Thursday, February 18, 2016

About Apples, Proverbs, and Poison

Good Day World!

Before I had false teeth, I loved eating a nice crisp red apple. Now, I eat applesauce, or apple slices.

But that's not the topic for the day (sigh of relief!).

Have you ever heard the proverb, "An apple a day will keep the doctor away?" 

Wonder where it came from?

As far as I can tell, after surfing Google, the saying goes back to an 1866 edition of Notes and Queries magazine.

"A Pembrokeshire proverb. Eat an apple on going to bed, And you'll keep the doctor from earning his bread."

There's been numerous variants of the rhyme since then.

In the 19th century and early 20th, the phrase evolved to "An apple a day, no doctor to pay" and "An apple a day sends the doctor away," while the phrasing now commonly used was first recorded in 1922.

As long as you don't eat the apple seeds you're perfectly safe to enjoy the fruit (after washing it of course). But too many seeds will have the opposite effect of the old proverb and you'll need to see a doctor!

Why? The seeds contain trace amounts of poison. Apple seeds contain cyanogenic glycosides which turn into cyanide through an enzymatic process. 

A few seeds aren't going to hurt you. A lot of them can cause adverse reactions. As long as you don't make a habit of eating the apple core embedded with those sneaky seeds, you'll never have a problem.

One more Apple Proverb:

"You are the apple of my eye." Here's the origin

Time for me to walk on down the road...

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