We generally don’t think of food as being something that’s potentially deadly, because on a day to day basis most of us don’t eat foods that could potentially kill us. But there are some truly dangerous foods out there, ones that can potentially kill you if you’re not careful — and we’re not just talking about that month-old mystery meat in the back of your fridge.
Unless you’re an expert forager, we strongly not to advise you to not eat any mushrooms you find in the wild. Even if you think they look edible, some poisonous mushrooms look a lot like non-poisonous species. Effects of eating poisonous mushrooms can range from stomach pain to multiple organ failure and death.
Pufferfish, or fugu in Japanese, is a delicacy in Japan, where it’s served thinly-sliced, sashimi-style. The organs of the fugu, especially the liver, ovaries, and eyes, contain lethal quantities of tetrotoxin, which causes the victim to become paralyzed while staying fully conscious. There’s no known antidote. It takes chefs at least three years of training before they’re allowed to serve the fish.
This fruit is one of Jamaica’s most popular foods, but it’s also poisonous when unripe. The toxins in unripe ackee can lead to what’s called Jamaican vomiting sickness, which starts as a stomach ache and can lead to seizures, coma, and death.
Yes, leafy greens can be considered a dangerous food, not because they’re poisonous, but because they’re so prone to contamination. Norovirus can result if someone touched the greens without washing their hands first, and E. coli and salmonella can result if the greens came into contact with manure or wild animals while growing and aren’t washed.
Also called cassava, arrowroot, manioc, and tapioca, this starchy root is a staple food for more than half a billion people and is one of the world’s hardiest crops. If eaten raw, however, the high level of cyanide in the root can cause a nerve-damaging disorder or death.