Many a gardener will grow butternut squash…. They take the squash inside and immediately start cutting it up, about 5 minutes later they’re aghast and trying to figure out why their hands are red and peeling and constricted. Water doesn’t help, “What is going on?” they cry.
. . . .
What is actually happening is you’re getting a taste of the squash’s self defense mechanism. …
. . . .
Many fruits (and remember, botanically, squash is a fruit) have this self defense mechanism where a sap is excreted when it is wounded to dry out the exposed flesh and seal it off to prevent further infection or damage….
As the fruit ripens, this compound lessens. So this compound is less in fully ripe fruit. … A fully ripened and cured squash will not ooze sap when cut, only newly picked or unripe ones will…
…[T]his substance that dries out and hardens plants, also dries out and hardens hands, resulting in a painful exfoliation process. To fix it you need to get the substance off your hands, so wash them thoroughly, and then you’ll need some heavy duty moisturizing lotion.
The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: Why Butternut Squash Hurts Your Hands