Monday, September 29, 2014

Eating the other side of the orange. A guide to challenging your perspective.

I guess it started one day when I was working in the field and took a break. I had two oranges and no knife, not even a long fingernail. So I pinched the peel between my teeth and made a hole to peel from. Except that only resulted in my sausage fingers pulverizing the pulp and getting juice everywhere. My instinct was to suck it up because I didn't want the juice to get sticky, and my saliva does a pretty good job at breaking down sticky foodstuff into stuff my body can use. Waste not want not.

So that plan didn't work. I went back to biting it. Turns out that eating the peel off is pretty easy, but it resulted in a lot of orange oil getting sprayed into my mouth. It sort of felt like spraying throat spray on my tongue. First thought was “Property of orange oil: Tingly” Second thought was “I wonder if it's bad for you?” The tingling went away pretty quickly so I wasn't too worried about it.

I was gnawing away at my second orange by now and not thinking much about it when my throat started to hurt. “Is the oil from two oranges too much?” I had no idea but I wanted to figure it out.

So, I did! Turns out, that if inhaled, orange oil can be irritating to the throat, however if you aren't breathing in through your mouth while you are peeling, it won't be a problem. With the first orange I kept the peels in my mouth until it was full, then spit them out. The second time, I spit the peels out after every bite, so I was inhaling more orange oil and it was irritating my throat.

So I tried it again, this time not inhaling with my mouth.

Method: OM NOM NOM (the cookie monster technique)

Step 1: Hold the orange so that your finger and thumb are on the ends.

Step 2: Pinch a small section of the orange peel between your front teeth, pull the rind gently off the orange, taking care not to bite into the pulp yet.

NOTE: If you DO bite into the pulp refer to step 3

Step 3: Bite into it and suck the juices up like an orange vampire. The pulp are the thousands of juice filled sacs. If you puncture some, just suck em dry and you won't get any of that sticky juice anywhere but in your gob! After you have a few slices eaten and sucked out you can peel the rest of the orange apart, or keep on munching. It's your call.

Confirmation that I still like oranges.
Confirmation that the orange oil makes your mouth tingle, but will not irritate your throat if you don't breathe through your mouth while eating it.

After more research I found that orange oil turns out to be pretty good for you in moderation! It's properties include:

antidepressant, (organic happy pills)
anti-inflammatory, (brings down swelling)
antiseptic, (reduces infection)
antispasmodic, (slows down spasms like hiccups or chronic coughing)
aphrodisiac, (makes people with sexual arousal disorder happy again)
carminative, (helps you pass the gas you have, and stops you from making more)
cholagogue (promotes the discharge of bile, increasing digestion and purging wastes)
diuretic, (makes you pee)
tonic, (slows you down)
sedative ( reduces irritability )

Another thing I learned is that the white pith of the orange contains herperidin which lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Waste not, Want not.

Peeling oranges with your teeth is a pretty awesome way to extract and ingest the orange oil from the peel you would have just disposed of.

It's properties as an antiseptic explain why worms, BSFL, and other compost critters don't eat citrus peels and why they take forever to break down in your compost pile. Instead, dry them and save them till you have enough to do an essential oil extraction, pull the oil out, THEN compost them. Waste not, Want not.

If you ever get food poisoning or salmonellosis , orange oil is your friend. It will inhibit the growth of the salmonella or e.coli population that has set up shop where it isn't welcome.

Life is pretty swell after eating the other side of the orange. Pretty swell indeed.