The short answer to the title question posed here is: yes. But before you up and toss the literal fruits of your actual labor this apple picking season, let’s have a look at the metrics involved. Basically, you can go ahead and hold right on to all of your apple pies, apple muffins, applesauces, and apple butters, as you’d have to resort to some pretty significant evil queen-like antics if you’re trying to capitalize on any poisonous apple effects.

Apple seeds contain cyanide, which, as anyone familiar with the infamous death of Socrates can tell you, can be fatal to humans. Cyanide occurs naturally in certain plants as a built-in insect and disease repellent. Not only is the amount of cyanide in a single apple seed an insignificant microdose that the human body can easily detoxify, the cyanide is well-contained within the seed’s hard shell. Even if you swallow an entire apple’s worth of seeds, they will likely pass through your system whole without releasing any cyanide, unless you are really, really committed to thorough chewing.


If you look at a cross section of an apple, a typical one contains about five to eight seeds. And so long as we’re looking at the cross section, note that the seed pod when cut crosswise creates a delicate little shape  called the “star of the apple,” which makes a lovely decorative touch, (seeds removed, naturally,) for apple pies and breads, or even as a fall cocktail garnish.

But enough with decoration; back to poison. So, how many apple’s worth of seeds would you have to chew and ingest to start to be nervous? Let’s just say you’d likely get a severe stomachache from the volume of fruit itself before you reached any harmful levels of cyanide.

Other tree fruits and nuts such as cherries, peaches, apricots, plums, pears, and almonds also contain cyanide within their seed pods, but again, unless you’re really craving the particular, dental-destroying crunch of a handful of apricot pits, you’re not likely to find your demise in any sort of fairy-tale-character-ingesting-poisoned-fruit sort of way. You’ll just have to live out your Snow White fantasies by recruiting a gaggle of quirky, much-shorter-than-you friends.

And then you can invite then all over for a decidedly un-poisonous afternoon of delicious, apple-centric baked goods.

Related Video: How to Make 4 Amazing Apple Desserts

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