Wind is, for the most part, manageable. Other food stuffs can have a somewhat more profound effect than merely making you fart. While there are times when this outcome is greatly desired, there are equally occasions when it is absolutely not what the doctor ordered.
We begin with the apple. A safe sort of food one would have thought but not when religion has anything to do with it. The Persian scholar Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari (838-923), author of one of the earliest commentaries on the Qu’ran, argues that it was eating the forbidden fruit that caused Adam and Eve to defecate for the first time and that this was one of the principal reasons for their expulsion.
However, it should be noted that neither the Bible nor the Qu’ran actually claims the forbidden fruit was an apple: this was a later idea stemming from the fact that in Latin translations of Genesis the fruit was described as malus, which means ‘evil’ as an adjective but ‘apple’ as a noun. Other contenders for the original forbidden fruit include grapes, figs, olives, quinces and even wheat.
Eve ate first from the tree. Then she commanded Adam to eat from it. It was a tree which made whoever ate from it defecate. But there must be no faeces in the garden…
(Tafsir al-Tabari c.915-923)
The danger of apples is underscored in The Pilgrim’s Progress when Matthew falls sick and he was “much pained in his Bowels, so that he was with it at times, pulled as ‘twere both ends together.” When it is discovered that he has been scrumping for apples from a tree that overhung an orchard wall, the doctor is triumphant.
I knew he had eaten something that was not wholesome food, and that food, to wit, that Fruit, is even the most hurtful of all. It is the Fruit of Beelzebub’s Orchard. I do marvel that none did warn you of it; many have died thereof.
(John Bunyan – The Pilgrim’s Progress 1678)