Food – we need it to survive and nourish our bodies. When it’s good, it’s very good! But when it’s bad, it can be devastatingly so. Even amongst some of our most common everyday foods and ingredients, there are some we eat that can cause us harm.
There are, of course, many types of poisonous plants that humans have learned are not safe to consume. Even some food types that we may consume just about every day have individual parts or toxic variations in their species that can make you unwell. Here are some of them and how they can knock you down.
Whether you love them or hate them on your pizza, or in a creamy sauce on toast, there are species of mushrooms that are poisonous. The toxic varieties can cause gastro problems, vomiting, convulsions, organ failure, and death. Some of them look similar to the edible ones too, so if you’re a forager or have a dog that sniffs them out, it pays not to let anyone animal or human eat them from the wild.
The humble potato has poisonous stems and leaves – they are its own built-in defensive mechanism to keep bugs and disease at bay. Potatoes exposed to light turn green and develop similar toxins, called solanine. Eating green potatoes, their shoots, or any spuds that taste bitter can result in vomiting, diarrhea, and fatalities in worst-case scenarios.
The stalks are yummy in a sweet pie or with a crumble topping, but the leaves of rhubarb are toxic and poisonous. Rhubarb leaves contain oxalic acid, which can cause breathing problems, a burning sensation in your throat or mouth, nausea, stomach upsets, seizures, kidney stones, and coma.
If someone has an allergy to peanuts, it can be serious stuff. A severe anaphylactic reaction can result in someone’s airways being seriously restricted, chest tightness, loss of consciousness and shock. Skin reactions can include itches, spots, and welts. This little legume can be found in all sorts of products from cereals to sauces.
5. Raw Eggs
Raw eggs can contain the Salmonella bacteria that can lead to food poisoning. While not a killer unless you are someone with a weak immune system, anything that affects your intestines is never going to be pleasant. Using pasteurized eggs reduces the risk salmonella bacteria if you are a fan of drinking eggnog, or cannot resist licking the bowl and beaters when you are home baking!