While it is generally recommended to consume at least two servings of fruit and two to two-and-a-half servings of vegetables every day, one pesky green fruit is causing an epidemic among guacamole lovers.
This epidemic is called Avocado Hand, and it has gotten so bad that doctors are sending out warnings to their avocado-loving patients. In recent years, avocado has become a trending treat among many foodies, and this fruit (yes, it’s definitely a fruit) has become such a phenomenon that it even has its own emoji.
Unfortunately for many amateur foodies, cutting an avocado can be quite tricky because it is hard to tell if the fruit is ripe or not. As a result, many foodies have accidentally sliced open their hands when the fruit is too ripe to cut.
Sheel Sharma, a medical resident at the NYU Langone Medical Center, explains to CBS that he’s seen an increase in these types of cutting injuries. He explains why:
“It’s the peculiar nature of the fruit. It has a hard shell then soft fruit then again a hard pit. So you get this false sense that it should be sturdy to cut through. So you cut the skin, then the knife slices through the flesh and the next thing is your hand.”
Doctors first started noticing this problem in the U.K., where “avocado hand” has gotten so bad that the British Association of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons had to release an official statement on proper avocado cutting techniques. This is because slicing the hand open can cause severe problems to the nerves and tendons in the hand, with some patients completely losing feeling in their fingers or hand altogether.
Not to mention that there has been an increase in anecdotal evidence to corroborate these doctors’ theory — social media posts from bleeding, and presumably hungry, hipsters. There have been plenty of disgruntled avocado lovers posting pictures of injured hands and sliced fingers, wrapped in cotton, that serve as a pseudo-warning to brunch, avocado toast, and guacamole aficionados everywhere.
For those that have sliced their hand while preparing brunch, don’t fret. Just head to the nearest urgent care center — nearly all are open seven days a week, for at least four hours a day.
Finally, learn how to tell when an avocado is ripe! According to The Kitchn blog, there’s a simple way to tell if your avocado is ripe yet:
“To make sure you’re taking home an avocado that’s perfectly green and creamy on the inside, and free from ugly brown spots, the key is checking under the stem. This part of the avocado holds a sneak peak for what’s going on under the skin. Peel back the small stem or cap at the top of the avocado. If it comes away easily and you find green underneath, you’ve got a good avocado that’s ripe and ready to eat. That’s the kind of fruit you want to take home with you.”