The Western world is dealing with an obesity crisis the likes of which the world has never seen. In the past, being overweight was a sign that you were well enough off to be overweight, but now it’s actually the opposite, as people who can’t afford to eat good food end up eating high-calorie foods to get by. Beyond that, modern food is filled with all sorts of preservatives and chemicals that seemingly also have a negative effect on our health, leading to what seems to be an omnipresent reality of cancer among people over the age of 50. That’s extremely unfortunate and fortunately for you, not what today’s article is about. Rather, we’re going to talk about food that can actually kill you (almost) immediately after consuming it. There are all sorts of reasons why people would consume a food that could kill them, the thrill, the taste, the checking off of something on one’s bucket list. Other foods are more common and might even be in your kitchen right now, but those foods hide all sorts of hidden dangers that could end your life the next time you have a hankering for some snakes. So, let’s take a look at the Top 10 foods that could kill you whether you’re a foodie or someone who, you know, eats food.
Fresh cherries are delicious but there’s always a problem when you eat them as you have to figure out what to do with all the seeds/pits that exist in the middle of each delicious morsel. Some people, we won’t call them “lazy” here, but some lazy people actually just swallow those pits to avoid having to bring a bowl out to their couch or because they want to commit suicide by slowly growing cherry tree (it’s called “George Washington-ing oneself). Apparently, that’s a bad idea (outside of the tree potential) as those seeds contain a form of cyanide called hydrogen cyanide. That compound doesn’t just infect cherry pits, either, as it’s present in other fruits with pits like peaches, plums, and apricots. The goods news is that each seed doesn’t contain enough hydrogen cyanide to kill you, as you can consume about 100 cherry seeds a day (if you weight 150 pounds) and still be fine. However, if you’re eating that many cherries (or their pits), perhaps there are other issues you should look into.
When you saw the title of this article you knew that you’d run into an entry about Fugu, also known as pufferfish. This blowfish was made famous by an early episode of the Simpsons, in which Homer ingests the fish and believes that he’s going to die and has to put his life in order before his time is up (it’s surprisingly poignant and is really worth a watch). Beyond that, Fugu is famous all on its own for its lethal level of poison and delicious taste, which makes it a definite entry on that bucket list thing we talked about in the intro. Unfortunately for people in the United States that love food and like to live dangerously, it’s actually illegal in the United States even if it’s cooked/butchered exactly right. If it is cooked correctly, though, it’s said to be extremely delicious (with even a little bit of poison supposedly making the experience all the better). The problem is that the poison in the fish is over one-thousand more time poisonous than the cyanide found in those cherry pits, which means if you catch a chef on a bad day you could end up having a REALLY bad day.
8. Casu Marzu
Casu Marzu is disgusting. Sure, there are other gross things on this list and the goal is to be subjective and limit the opinion of the person writing the words you’re reading/listening to, but it’s objectively disgusting as its name actually translates to “putrid cheese”. It’s literally cheese that’s infected with maggots. You read/heard that right, it’s a “delicacy” from Sardinia that is fermented by flies/maggots while it’s partially decomposing. Luckily for those of you in the United States, it’s banned in the US for sanitary/hygienic reasons and while that may seem like it’s an overreaction, those maggots can actually survive into your intestine and cause a condition called pseudomyiasis (myiasis being the infection of the human body (or any mammal) by fly larvae, that grow inside the host while feeding. The pseudo comes because it’s an accidental infection as opposed to all those cool teens going around purposefully infecting their body meat with maggots.) Hopefully, someone warned Gordon Ramsay about the risks of this disgusting cheese as he tasted it on his show The F Word. He hated it and learned that the (after)taste actually stays in your mouth for HOURS. Let’s hope that’s the only thing that stayed with him.
7. Hot Dogs
Some foods are dangerous for whats in them, other foods are dangerous simply because of the way that they’re shaped and the sheer amount of opportunities they have to injure people. If you were asked to list the top ten foods that toddlers eat at least 90% of you would put “cut up hot dogs” somewhere on that list. While there are all sorts of problems with what is found in hot dogs (preservatives and mystery meat) the actual danger there is the fact that when they’re cut up, especially, they’re the perfect fit for the esophagus/throat of a small child. So much so that they’re the number one cause of choking-related deaths in children under three in the world. So, while it may seem like a simple, hearty option for toddlers and something that pairs great with mac and cheese, the reality is that you really have to cut up those dogs if you want to feed them to anyone under the age of six or seven. That’s bad news for the good people in the hot dog industry, and for any toddlers you’re responsible for feeding… As let’s face it, hot dogs are delicious.
