An Apple a Day ...

Sweet seductress
Sweet seductress

Snow White died when she ate a poisoned apple (sort of). According to this fantastic book I'm reading, The Botany of Desire by Michael Pollan, the rest of us may be flirting with theoretical death every time we bite into a Red Delicious or Braeburn as well.

The book, which talks about the coevolution between humans and four specific plants, one of which is apples, states that apple seeds, the heart of the All-American, wholesome, keeps-the-doctor-away pome, are laced with cyanide. Of course, the amount is so low that, according to Snopes.com, "even the most dedicated of apple eaters is extremely unlikely to ingest enough pips (seeds) to cause any harm."

Pollan thinks apples developed this poison as a way to ensure the animals they lured to their flesh didn't macerate and digest their seeds, thereby destroying the only method they have of reproducing. Fascinating, eh?

There's a bright crimson Delicious on my desk right now. I've always enjoyed living on the edge ...