Peeling Potatoes

August 27th, 2011

Dear Dan,
Every time I peel potatoes, I cut my fingertips. I use a potato peeler (as opposed to a knife), and I’ve even tried a few different kinds. Nothing helps. Tonight I cut my pinkie bad enough to need a band aid. And it still hurts. How do I peel potatoes without peeling my fingertips too? Cause nobody wants to eat that.

Blood Loss in Boise

Dear Bloodless,

So you’re in Boise, Idaho, arguably the potato capital of the world, and you’re asking for advice on peeling potatoes? Don’t you have any neighbors? Seems like you could just walk into any public place and yell, “Attention, potato experts! Will someone please teach me the proper procedure to pare this potato?” Maybe you’re a little ashamed to be having so much trouble with this. At any rate, I would be more than happy to assist.

First off, let me suggest that perhaps you should not be peeling your potatoes at all. Did you know the peel is possibly the most nutritious part of the potato, and is loaded with vitamins like fiber and dirt? But if you insist on removing it, here are some suggestions:

A pair of medieval gauntlets

In medieval times, knights wore metal-plated gloves to protect their hands in close combat. You may find them useful when doing battle with tubers. They would also come in handy for LARPing. You can pick up a pair from Amazon (seriously).


If thick metal gloves aren’t your cup of tea, you might consider training pigs to peel your potatoes for you. Pigs are very intelligent, as evidenced by the way they roll around in mud and eat putrid slop. According to experts, you can train a pig to do almost anything. Observe the following key pointers:

  • Create a bond with your pig to gain its trust. If he’s uneasy with you, he may realize the potatoes he’s peeling are going to be paired with a pork roast.
  • Use a high tone of voice to praise your pig, just like you would with your dog or stockbroker.
  • When your pig follows commands, treat it with grapes, Cheerios or baseball tickets. Pigs love baseball.

And don’t worry too much if your pig has the same problem as you with missing the potato from time to time. Pork knuckles are a tasty Bavarian delicacy.


Not interested in keeping a pig? Perhaps something a little more low-maintenance would be right for you. For centuries, robots have been doing the jobs that are simply too dangerous for humans, like working with molten metals, defusing bombs, and vacuuming the floor. Why not build a robot to peel potatoes? It can’t be that hard – you just need a couple of powerful robotic arms, a really sharp blade and some artificial intelligence with a strong desire to cut off skin. What could possibly go wrong?

So you see, there are numerous ways to build an underground army peel potatoes safely. To save your fingertips, and to save people from developing a taste for human flesh, please start on one of these solutions right away.

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  • Melissa

    Dan, you really DO have a solution for everything.