This entry might be stretching things a bit as Nutmeg, while technically a food, is more of a herb or spice than an actual food. Those of you that hung around (or were) stoners as a kid (or as of the reading of this article) have probably heard that you can get high from nutmeg right around the time that you also heard that you can smoke a banana peel and totally trip, dude. The reality is that nutmeg is actually a hallucinogen and that it can bring on really, really bad trips. The issue is that eating even just .2 ounces of nutmeg can actually lead to convulsions while .3 ounces can bring on seizures. It’s been reported that eating the right amount can lead to a complete disassociative experience but that experience is said to bring on feelings of impending doom, which is the definition of a bad trip and considering the risks associated with taking the wrong amount, you’re better off just waiting for mushrooms to grow on the rotten nutmeg in your cupboard than actually eating that nutmeg. If you found this list because you googled “Nutmeg Trip HELP” and are already halfway into your bad trip, the only advice we can give you is… “LOOK OUT BEHIND YOU!”
Potatoes. The Tuber of Life. Potatoes were once such a staple of the human diet that a plague that hit potatoes in Ireland basically lead to all of the people with an O’ before their last names living in the United States and Canada. It turns out that those delicious little bastards have been hiding a dark side all this time, or at least since the potato famine, as they actually… Can kill you. It turns out that the leaves of potatoes contain something called glycoalkaloids (and the stems, and sprouts) and that those glycoalkaloids can build up in the potato if it’s left on (or under) the plant too long (especially in the light). Glycoalkaloids can lead to cramping, diarrhea, headaches with confusion and even coma and death if you got some really bad mashed potatoes. So, it’s said that you should avoid eating potatoes with leaves on them, as even three milligrams of glycoalkaloids can actually kill you. As if your annoying friend on Atkins needed any more reasons to text you about carbs.
Hydrogen Cyanide is the star of this article, as they apparently pop up in all sorts of foods and actually might explain all the crazy poisons that are found in all sorts of foods (just Google “Baby Food” and “Poison” and you’ll see what we’re talking about). So, if you’re an almond fan there’s some good news as the hydrogen cyanide is found more heavily in bitter almonds than sweet almonds, and if you’re eating anything with “bitter” in front of it you’re sort of asking to die, anyway. What’s surprising about this is the low amount of actual almonds you’d have to eat to have a problem, as just seven to ten raw bitter almonds can actually cause problems in adults. So, keep that in mind the next time you’re shopping in the “Disgusting Products” aisle at your local grocery store. The good news is that bitter almonds aren’t used nearly as often as the sweet variety, and that the ones you buy at the store aren’t raw (they’re basically cooked and seasoned with salt or other delicious herbs… So, as long as they’re not nutmeg flavored bitter almonds you should be in the clear, that is unless you’d like a confused, diarrheal death after eating a handful of bitter almonds).
3. Raw Honey
Honey doesn’t go through the typical pasteurization process that a lot of other foods go through and that’s why people tell you that you shouldn’t feed honey to a baby. Unpasteurized honey contains grayanotoxin which can lead to dizziness, weakness, sweating, nausea and vomiting that can last a full day. Beyond that, Honey contains botulism spores, which is fine if you’re an adult but is something that the limited immune system of a small child can’t handle. So, if you’re into the raw food movement and have a small child, make sure that they stay away from the honey and really, maybe just throw it out. Even one tablespoon of grayanotoxin can cause you all sorts of problems. The extra issue is that people typically eat honey when they’re sick with a sore throat, so you could end up ingesting both grayanotoxin and botulism spores while your immune system is dealing with other issues, which just sounds like a bad idea (as does taking medical advice from a YouTube channel).
The bible says you shouldn’t eat shellfish and while that’s mostly mocked (and ignored) by even those who consider themselves to be super religious, they may have had a point. The reality is that shellfish can be pretty unsafe as they’re essentially filters for the ocean and so they end up absorbing all sorts of dangerous microbes and bacteria from an increasingly dirty ocean. So, if you don’t cook shellfish enough, you could end up ingesting all of those microbes and bacteria as well. Raw oysters are the main culprit here, as other shellfish are typically boiled alive which helps with any of the above. Beyond that, shellfish is one of the number one allergies that actually end up killing people, so there’s that as well. However, if you’ve never tasted a lobster let BabbleTop be the ones to break the news to you… They’re delicious and really worth all the risk and the horror that is the reality that they’re boiled alive after having to fend for themselves in a small tank while small children tap on the glass and adults with bibs on add their drool to the salt water.
1. Kidney Beans
Kidney beans are named after the kidney because they have a similar shape. Ironically, they could also end up giving your kidneys all sorts of problems as even a handful of uncooked kidney beans can cause all sorts of problems for you. Known to be used in all sorts of stews and chilis, kidney beans contain a toxic agent known as a phytohaemagglutinin, which if ingested in even small amounts can cause all sorts of symptoms like vomiting and headaches, it can even kill you if ingest enough. It’s surprising, then, that cans of these beans don’t come with warning labels as even cooking these beans a little greatly diminishes the amount of toxin in the beans, but let’s face it, if you’re eating raw beans out of a can then ten-syllable toxins are the least of your concerns. Although, getting really sick probably wouldn’t help your situation much, either, so think about that the next time you’re thinking about eating those cans that have been in your pantry since you moved into your house… During the Clinton administration.