The other day I was talking to a friend of mine as she was eating grapes (real grapes, not the industrial seedless ones), when I noticed that she wasn’t spitting out the seeds – she was eating them! For me this was a shock, as I always spit out the seeds, or avoid grapes with seeds altogether. I asked her about this and she told me that the seed was the best part, and nutritious. As I pressed her further, she revealed that she also eats pear seeds. This was even more amazing to me as I figured: pears, closely related to apples, which are supposed to have cyanide in their seeds, which you aren’t supposed to eat. Therefore, you don’t eat pear seeds either.
So what’s the story here? Do you Dopers eat hard* fruit seeds, or do you spit them out?
by ‘hard’ I mean like the ones in apples, pears, watermelon, grapes, peaches, etc., not the soft ones like in strawberries, kiwifruit, etc.
I usually eat the seeds from Concord Grapes – it’s too much trouble to remove them, and they’re perfectly safe to eat. Heck, their whole purpose in life is to be eaten. (although I do remove them when I make grape pies. I have three containers in the fridge right now for that purpose.)
As for cyanide in seeds, as I note the seeds are meant to be eaten and excreted undigested. Fruit is a bribe plants use to get their seeds distributed, with free fertilizer.
I swallow all seeds I happen to come across. No fruit seeds contain enough cyanide to harm you, except bitter almonds. But those taste like cyanide (or alternatively, cyanide tastes like bitter almonds) so you couldn’t exactly consume them without noticing.
No. Yuck. I also love pomegranate seed pulp, but hate eating the crunchy seed part.
I brought in some roasted pumpkin seeds yesterday and noticed that I seem to be the only one of my coworkers to split the seeds with my teeth and extract the tasty part. Everyone else was crunching them up whole, including the woody outer shell of the seed.
I eat the pomegranate seeds whole; it’s way too much work to extract the hard bit. Fibre! Good for ya! Watermelon seeds are so slippery and streamlined–down they go, too. Grape seeds, yes, generally. Citrus I usually save the seeds if I’m at home, thinking I’ll plant them. Apple, pear, peach, no seed-eating for me.
Pumpkin seeds I split open and eat the seed portion only. The shell, no thank you. (Damned pumpkin shells from commerical snacking pumpkin seeds take foreeeeeever to compost, I’ve noticed. In the garden.)
Based on the advice from Dopers and from my friend, I tried to eat a few grapes yesterday seeds and all. Nothing bad happened to me, but I must say that they were a bit too bitter for my liking. I couldn’t find a way not to crunch them as I chewed the grape, hence the bitterness. Which makes me wonder how this is supposed to work in nature. If the seed is getting crushed in the eating process, persumably it won’t germinate?
Incidently, I don’t know whether anyone noticed the Google ads in the early stages of this thread, but they were advertising a couple places selling apricot seeds for Vitamin B17. (maybe they’ll come back now that I have said it – Apricot seeds B17 Apricot seeds B17 Apricot seeds B17 Apricot seeds B17). According to them, it isn’t abnormal for people to eat about a dozen of these things each day!
Oh, and apricot kernels are better known as almonds Except the kind you get almonds from are different from the kind you get fruit from, and if you eat enough normal apricot kernels you’ll make yourself sick because they contain a compound which metabolizes to cyanide (I presume normal almonds contain this too, but in negligible amounts). However, they are used in small amounts in Chinese cooking and medicine. After soaking for a looong time in water. I dunno what the ad is trying to sell.