Clover and Cyanide

Question…Why don’t the bugs eat the clover in my yard?

Ok …here we go…

Under ordinary conditions, cyanide is safely bonded to sugar molecules that are sequestered in secure pockets inside each plant cell. The enzyme that separates the cyanide from its sugar lies outside that pocket. When an insect chews the clover leaves, the cyanide-sugars and enzymes mix—like bending and shaking a plastic glow stick—and this releases the poisonous cyanide concoction.

THAT is the answer..

I know, I know,(here it comes)… BUT WAIT, YOUR SAYING WE CAN EAT IT?… Yes, you can.

Cyanide is a naturally occurring chemical, generally considered to be poisonous if consumed in large enough amounts. According to the U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry the following foods naturally contain cyanide:

almonds
millet sprouts
lima beans
soy
spinach
bamboo shoots
cassava
tapioca

Additionally cyanide is found in most any fruits that have a pit, or core, like cherries, apricots, and apples. The site reports that no foods are consumed in large enough quantities to be toxic. Cyanide can also be produced by certain bacteria, fungi, algae, and as a by-product of industrial manufacturing and waste. If industry is producing cyanide in your area it may enter local water supplies. If this water is used to grow plants in your area, those plants will also absorb the additional cyanide, so take note of the water and industry in your area. The same risk, thankfully, does not exist for fish in cyanide polluted waters as they do not absorb the cyanide. In general, it is import not to stress too much over cyanide in foods.

*** Small amounts of cyanide may even be good for you by helping to lower blood pressure.

In small doses, cyanide in the body can be changed into thiocyanate, which is less harmful and is excreted in urine. In the body, cyanide in small amounts can also combine with another chemical to form vitamin B12, which helps maintain healthy nerve and red blood cells.

In large doses, the body’s ability to change cyanide into thiocyanate is overwhelmed. Large doses of cyanide prevent cells from using oxygen and eventually these cells die. The heart, respiratory system and central nervous system are most susceptible to cyanide poisoning. (NOT good)

BACK to White Clover..
With all this in mind, clover can be good for you. It is high in protein, has beta carotene, vitamin C, most of the B vitamins, biotin, choline, inositol, and bioflavonoids.

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