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Can I eat bird food?

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Old Tuesday 26th February 2008, 15:25   #1
Wickham
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Can I eat bird food?

I bought a large bag of mixed bird table food from RSPB but the birds don't eat the black sunflower seeds, so they clutter up the bird board or get blown to the ground where rats come and eat them.

I now sort the feed and have a large glass jar full of black sunflower seeds. I only need a few for garden flowers, so can I eat the rest or put them into muesli, porridge, etc?

If so, what's the best way to get the husks off, or just grind them up regardless?

Edit:- I've just read one or two posts in the poll on whether sunflower seeds or peanuts go fastest, (sunflower seeds by a big margin) but not as far as my birds are concerned. I don't feed peanuts.

The birds I get are only blackbirds, robins, blue and great tits and dunnocks and none of them touch the sunflower seeds (too large, possibly).

Last edited by Wickham : Tuesday 26th February 2008 at 15:40.
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Old Tuesday 26th February 2008, 17:43   #2
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Hi Wickham, I wouldn't risk eating the sunflower seeds myself. Are you sure the birds are not eating the kernels and what you are finding is just the empty shells?

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Old Tuesday 26th February 2008, 19:16   #3
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They are definitely the whole sunflower seeds. I'm convinced that they are too big for the dunnocks, tits and robins while the balckbirds seem to prefer grapes!

I'll have to think of a use for them.
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Old Tuesday 26th February 2008, 19:45   #4
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If they are 'certified safe seed for birds' (or something like that) then I'm sure I'd have a go at them. Or even if not. Sunflower hearts and seeds are popular in health food shops for people after all. . . Can't think they'd use any worse chemicals (fertilisers or in storage) than they put on the rest of our food anyway

Ready to be corrected, but can't see why not ..
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Old Tuesday 26th February 2008, 21:06   #5
Wickham
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In garden centres you only get a few seeds in a packet for 1.50 so I think I'll sell them and possibly recover all the cost of the bird seed!

I'll eat a few but if you don't see another post from me, you'll know what's happened.
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Old Tuesday 26th February 2008, 21:11   #6
mike from ebbw
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Originally Posted by Wickham View Post
In garden centres you only get a few seeds in a packet for 1.50 so I think I'll sell them and possibly recover all the cost of the bird seed!

I'll eat a few but if you don't see another post from me, you'll know what's happened.
LOL,
I wait in anticipation to your next post!
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Old Tuesday 26th February 2008, 21:26   #7
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Eating sunflower seeds is a national pastime here !!!!!
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Old Monday 27th July 2020, 16:15   #8
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Most human diets are very poor anyway (1 in 5 deaths globally) are caused by poor diet. So I would say you SHOULD definitely eat seeds (and nuts) as they are far healthier than crisps, biscuits and cake whether or not they are marketed for human consumption. The only thing I would say is that human fat requirements in seeds are different to birds. That said most people eat bad fat anyway and bird seed is better than the fats in unhealthy food. Human and bird diet requirements are actually not that different biologically. Humans can eat milk and cheese whereas birds can only eat cheese and not milk. Most of the world's plants are edible even to humans just like birds.
For a healthy diet:
1) Avoid processed foods. You NEVER really need to eat these.
2) Don't be over cautious about plants being toxic (though toxic plants do exist)
3) Eat fruit and veg
4) Eat nuts and seeds
5) Enjoy some dairy
4) Eat wholegrains, rice, cereals, oats and pasta
5) Limit meat consumption
Read the rspb advice for birds diet and it is not terribly different. Yes we ARE different to birds biologically but the gap is narrower than you think.
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Old Monday 27th July 2020, 22:07   #9
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Originally Posted by EdwinBrophy View Post
Most human diets are very poor anyway (1 in 5 deaths globally) are caused by poor diet. So I would say you SHOULD definitely eat seeds (and nuts) as they are far healthier than crisps, biscuits and cake whether or not they are marketed for human consumption. The only thing I would say is that human fat requirements in seeds are different to birds. That said most people eat bad fat anyway and bird seed is better than the fats in unhealthy food. Human and bird diet requirements are actually not that different biologically. Humans can eat milk and cheese whereas birds can only eat cheese and not milk. Most of the world's plants are edible even to humans just like birds.
For a healthy diet:
1) Avoid processed foods. You NEVER really need to eat these.
2) Don't be over cautious about plants being toxic (though toxic plants do exist)
3) Eat fruit and veg
4) Eat nuts and seeds
5) Enjoy some dairy
4) Eat wholegrains, rice, cereals, oats and pasta
5) Limit meat consumption
Read the rspb advice for birds diet and it is not terribly different. Yes we ARE different to birds biologically but the gap is narrower than you think.
I agree EdwinBrophy. Sunflower seeds are very good for you
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Old Wednesday 5th August 2020, 07:13   #10
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When going birdwatching take a bag of seeds to eat for easy food so you feel fuller for longer. They are also easy to transport as you don't need to eat huge amounts to nourish the body. You don't need any equipment at all to eat them in remote areas. You can just eat them as if you were actually a bird. At least if you do decide to feed birds the seeds you carry, it will never harm them.
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Old Wednesday 5th August 2020, 11:55   #11
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My Spanish friends eat sunflower seeds all the time, though they are toasted and salted. I wouldn't fancy eating them raw and from a source that is not intended for human consumption.

