The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: Apples are good...Apple Seeds are not !!  (Read 17432 times)

Offline neilep

  • Withdrawnmist
  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *******
  • Posts: 20602
  • Thanked: 8 times
    • View Profile
Apples are good...Apple Seeds are not !!
« on: 22/03/2007 22:58:39 »
Is this true......that within the seed of an apple is something toxic to make me sick ?

what is it ?..and how many seeds would I need to eat to really ruin my day ?


 

another_someone

  • Guest
Apples are good...Apple Seeds are not !!
« Reply #1 on: 23/03/2007 00:37:48 »
Many fruit seeds, including apples, peaches, apricots, strawberries (I know, it's a false fruit), cherries, etc. are capable of creating cyanide (and possibly other toxins) if the seeds are damaged.

The whole reason d'etre of a fruit is to as a 'sweetener' to persuade an animal to eat it, so that the animal will then carry off the seeds, and then deposit the seeds some distance away, complete with its own packet of manure (ofcourse, what the fruit is not counting on is some human coming along and flushing both the seeds and the manure down the toilet).

The point is that while the flesh of the fruit may reasonably be digested, the seed itself should pass through the digestive tract unmolested.  If your digestive tract actually causes harm to the seed, then the seed will retaliate by causing harm to you (i.e. poisoning you).  If you have a digestive tract incapable of harming the seed (and the human digestive tract is a fairly feeble excuse for a digestive tract), then the seed will leave you unmolested.
 

Offline neilep

  • Withdrawnmist
  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *******
  • Posts: 20602
  • Thanked: 8 times
    • View Profile
Apples are good...Apple Seeds are not !!
« Reply #2 on: 23/03/2007 01:38:05 »
So the raison detre of a seed is to germinate. So , by protecting itself against attack, it's form of defense is to poison should it become damaged  yes ?..so,  what types of damage can a seed endure before it is rendered useless ?

.....and is a damaged seed (that can still germinate) capable of growing ' normal ' fruit ?

I have chewed fruit seeds.....and they are yucky !!...but I assume i could chew a few without feeling ill ?
« Last Edit: 23/03/2007 01:40:20 by neilep »
 

Offline Karen W.

  • Moderator
  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *****
  • Posts: 31653
  • Thanked: 5 times
  • "come fly with me"
    • View Profile
Apples are good...Apple Seeds are not !!
« Reply #3 on: 23/03/2007 01:49:28 »
I always thought the apricots and peach pits were really dangerous so always removed them from the fruit before giving to my children!For some reason I thought they contained arsinic. So it's cyanide George?
 

Offline WylieE

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 236
    • View Profile
Apples are good...Apple Seeds are not !!
« Reply #4 on: 23/03/2007 01:57:06 »

The whole reason d'etre of a fruit is to as a 'sweetener' to persuade an animal to eat it, so that the animal will then carry off the seeds, and then deposit the seeds some distance away, complete with its own packet of manure

And the raisin d'etre of a grape is to dry up.
(sorry)
 

another_someone

  • Guest
Apples are good...Apple Seeds are not !!
« Reply #5 on: 23/03/2007 02:09:05 »
So the raison detre of a seed is to germinate. So , by protecting itself against attack, it's form of defense is to poison should it become damaged  yes ?..so,  what types of damage can a seed endure before it is rendered useless ?

.....and is a damaged seed (that can still germinate) capable of growing ' normal ' fruit ?

I have chewed fruit seeds.....and they are yucky !!...but I assume i could chew a few without feeling ill ?

The amount of cyanide you will get from a small seed like an apple pip will be very small, and the body is relatively tolerant of cyanide.

Larger seeds, like apricot seeds, can create much larger amounts of cyanide, and it is this that was though possibly to have killed the actor Steve McQueen (he had what was considerred to be incurable cancer, and one of the vogue alternative treatments for cancer at the time was based on apricot kernels).

Anything that breaks the outer shell of the seed, or starts to digest the seed, could trigger the generation of protective toxins - but once the seed is so damaged, it will not be viable.

Incidentally, cyanide is only one of the poisons that seeds use to protect themselves in this way - castor plants use recin in exactly the same way - far more deadly than cyanide - but again, if you do not chew the seed, or otherwise damage it, it should not create the toxin.
« Last Edit: 23/03/2007 02:12:19 by another_someone »
 

another_someone

  • Guest
Apples are good...Apple Seeds are not !!
« Reply #6 on: 23/03/2007 02:17:35 »
I always thought the apricots and peach pits were really dangerous so always removed them from the fruit before giving to my children!For some reason I thought they contained arsinic. So it's cyanide George?

Arsenic is an element, and a mineral poison rather than a plant poison.  The only way you will get arsenic into a plant is if you are growing it in soil that is heavy in arsenic, and if you are doing that, then anything grown in that soil (the flesh as well as the seeds) should be treated with care.

Another difference is that arsenic is almost tasteless.  Most plants are using poisons firstly as a deterrent rather than to deliberately kill the animal, and so they make their poisons deliberately bitter so that the animal knows when it has eaten the poison.  It serves no purpose for the plant if the animal eats more of its seeds, and dies later - it is better for the plant if the animal knows fairly quickly that what it is eating is toxic, and stops eating it.
 

