We usually discuss the healthy or delicious cuisines around the world. We read about the recipes that should be avoided or that are healthy for our body. Ever thought about the food items that are actually harmful to our body. Not actually, right? So, here you go, let’s know about the food items which somewhere our favorite but can actually kill us.
From things you can find in the grocery store, to cultural delicacies from around the world, here are 10 foods that can potentially kill you.
With names like the death cap, destroying angel and fool’s mushroom, some fungi are anything but fun. Author Nicholas Evans and his family nearly died of liver failure after picking the deadly webcap variety. In the US, 14 people were poisoned in San Francisco after eating death cap mushrooms, three needed a liver transplant, including an 18-month-old baby. The thing about deadly mushrooms is, they often look like edible ones. So unless you’re totally sure what you’re eating, might be better to head to the shops or eat out.
Cherrystones or pits
Tinker, tailor, soldier… Undertaker might be the traditional cherry stones counting game if you happen to bite into a load of cherry stones. Now, let’s be clear. Accidentally swallowing one or two whole stones isn’t a problem, it’s when you crack and bite around 10 or more that there’ll be a sufficient build-up of cyanide.
Cashews are in fact seeds, not nuts, which is why you never see them in their shells like other varieties of nuts such as peanuts. It’s also why cashews, which are native to South America, are roasted before being sold. In their raw state, the shell has a coating of anacardic acid which can give you a serious upset stomach.
The reddish green stalks of rhubarb are delicious in a traditional British crumble, but the leaves of the plant can be deadly. They contain a variety of poisonous substances, the main one of which is oxalic acid. The lethal dose for pure oxalic acid in a 65kg (143lb) human is about 25g (0.88 oz.). In the levels found in rhubarb leaves, you’d have to eat around 4 or 5kg (9 or 11 lbs.) to do yourself serious harm. Still, the potential for an upset stomach is real.
All beans and lentils should be washed and cooked before consuming, otherwise, you can get an upset stomach. Kidney beans, however, contain high levels of phytohemagglutinin, making them the most toxic bean. Eating just a few undercooked or badly prepared ones can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. The US Food and Drug Administration advises boiling for 30 minutes to completely break down the toxin. Canned kidney beans are pre-cooked and completed safely to eat from the tin, however, so use those in your next chili.
Love your seafood? Then maybe the Korean dish of San-NAK Ji is for you. The tentacles are cut off a live octopus, chopped into bite-size pieces, and served with sesame seeds and soy. So far, so gross. But where this dish might kill you is that the suckers on the tentacles remain active, and can attach to your throat, causing several people a year choke to death while eating San-NAK Ji – think of it as the octopus’s revenge.
Not the humble spud! Yes, we’re afraid so. When originally introduced as food for the poor, potatoes were not welcomed with open arms and a pinch of salt. In fact, most people in the 1600s thought potatoes responsible for everything from leprosy to rampant sexuality. The toxic element in potatoes is solanine (it’s also in tomatoes and aubergine/eggplants), which is found throughout the plant, particularly when it’s sprouting. This is why you should never cook with potatoes that have any green color under the skin. It won’t kill you but will make you very ill.
Around 1% of the US population has a peanut allergy, which may not sound like a lot, but with a population of 321.4 million, it’s still around three million people, all of whom can be severely injured if they come into contact with the nut. In the UK, restaurant owner Mohammed Zaman was jailed for six years after a takeaway from his restaurant containing powdered nuts caused Paul Wilson, 38, to suffered a severe anaphylactic shock and die in January 2014.
The daddy of them all, the organs of the blowfish (known as fugu in Japan) contain a toxin several hundred times more deadly than cyanide. To even prepare this dish, chefs must train for three years and have a special license. Deaths are rare, but not unknown.
Everyone’s favorite Christmas spice is actually a hallucinogenic, that if eaten in large enough quantities can cause convulsions, palpitations, and nausea, not to mention visual distortions and a sense of paranoia – which sounds eerily like most Christmas occasions. What’s more, it’s also highly toxic to dogs.
I know it’s heartbreaking but these have to be discarded from our grocery list.