Published on August 13, 2019

Apples are nature’s own medicine, but don’t shoot them

By Edward A. Forbes / The Bulletin

I was watching the news recently, and they had a short blurb about apples. The new conventional wisdom is that apples have millions of bacteria on them. “Some” are beneficial. The bacteria that’s not among the “some” are disturbing to me.

Should I wash or not wash the exterior before consuming my apple? Will washing kill the “some” we want, and what about those other nefarious bacteria lurking on there? What about the stories of insecticides on apples? Was William Tell ahead of his time, killing those dreaded apples before they had the opportunity for those not among the “some” bacteria to do him in?

But at least William Tell was a good shot, although I would have used a stick or dummy rather than my son’s head to put the apple on. That is more risk than a normal person would take.

I worry about these things, and then there is the core.

The news also reported that the apple core contained some more beneficial bacteria and that we should eat the core. I also know that apple seeds contain amygdalin, which, when chewed, can release a small amount of cyanide. I am not certain, but I feel that any cyanide in my diet would not be beneficial; then again maybe that’s just me.

I researched some more. Two hundred apple seeds or 20 apple cores would probably be fatal. I feel certain that I wouldn’t eat 20 apples a day (even if I were starving on an island full of apple trees). Maybe one a day to keep the doctor away.

I also discovered that obese rats fed a diet of ground apples and apples juice lost weight. I’m not sure how that applies to me (I know; I know the obese part), and I’m not asking anyone’s opinion on the rat part.

The only person I know who ate the entire apple, core and all, was my dear departed friend, Dr. Ben Weiner. He also on occasion ate the cheese cloth on cheese if we didn’t remove it before giving it to him. I don’t know if that would have disqualified him as a test subject.

Eating apples, it seems, before a meal reduced calories consumed and led to weight loss and lower cholesterol. Would this work in a pie? We’ll have to give it a try.

I can only assume that giving apple slices to toddlers is a good thing: high fiber, low sugar. I don’t feel that giving them apple cores would be a good thing. From the aspect of chewing without many teeth, and then there are those dreaded seeds.

I do think it would be more beneficial to give them an apple slice than a cell phone. Although kids these days could just find an apple app on their phone.

(Send comments by email to editor John Toth at john.bulletin@gmail.com. Or send regular mail to The Bulletin, P.O. Box 2426, Angleton, TX 77516)