In this day in age of convenient grocery stores and restaurants, most people only care how good the food tastes and don’t even consider if it’s poisonous or not. Maybe we should not take our food safety for granted because a lot of the foods we all love to eat could kill us.
These innocent, delicious berries can be used in a lot of ways. You can eat them raw, bake them, cook them, make juice out of them, but whatever you do, do not suck or bite down on a cherry pit. That’s because if you damage the pit even a little, it will produce hydrogen cyanide which in large enough quantities can cause headaches, vomiting, breathing difficulties, and even kidney failure.
Like cherries, apple seeds also contain cyanide. So if you eat enough apple seeds, you may end up like Snow White… without the dwarfs and the prince and the whole coming back to life thing.
Mushrooms are nutritious and delicious, but out the world’s 38,000 different types of fungi, about 5% (1,900) are actually poisonous.
While some toxic mushrooms are easy to spot because of their bright colors, most of the deadliest mushrooms appear very unassuming and the most deadly of them all the Death Cap even looks just like common edible mushrooms and if you eat it, it will begin killing you before you even realize something is wrong. It’s poisonous symptoms typically won’t manifest for hours when you eventually experience abdominal pain, severe dehydration, and diarrhea.
The Death Cap mushroom will destroy your liver and, without treatment, you can experience rapid organ failure, coma, and death.
Remember the whole cinnamon challenge? Well, just be glad there’s no nutmeg challenge because nutmeg is a hallucinogen and just a teaspoon can lead to convulsion, seizures, and vomiting that can last for days. And if you eat an entire nutmeg, then you’ll enter what’s called “nutmeg psychosis,” which can lead to death.
If you ever looked at a potato and noticed that it’s a bit green, that isn’t because it’s not ripe yet, it’s because of the naturally occurring toxin found in the leaves and stems that can build up in potatoes when left out too long. This glycoalkaloid poison acts as natural pesticide and fungicide to defend against animals, insects, and fungi.
Eating green potatoes can cause cramps, diarrhea, and even death so make sure to discard any potatoes with green sprouts or greenish skin.
Did you know almonds are not nuts but are actually seeds? Almonds are one of the most popular ingredients in the kitchen and come in both sweet and bitter varieties, with the bitter ones being the most aromatic and flavorful… and poisonous.
If left untreated, bitter almonds are full of, again, cyanide. Eating 7-10 raw bitter almonds could kill a child and eating around 20 could kill an adult!
Rhubard is very versatile. It can be made into jams, drinks, and baked in pies but its leaves contain oxalic acid which can form kidney stones. Eating about 10 pounds of rhubarb could kill you.
8. Lima Beans
Raw lima beans contain high levels of that pesky cyanide again so it should always be cooked for at least 10 minutes without a lid so the poison can escape as a gas. The water cooking the beans should be thrown away because just a handful of raw Lima beans can make someone violently ill.
Cassava is also known as tapioca, yup, that’s the stuff in your bubble tea. Cassava is widely consumed in South America and Africa and is the third largest source of carbohydrates in the world. Just like almonds, there are two varieties of cassava: sweet and bitter. The bitter kind is up to 8 times more toxic because cassava’s cyanide content is very high. Just two cassava roots contain enough poison to kill an adult, and a pound could drop a cow.
10. Pufferfish (fugu)
This fish is so poisonous chefs who want to prepare it, must go through years of rigorous training and at the end, there is a test where the chef must prepare the fish and eat it. But as dramatic as that sounds, the chefs who fail the test (about 70% of them) don’t die. They could fail even before the eating part of the test and, even if they ate the unsuccessfully prepared fugu, they are only eating the flesh that is less poisonous.
If the fish is prepared correctly, you can even eat some of the organs which are the most toxic parts of the fish but the most lethal organ, the liver, cannot be sold. This puffer fish is even banned in Europe.
Some people actually want a little poison on their fish because they would get a tingling sensation on their lips. Umm, not judging here but if you want a tingling sensation on your lips, go eat a peppercorn, not a poisonous fish!