Offline Karen W.

  • Moderator
  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *****
  • Posts: 31653
  • Thanked: 5 times
  • "come fly with me"
    • View Profile
Apples are good...Apple Seeds are not !!
« Reply #7 on: 23/03/2007 02:20:59 »
Thank you George.. I will still steer clear of the seeds!Glad to know the differences in the poisens!!
 

Offline neilep

  • Withdrawnmist
  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *******
  • Posts: 20602
  • Thanked: 8 times
    • View Profile
Apples are good...Apple Seeds are not !!
« Reply #8 on: 23/03/2007 03:46:58 »
Amazing that such a thing as a seed, should have a defence mechanism, or even require one. For their numbers must be vast,...and yet....they evolved so..........Incredible really.
 

Offline Karen W.

  • Moderator
  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *****
  • Posts: 31653
  • Thanked: 5 times
  • "come fly with me"
    • View Profile
Apples are good...Apple Seeds are not !!
« Reply #9 on: 23/03/2007 04:00:07 »
It sounded like the plant has a thinking reasoning mind and therefore is alive...LOL It is alive but the way You phrased it George, I thought it quite cool. Seed developing itself with a poisen that would actually affect a Life form that consumed it rather then just injuring it through mother natures elements wind, rain, rot, breakage from such things etc. LOL It actually planed for consumption..LOL I is just being silly! But It made me laugh when I read the phrasing and I liked it by the way! LOL
« Last Edit: 23/03/2007 04:02:14 by Karen W. »
 

another_someone

  • Guest
Apples are good...Apple Seeds are not !!
« Reply #10 on: 23/03/2007 12:40:57 »
It sounded like the plant has a thinking reasoning mind and therefore is alive...LOL It is alive but the way You phrased it George, I thought it quite cool. Seed developing itself with a poisen that would actually affect a Life form that consumed it rather then just injuring it through mother natures elements wind, rain, rot, breakage from such things etc. LOL It actually planed for consumption..LOL I is just being silly! But It made me laugh when I read the phrasing and I liked it by the way! LOL

A plant does not have a 'mind' in the sense that it does not have a brain; but it does contain information (in its DNA), and so is capable of processing information, and over the generations, of accumulating information (arguably, accumulating experience).
 

Offline neilep

  • Withdrawnmist
  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *******
  • Posts: 20602
  • Thanked: 8 times
    • View Profile
Apples are good...Apple Seeds are not !!
« Reply #11 on: 23/03/2007 14:37:25 »
I agree with George (which is a shame cos me likes to take him to task !!).......Very easy for this thread to go down the Intelligent design route.....it's all just natural consequence and order to chaos.......isn't evolution great ?
 

Offline Karen W.

  • Moderator
  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *****
  • Posts: 31653
  • Thanked: 5 times
  • "come fly with me"
    • View Profile
Apples are good...Apple Seeds are not !!
« Reply #12 on: 23/03/2007 15:11:59 »
It sounded like the plant has a thinking reasoning mind and therefore is alive...LOL It is alive but the way You phrased it George, I thought it quite cool. Seed developing itself with a poisen that would actually affect a Life form that consumed it rather then just injuring it through mother natures elements wind, rain, rot, breakage from such things etc. LOL It actually planed for consumption..LOL I is just being silly! But It made me laugh when I read the phrasing and I liked it by the way! LOL

A plant does not have a 'mind' in the sense that it does not have a brain; but it does contain information (in its DNA), and so is capable of processing information, and over the generations, of accumulating information (arguably, accumulating experience).

Yes George I know it does not have a mind and do understand the thinf about the Dna but still found the other thoughts funny and they made me laugh!!LOL *smiles*
 

Offline Karen W.

  • Moderator
  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *****
  • Posts: 31653
  • Thanked: 5 times
  • "come fly with me"
    • View Profile
Apples are good...Apple Seeds are not !!
« Reply #13 on: 23/03/2007 15:18:35 »
I agree with George (which is a shame cos me likes to take him to task !!).......Very easy for this thread to go down the Intelligent design route.....it's all just natural consequence and order to chaos.......isn't evolution great ?

Yes it is indeedy! 

Now back to your poisen apple seeds, Our goat used to eat tones of apples seeds to and would pulverize a number of the seeds but I do no that a large portion were never damaged because he would then deposite seeds about the property , which would break down and start new apple saplings all over the place.. It was crazy how many trees I had to dig uo because of the tranference of those seeds.. You would have thought that eating as many of them as he did, he would have gotten sick, but not so. It must take a lot of them to do damage , but a goats system I am sure is way more substantial then ours  wouldn't you think?
 

Offline neilep

  • Withdrawnmist
  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *******
  • Posts: 20602
  • Thanked: 8 times
    • View Profile
Apples are good...Apple Seeds are not !!
« Reply #14 on: 23/03/2007 16:53:39 »
You're right there.....goats have exquisitely hardy digestive tracts.

