21 Strange Food Deaths Through History

A list of food and drink related deaths

King Adolf Frederick of Sweden: You've heard the expression "too much of a good thing." Well, King Adolf Frederick is supposedly "remembered by Swedish school children as the king who ate himself to death. He died on Feb. 12, 1771, after having consumed a meal consisting of lobster, caviar, sauerkraut, kippers and champagne, which was topped off with 14 servings of his favorite dessert, semla, served in a bowl of hot milk.’’



Edgar Allan Poe: There are several theories as to this writer's death in 1849 — rabies and a brain tumor among them. Another hypothesis is that he died from a cerebral edema after a drinking binge.



Elizabeth Stride: It was reported in The Evening News that Elizabeth Stride, one of Jack the Ripper's five known victims, was found dead in 1888 with grapes in hand. She was supposedly seen earlier with a man who bought the grapes from a vendor. Grapes were expensive and one theory is that they were used to lure Stride.


Tommy Dorsey:  This renowned trombonist led bands that were ranked among the top two or three of the Swing era. Supposedly, he choked to death in his sleep in 1956 while under sedation from sleeping pills following a heavy meal.


Calamity Jane: This icon of the Wild West was famous for drinking. Supposedly, she died after a last binge; "She rode an ore train to Terry, a little mining village near Deadwood, where she became violently sick to her stomach. A bartender secured a room for her in the Calloway Hotel and a doctor was summoned. Her death.... was ascribed to inflammation of the bowels and pneumonia." Another food-related note, after Jack McCall killed Wild Bill Hickok it was supposedly Jane who "had the honor of commanding him [McCall] to surrender, when cornered in a butcher shop, with a meat cleaver as her weapon."


Basil Brown: This health advocate died in 1974 after supposedly drinking 10 gallons of carrot juice during a period of 10 days — 10,000 times the recommended daily allowance of vitamin A.



Bandō Mitsugorō VIII: In 1975, revered Kabuki actor Bando Mitsugoro VIII supposedly "ordered four fugu kimo in a restaurant in Kyoto, claiming he could resist the poison. He was wrong."



William Holden: This Oscar-winning actor was a big box office draw during the 1950s. He was found dead in his apartment in 1981 after supposedly hitting his head while drinking heavily.


Marty Feldman: The actor perhaps most immediately recognizable for playing the part of Igor in Young Frankenstein was found dead in his motel room in Mexico in 1982. Filmmaker Michael Mileham is said to have theorized that Feldman may have died of shellfish poisoning after using a knife they'd used on some lobsters.


Bernard Loiseau: Chef Loiseau tragically took his own life in 2003 not long after supposedly confiding to a friend that he would do just that if he lost a Michelin star.


Jennifer Lea Strange: In 2007 this game show contestant died of water intoxication after participating in a water-drinking contest run by the Sacramento radio station KDND-FM.

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All these highlightet words with pop-up windows are SUPER annoying. Couldn't care less for the information they supply. For the love of mankind, have them removed.


Remove the links to articles that give more information about the particular situation being mentioned? That's dumb.

Three-Cookies's picture

Good lesson, even healthy foods can be harmful if consumed in excess (ala carrot juice). The semla is a fat and sugar bomb. No wonder there is no semla eating contest held in Sweden!


The Mama Cass story is an urban legend. She actually died of a heart attack.


What about Mamma Cass and the pb & j sandwich choke?

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