Eating them involves a lot of spitting out of husks just like the birds do.
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Old Wednesday 5th August 2020, 12:00   #12
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My Spanish friends eat sunflower seeds all the time, though they are toasted and salted. I wouldn't fancy eating them raw and from a source that is not intended for human consumption.

Eating them involves a lot of spitting out of husks just like the birds do.
You can purchase " Bakers standard " sunflower hearts - no husk and used in cakes, breads. Lovely when quickly fried in sunflower oil, then sprinkled with sea salt. Why should the birds have all the goodies.
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Old Wednesday 5th August 2020, 12:29   #13
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Sorry this is a 12 year old topic. Filter the sunflower seeds out and throw them away. The rest you can use on the bird table.
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Old Wednesday 5th August 2020, 14:08   #14
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I personally wouldn't eat bird food it's not meant for us, bit off topic seeds have fallen in my Mums plant soil and with all the rain we've had and have seen little leaves growing up.
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Old Thursday 6th August 2020, 08:32   #15
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You say you won't eat bird food as it is not meant for us. But I can think of devastating things about modern food that is certainly not for human consumption either. Too much salt, wrong types of fats, too much processed, processed meat, not enough nutrition, food poisoning cases at 600 million illnesses 450,000 deaths, too many ingredients designed to confuse consumers, drugs added to food that harm your mental health, not enough nuts and seeds eaten, not enough fruit and veg eaten, too much sugar added to everything, not enough wholegrains eaten and a lack of polices to have fair distribution of vital food resources to where it is desperately needed. All these problems have millions of pounds of marketing behind them and food companies track your eating habits to make you spend spend spend on crap you don't need. Bird food, given it's high standards, is the least of my concerns about diet.
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Old Thursday 6th August 2020, 08:54   #16
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Originally Posted by EdwinBrophy View Post
You say you won't eat bird food as it is not meant for us. But I can think of devastating things about modern food that is certainly not for human consumption either. Too much salt, wrong types of fats, too much processed, processed meat, not enough nutrition, food poisoning cases at 600 million illnesses 450,000 deaths, too many ingredients designed to confuse consumers, drugs added to food that harm your mental health, not enough nuts and seeds eaten, not enough fruit and veg eaten, too much sugar added to everything, not enough wholegrains eaten and a lack of polices to have fair distribution of vital food resources to where it is desperately needed. All these problems have millions of pounds of marketing behind them and food companies track your eating habits to make you spend spend spend on crap you don't need. Bird food, given it's high standards, is the least of my concerns about diet.
You don't happen to work for the Sunflower Marketing Board by any chance?

