Avocado-Related Injuries Sent an Average of 24 People to the ER Every Day Last Year
Here's how not to become a statistic.
Millennials' love of avocados is one of the biggest clichés ascribed to the oft-criticized generation. But it's not completely unfounded: A recent study from the Hass Avocado Board reportedly found that the average millennial household spent $24.99 on avocados in 2018, which was 5 percent more than non-millennials households. And yet, it turns out millennials may want to consider saving some of that avocado money for hospital bills.
According to an unrelated analysis from the site Insider, approximately 8,900 emergency room visits in 2018 could be directly tied to avocados. Insider came to that conclusion after finding 152 mentions of avocados in the US Consumer Product Safety Commission's national injury database, which covers 96 hospitals, and then asking the agency to extrapolate that information to estimate the number of ER visits nationwide. As the site points out, remarkably, the numbers break down to about 24 avocado-related hospital visits per day.
The vast majority of those visits were apparently attributed to injuries caused to people's hands while cutting avocados (despite at least one less likely scenario where someone fell off a stool while grabbing avocados). This phenomenon of slicing accidents has even been given a name: "avocado hand." (Meanwhile, "avocado fall" is not yet a thing.) "A lot of times folks will try to remove the avocado pit with a carving knife or have their fingers wrapped around the avocado while they're cutting. Both of those techniques could lead to a bad cut and a trip to the ER," Joe Galbo, the CPSC's social media specialist, told Insider.
So how do you not become a statistic? Last year, Food & Wine Culinary Director-at-Large Justin Chapple offered his safest — and easiest — avocado slicing and peeling method (see above). The gist of it is as follows: Place the avocado on a cutting board, and slice it on the diameter, turning as you go. Then rotate it 90 degrees, and make the exact same cut, turning the avocado as you slice it around the center. The avocado naturally falls apart into even wedges at this point, and you can remove the pit with your hand—no knife required.
So there you have it: No hospital visits means more money for more avocados. Just be careful when sitting on a stool.