Sunflower Seed Shells

Apparently, people like to eat.

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mysticRight
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Sunflower Seed Shells

Postby mysticRight » Fri Mar 27, 2009 8:47 pm UTC

So, I have been off sunflower seeds for a couple years now, but I recently gave into my addiction and started eating them again. They are a great snack while sitting in my office coding all day. I have gone through a 5 ounce bag at work this week.

My question to you guys, is it ok to eat the shells? I know the bag suggests otherwise, but the shell has all of the BBQ flavor and it is just easier to eat the whole thing. Turning to the side to spit the shell into the trash can every time I eat one really breaks my concentration on the stuff I am working on. The shell seems to be mostly cellulose, so I am sure that I am not going to be digesting these things and therefore chew them up the best I can. Has anyone ever ran into any sort of problem when always eating the shells? I can't imagine that I am not the only one who does this.

SDIX
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Re: Sunflower Seed Shells

Postby SDIX » Fri Mar 27, 2009 8:51 pm UTC

I can see it as being a hazard to your intestines. That said, my brother has eaten the shells for years and never complained. Well, I take that back, he complained once of a horrible movement that was littered with partially chewed shells.

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zombie_monkey
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Re: Sunflower Seed Shells

Postby zombie_monkey » Fri Mar 27, 2009 8:54 pm UTC

It's "common knowledge" around here that it will really fuck up your intestines. Don't know how true it is.

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Iori_Yagami
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Re: Sunflower Seed Shells

Postby Iori_Yagami » Mon Mar 30, 2009 1:04 pm UTC

Many people never complained after eating sunflower seeds with shells for years, THEN suddenly were taken to hospital having intense pains to get their appendix removed. Not fun. :(
You can buy already shelled ones. You can shell some before - like in those pauses when coding and not knowing how to do next thing that popped up. (I have those all the time. Maybe I am just not perfect at coding. Maybe it is common.) Also, seeds really can harm your teeth. Repeated strain, that is, will slowly brush enamel away.
And maybe, just maybe, try switching to nuts, which, I guess, are better in all regards except price? On the other hand, those sfss are addictive as hell, so I understand you. :mrgreen:
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Matsi
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Re: Sunflower Seed Shells

Postby Matsi » Mon Mar 30, 2009 6:19 pm UTC

Iori_Yagami wrote:Many people never complained after eating sunflower seeds with shells for years, THEN suddenly were taken to hospital having intense pains to get their appendix removed.


But the same goes for people who have never eaten sunflower seed shells. Unless there is evidence that in most of the cases from your anecdote shells were found to be the cause of appendicitis, it is a bit weak to use as an argument for not eating the shells.

Googling for information i could only find one study, which isn't about appendicitis (at least it's not mentioned in the abstract, Google found that word somewhere in the article I won't pay for to read), everything else on the first couple of result pages are forum or blog posts.

Some further digging and I found this by George Ryerson Fowler though, the important passage reads:
"It has happened more than once during an operation of this character in my hospital that one or another of the bystanders has exclaimed, [...], 'a lemon-pit!' or 'a date-stone' [...] In every instance, however, the fact that they were, with the above mentioned exceptions, made up of moulded fecal matter was demonstrated simply by flattening them between thumb and finger."

The mentioned exceptions seem to be gall stones, though in a footnote he says that foreign bodies are sometimes found to be the blockage, just very rarely. No mention of actual seed shells.

Does this make the shells safe to eat? Hell, I don't know, IANAD. Also the passage I quoted is purely anecdotal of course :oops:

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Re: Sunflower Seed Shells

Postby Bobber » Wed Apr 01, 2009 9:55 am UTC

Apart from mechanical damage to the intestines, could there be a problem with long-term poisoning from pesti-/insecticides that the seeds, or the sunflowers themselves, were treated with?
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Re: Sunflower Seed Shells

Postby DSenette » Wed Apr 01, 2009 5:43 pm UTC

I have gone through a 5 ounce bag at work this week.
a week? pfftt... and you call yourself an addict....i can go through one of those in a day if i'm stupid enough to actually have them at my desk

Apart from mechanical damage to the intestines, could there be a problem with long-term poisoning from pesti-/insecticides that the seeds, or the sunflowers themselves, were treated with?
i would imagine you'd have the same amount of ingestion of these bad things just sucking the salt off the seeds
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Ydira
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Re: Sunflower Seed Shells

Postby Ydira » Wed Apr 01, 2009 8:38 pm UTC

If you're scared of the pestisides on those shells, you should be equally scared of every thing you eat. Nothing is really free of toxins or pestisides, they are in the air we breath, in the water, so they get on al the plants. Maybe you could just put a little bowl or plastic cup or something on your desk, so you don't have to make the yourney to the trashbin every time.
I never heard of any connection between those shells and some intestinal disorder, they might just spice up your metabolisme. After all, doctors keep advising people to add more fibers to their diets...


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