2. Hot Dogs
Hot Dogs are an American classic! They’re a BBQ staple, and the perfect snack for a baseball game or a movie. So what makes them so deadly? Hot Dogs are choking hazards. Their long cylindrical shape gets easily lodged in the throats of young children and adults alike. Some studies have shown that approximately 17% of food related asphyxiations in young children have been caused by hot dogs.
3. Raw Cashews
Contrary to popular belief, cashews are actually fruit seeds. And like the fruit seeds discussed above, they too can be dangerous. Raw cashews contain a dangerous chemical called urushiol. Urushiol is related to poison ivy, and cause severe allergic reactions that could lead to death. Thankfully, the sort of raw cashews sold at grocery stores have been steamed to remove the toxin from the seed!
While foraging may be all the rage, don’t ever pick your own wild mushrooms! Wild mushrooms carry toxins that can make you sick, and even lead to death. Even the variations that we are familiar with, like white button or shitake, can contain loads of carcinogenic compounds when raw.
There is nothing better than a tasty rhubarb pie! And the health benefits of rhubarb are astounding. But did you know that rhubarb leaves are toxic? It’s true! Rhubarb leaves contain a toxin known as oxalic acid, which can cause kidney stones. Eat just a few leaves, and you’ll get really sick. Eat more than a few, and you’ll be facing deadly consequences.
Did you know that nutmeg is actually a hallucinogenic? It’s true! That seemingly harmless spice in your kitchen is keeping a dirty little secret. Consuming just 0.2 ounces of nutmeg can cause convulsions, and 0.3 ounces can cause full on seizures! Eating an entire nutmeg can lead to something called “nutmeg psychosis” which causes hallucinations and disorientation.
It can’t be true! Potatoes? But we love potatoes! Sadly, the stem, leaves, sprouts, and roots of the potato contain solanine, which is a fungicide. If left in the light too long, this chemical can actually build up in the potato itself. Scary right? Consuming solanine can cause headaches, cramps, diarrhea, coma, and can even cause death. If your potatoes look a little greenish, don’t risk it! Toss them in the trash where they belong.
Almonds, they have been hailed as a superfood and a wondrous source of fiber, but there is indeed a deadly variation: bitter almonds. Bitter almonds contain serious amounts of hydrogen cyanide. For children, consuming just 8-10 of these almonds can be fatal! Luckily, the variation we have come to love and rely on is the sweet almond, not bitter. But nonetheless, beware!
Another one of our favorite fruits, tomatoes! Is nothing sacred? The stems and leaves of tomatoes contain alkali poisons that can cause serious stomach irritations and issues. Some even say that eating green tomatoes cause similar issues. While this may not cause any high-risk problems, I would avoid eating any tomato leaves and stems.
10. Raw honey
Unpasteurized raw honey often contains graynotoxin, which causes side effects such as excessive sweating, weakness, nausea, and vomiting. These symptoms can last up to 24 hours! These reactions are referred to as honey intoxication. Do yourself a favor, and only purchase pasteurized honey!
It may be time to ease up on those spicy tuna rolls! Tuna fish contains mercury, and once mercury is in your body it will either pass through your kidneys and out of your system, OR it will travel into your brain and drive you crazy! While eating tuna in moderation won’t kill you, it is best to monitor and restrict your regular intake.
12. Castor Beans
Who could think a harmless bean could be so deadly? Castor beans can release a deadly toxin known as ricin, which is one of the most deadly toxins known to man. Ricin has been investigated as a warfare agent, and has even been reportedly used by secret agents and assassins!
13. Lima Beans
Like most legumes, lima beans are innocent, except when eaten raw they can be deadly! The lima bean, which is sometimes referred to as the butter bean, contains a high amount of cyanide. Before eating, lima beans should be cooked thoroughly and uncovered to allow the poison to escape as a gas.
Don’t let silly Mr. Peanut fool you! Peanuts can be incredibly deadly, as approximately 1% of the American population has a peanut allergy. Peanuts are the most common cause of food allergy related deaths. So if you’re not sure whether or not you’re allergic to peanuts, be careful!
Mmmm, bean sprouts! They’re delicious on sandwiches and salads, but beware! There have been at least 30 reported outbreaks of foodborne illnesses associated with raw and lightly cooked sprouts since 1996 – the majority of these outbreaks were caused by Salmonella and E. coli. In order to become sprouts, beans need a wet and humid environment to sprout and grow. Unfortunately for us, that environment is a breeding ground for bacteria.