My PICPMB Blog
The Subtrop Technical/Horticultural Advisor for KwaZulu-Natal, Andrew Sheard, is part of my family, and so I have to be careful about how I treat the plants in our garden, especially the citrus trees. It does not help that these have never been free of aphids, and that their leaves also remain prone to other afflictions. Ultimately this pressure is a good thing, as I have started to try and rectify this situation.
Andrew's most recent (email) post deals with pesticides and the fruit and vegetables we consume on a daily basis. I was particularly pleased to have received this information, as it made me Google “cyanide and apples” again. I heard about the "cyanide in apple pips" thing sometime ago, but it did not change my relationship with apples. Besides consuming the whole apple, I have as a rule never washed fruit, other than to remove fluff and dust from peaches. I am however likely to nominally polish an apple, like a cricketer shines a ball, before consuming it the apple.
Without giving it too much thought, the only fruit pips that I do not eat, other than the stone variety, is that of melon-like fruit. While taking another look at "cyanide and apples", I saw that they sell water melon pips as a snack in Thailand. Maybe it is time to stop spitting those out as well. Could be interesting, as I reckon there may be other good reasons for spitting them out.
A word of warning, once in a while I come across an apple that has a rotten / musty core, or contains a bit of wildlife. That can spoil the experience, but is not as bad as eating the naartjies that I grow. These I peel whilst looking for worms, or signs of worms, and then discard the invaded segments. At approximately every second sitting, actually standing (besides the tree), I make a mistake. Naartjie worms / habitats do not taste that great, but then the risk one runs is not unlike careering down a hill on a bike. One of those things that makes life great, and a gastronomic experience that is enhanced by spitting, rather than by swallowing.