I do agree with you.

However the only real issue could be storage if contemplating seeds actually used to feed birds. We tend to store stuff outside and for too long - answer would rather be to treat storage of bird food in a better way.
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Old Thursday 6th August 2020, 09:26   #17
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In case you are wondering what is the difference between human and bird seed is: NONE. Humans and birds do have different requirements for the ratio of different seeds we need to eat to optimise for consuming healthy fats, human and bird biology IS different in terms of the fats the body needs from seeds to stay healthy. But the seeds in and themselves are not different intended for consumption for any herbivore, omnivore human or bird. The marketing is the only difference. You do NOT need to purchase any different seeds for humans or birds. This is a myth that there is NO evidence of.
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Old Thursday 6th August 2020, 09:26   #18
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In case you are wondering what is the difference between human and bird seed is: NONE. Humans and birds do have different requirements for the ratio of different seeds we need to eat to optimise for consuming healthy fats, human and bird biology IS different in terms of the fats the body needs from seeds to stay healthy. But the seeds in and themselves are not different intended for consumption for any herbivore, omnivore human or bird. The marketing is the only difference. You do NOT need to purchase any different seeds for humans or birds. This is a myth that there is NO evidence of.
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Old Thursday 6th August 2020, 09:47   #19
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I have self taught a diet and nutrition online course at level 3. I don't work for any company. I had some guidance from my mum who has a postgraduate course in diet and nutrition. My marks in all my coursework was great. I can totally assure you that seeds are OK to eat.
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Old Thursday 6th August 2020, 09:56   #20
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Yes, they are safe to eat.

However, they have an oil content (some higher than others), so if you have a weight issue should not be eaten in large quantities.
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Old Thursday 6th August 2020, 13:32   #21
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Sorry this is a 12 year old topic
Good lord yes, I didn't notice the huge gap in dates
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Old Thursday 6th August 2020, 14:01   #22
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In the UK food for animal consumption does not have the same safety requirements as food for human consumption. Fungal contamination can be much higher and cross contamination between food stuffs does not have to be maintained.

Some fungal contamination can be very dangerous to humans and peanut allergies can be lethal.

By all means eat seeds and nuts but eat ones that have been stored and processed specifically for human consumption.
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Old Thursday 6th August 2020, 15:08   #23
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I agree with the moderator about the fat in seeds that humans and birds do have different fat requirements to birds. Someone on a weight loss programme will have to limit how many seeds they consume but at the same time because seeds make you feel fuller for longer there are fatty foods that are much easier to eat too much of the fat content in them that are heavily advertised. The fullness feeling of seeds makes you want to eat less frequently than a lot other foods. Were it not for this feeling I would agree with the moderator that this would be an issue but our body naturally signals to our brain before too many seeds are consumed. Essentially this natural warning needs to be listened to for people who need to loose weight for medical reasons. The problem with junk food for people on weight loss programmes is the body's lack of warning signals to the brain when you have eaten enough food, making you consume too much fat and gain weight.
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Old Thursday 6th August 2020, 15:22   #24
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In fact most animal food has very high safety standards. If they didn't they would get into big trouble. Humans have more liberty to eat food that is very very unsafe than animals. Fungal contamination of seeds is unlikely because fungi doesn't grow easily on seeds as fungi grows more on food that goes off like bread. I personally have kept seeds in dry places for a long time without them going bad. Fungal contamination is not the biggest food poisoning risk anyway as we have a natural phobia to fungi. Peanut allergies are rarer than problems like food poisoning. If people were really terrified of fungal contamination, people wouldn't eat bread.
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Old Thursday 6th August 2020, 15:26   #25
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Good lord yes, I didn't notice the huge gap in dates
Indeed, was expecting something a bit more currant.
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