! I thought this was REAL scientific news.
    SMH! ¬¬
  24. Cathy P in AZ
    Wow...I believe this was meant to be tongue in cheek, people. There are so many other important things to worry about in your life, I’m sure. Take a deep breath, calm down and enjoy your avocado. And be careful with your sharp kitchen knife.
  25. Debra
    I agree with Cathy P. This is hilarious. What is not hilarious is that the 100 people that are claiming compensation from the New Zealand Government for their own stupidity.....WOW...you can't fix stupid!!!! What's next ...banning avocado because people will hurt themselves!!! Also, I have to comment on the people that are upset because they eat more than 2 a day and complain about their lipids etc.... do you really expect sympathy!! Use common sense people!
  26. Linda
    You don't need to use a knife at all. A grapefruit spoon, with its serrated edges, scoops out the pit nicely. Then it scoops the flesh out of the peel, too. It's my favoriet tool. But a teaspoon or even fingernails can get the pit out of the avocado.
  27. Venus
    I took the title of this article to be sarcasm. Maybe I'm wrong...
  28. Venus
    I support locally grown products whenever possible, especially avocados! Unfortunately, much of what is sold in our markets is not local.
    And I support Israel, for various reasons, such as human rights (so many want an entire people wiped off the face of the earth!), territories they have purchased or land won after they were attacked, etc.
    Not everyone lives on Finland.
  29. William Wightman
    This was just light-hearted fun. Chill out, eat your avocado, and don't forget the knife rule applies everywhere.
  30. Ronnie
    lighten up people - there's a whole lot of numb-skulls out there. I thought the article was hilarious!
    Be happy - One love. Even for Diet Doctor followers
  31. Brenda
    I agree, Lisa. I felt the article was more satirical then anything. It was like it was making fun of people who can’t do something as simple as cutting into an avocado without a trip to the ER! And then blamed the avocado for the injury? My seven-year-old granddaughter can cut an avocado and spoon out the insides without hurting herself. Yep, it was a slow day in the newsroom that day.
  32. Brenda
    But, hey! It was an attention grabber, right?
  33. 1 comment removed
  34. Kim Gajraj Team Diet Doctor
    On behalf of Team Diet Doctor I would like to apologise for the previous title of this article. Those who have complained about the click-baiting title about the "potential dangers of avocados" are quite right: it seemed sensationalist and created misleading expectations about the content of the article. This is just the kind of practice that we aim to distance ourselves from, since our focus is and always has been on providing truly evidence-based, scientific and trustworthy information that reassures and informs you rather than worrying you and making you feel you have been duped in some way. We have taken on your feedback and changed the title to better reflect the content of the article. Again, we are sorry for letting you down on this occasion and will endeavour not to let this happen again.

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