Of readymade foods and cut vegetables

The other day S brought back a packet of chopped yam from a vegetable store on OMR. It was evenly chopped, neatly packaged and attractively priced, criteria that render it attractive to the average working woman who can do without the drudgery of vegetable-cutting.
That day I didn’t think much of it. In fact, I thought it was a great business idea, especially because of the location of the shop inside a major IT park. But this morning I discovered the pamphlet lying around on the sofa and wondered if I was missing an important point.
The pamphlet in question said that over 40% of a vegetable is skin, seeds, stem and other inedible parts. In other words, buying a whole vegetable is less economical that buying chopped ones. How true is this claim really? Didn’t we learn sometime in school that most of the nutrients in a vegetable are derived from the skin and stem, those we consider inedible most of the time? While saying something like this may make sense to a trader, why are we not more discerning as consumers? Are we, like always, confusing the convenient option with the healthy one?
Are cut and cleaned vegetables actually healthier than buying whole vegetables and chopping them up ourselves? How do we know that the shopkeeper has not cut away a rotten part and left the not-yet-rotten-but-stale part for us to eat?
Also, several vegetables can be eaten with the skin including potatoes, carrots and beetroot. The skin of some other vegetables like chow chow and ridge gourd, the seeds of the pumpkin and the rind of lemons can be used in a wide variety of dishes.
Are we missing out on an opportunity to not only eat healthy but also cook interesting variations in our quest for convenience? Maybe.
With these questions in mind, I quietly resolved to buy whole, fresh vegetables to the extent possible. Although I hate chopping vegetables and try to delegate the work as much as possible to the others at home, I would still like to know what kind of vegetables I actually consume.

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