When people complain about the price of organic vegetables I mention the waste that comes from believing that certain parts of a vegetable are superior to others. Broccoli crowns, portabello mushroom caps, watermelon flesh, or asparagus tops come to mind. What happens to the portabello stems, broccoli stalks, watermelon rind, or woody asparagus ends? All in the trash? This makes your vegetables a lot more expensive because someone has to discard half of it, either you or the grower.
Making use of every bit of vegetable or animal instead of dividing it into desirable/edible versus undesirable/inedible parts also reflects a greater respect for nature. I have previously written that Americans don't eat offal, the way other cultures do and the way I grew up, tagging it as undesirable - see here on nose to tail. What happens to the rest of this precious animal that gave its life so we could live? But why? These parts are not inedible!
Not only do we have to overproduce vegetables when we use only half of them, we waste money, and we lose the nutrients from the other vegetable parts (think carrot root versus carrot top; radish or turnip root versus radish or turnip tops - please eat all these tops). There is no inherent need to peel most of your organic vegetables, after all you don't peel your cherries or apricots either! There are exceptions as some peels can indeed be coarse, such as on turnips, beets, or kohlrabi - your choice here; asparagus ends are too woody to eat, onion and garlic peel is papery, and peppers, tomatoes, and eggplant peel has those lectins in them - roast these nightshades and remove the peel if you're sensible to them. Peeling is also a different story with conventional produce whose outer layer has come into contact with pesticides and has grown in contaminated soil. But for heaven's sake eat the turnip/beet/carrot/radish/kohlrabi greens.
Sweet potatoes roasted and eaten in their entirety are delicious and the peel adds much needed fiber to your diet. When preparing stuffed portabello mushrooms I chop the stems and add them to the filling. Woody asparagus ends get cooked and blended for a creamy soup (my Vitamix does wonders with the fibery ends). Watermelon rind can be added to a smoothie, or makes for a delicious refreshing summer drink when juiced with a squeeze of lemon. Peeled broccoli stems are delicious and tender - chop and add them right into whatever else you're making with the crowns, or make a raw broccoli slaw from the stems only. All peels, including onion, sad looking greens tops past their prime, celery or carrot ends, broccoli stem peels, go into a pot of water and make a nutrient rich vegetable stock - perfect as a soup base (freeze the stock for later).
Lengthen your food dollars, honor all vegetable parts, and respect nature's bounty without wasting it. Food is precious.