So, apart from crapping seeds all over the place why did ewe have a goat ?...and why not a sheep ?
 

another_someone

  • Guest
Apples are good...Apple Seeds are not !!
« Reply #15 on: 23/03/2007 18:23:34 »
Now back to your poisen apple seeds, Our goat used to eat tones of apples seeds to and would pulverize a number of the seeds but I do no that a large portion were never damaged because he would then deposite seeds about the property , which would break down and start new apple saplings all over the place.. It was crazy how many trees I had to dig uo because of the tranference of those seeds.. You would have thought that eating as many of them as he did, he would have gotten sick, but not so. It must take a lot of them to do damage , but a goats system I am sure is way more substantial then ours  wouldn't you think?

As I said, cyanide is not that serious a poison - we all consume some every day, and the amount obtained from a small apple seed will be very small.  If you were to breath in that much cyanide, it may well kill you, but the digestive tract will also protect a little against the cyanide.

Cyanide is considered to be no more toxic than hydrogen sulphide, yet how many of us have breathed in hydrogen sulphide at some times in our lives, and lived to tell the tail (just think of the pranks in chemistry class).
 

Offline Karen W.

  • Moderator
  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *****
  • Posts: 31653
  • Thanked: 5 times
  • "come fly with me"
    • View Profile
Apples are good...Apple Seeds are not !!
« Reply #16 on: 24/03/2007 05:10:05 »
You're right there.....goats have exquisitely hardy digestive tracts.

So, apart from crapping seeds all over the place why did ewe have a goat ?...and why not a sheep ?

Because he was a cute little Nubian goat who was soft cute cuddly and he ate blackberry briar's....LOL He was kind of an equal to my weed eater with much less effort, right up until I had to start digging up apple saplings , pear saplings and new briar's which moved from and acre over on the boarder of the property to right next to the house in my rose bushes! The little beggar loved roses and always ate my roses the day they bloomed , he never forgot to make deposits under the bushes to ensure healthy fertilizer , but also Briar seeds which decided to take up residence in my rose beds!! LOL We actually loved both of our goats they were great and had great personality. they were raised from little tiny babes with a bottle to grown adults with great personality.One was house trained LOL But I still did not want a goat in my house LOL He thought he should stay with us... LOL Wally and the Fonzie, or better known as Fonzie  thought he was a member of the family and he was.. I have told you about him, he liked to run the peak of the barn and jump on the trampoline with the kids! They kept the Berry Briars at bay!
 

paul.fr

  • Guest
Apples are good...Apple Seeds are not !!
« Reply #17 on: 24/03/2007 07:06:10 »
i was always told that you should not eat the seeds/pips because an apple tree would grow in your stomach!

well being little and inquisitive (stupid) i ate some dirt and defiantly swallowed them pips, 20 odd years later still no tree!
 

Offline Karen W.

  • Moderator
  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *****
  • Posts: 31653
  • Thanked: 5 times
  • "come fly with me"
    • View Profile
Apples are good...Apple Seeds are not !!
« Reply #18 on: 24/03/2007 07:11:31 »
AHH i think you see yourself differently, your like a tree with long comfy branches it must be the seeds you swallowed! LOL
 

paul.fr

  • Guest
Apples are good...Apple Seeds are not !!
« Reply #19 on: 24/03/2007 07:14:38 »
AHH i think you see yourself differently, your like a tree with long comfy branches it must be the seeds you swallowed! LOL

when i go for another job interview and they are me to discribe myself (why do they ask such questions?) that will be my answer.
 

Offline Karen W.

  • Moderator
  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *****
  • Posts: 31653
  • Thanked: 5 times
  • "come fly with me"
    • View Profile
Apples are good...Apple Seeds are not !!
« Reply #20 on: 24/03/2007 08:56:23 »
LOL ! I do not know but sometimes they do ask weird questions!
 

another_someone

  • Guest
Apples are good...Apple Seeds are not !!
« Reply #21 on: 24/03/2007 11:56:35 »
I often swallow the seeds from cherries (too lazy to spit them out, and they are no larger than many pills one swallows) - does that mean I should come out in cherry blossoms in the spring :)
 

Offline Karen W.

  • Moderator
  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *****
  • Posts: 31653
  • Thanked: 5 times
  • "come fly with me"
    • View Profile
Apples are good...Apple Seeds are not !!
« Reply #22 on: 24/03/2007 17:09:29 »
LOL Georgie your in blossom everyday, HUGS YOU!!
 

paul.fr

  • Guest
Apples are good...Apple Seeds are not !!
« Reply #23 on: 24/03/2007 17:28:41 »
I often swallow the seeds from cherries (too lazy to spit them out, and they are no larger than many pills one swallows) - does that mean I should come out in cherry blossoms in the spring :)

well, with climate change it could be sooner.  ;)
 

Offline Karen W.

  • Moderator
  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *****
  • Posts: 31653
  • Thanked: 5 times
  • "come fly with me"
    • View Profile
Apples are good...Apple Seeds are not !!
« Reply #24 on: 24/03/2007 19:03:16 »
LOL!!
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

Apples are good...Apple Seeds are not !!
« Reply #24 on: 24/03/2007 19:03:16 »

 

SMF 2.0.10 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums