FOODS THAT CAN KILL YOU
Are you an adventurous eater? Would you eat fried insects or balut (the fertilized embryo of a duck served with cold beer, a street-food dish from South-East Asia)? Perhaps you would, and in that case you would be right to call yourself adventurous – but would you ever put your life at risk to simply try a new dish?
Here are the world’s most dangerous foods.
Fugu Puffer Fish
While an (expensive) delicacy in Japan, if not prepared right this dish can be rather deadly: the poison contained in a single puffer fish –which is only released when the fish is cut the wrong way– could kill up to 30 people. The blowfish contains a tetrodoxin that, once ingested, causes muscles to freeze up and consequently keeps us from breathing. There is no antidote. Bon Appetit!
When consumed before it is fully ripe, Jamaica’s national fruit can cause “Jamaican Vomiting Sickness” –a virus that can lead to coma or death– due to a poison called hypoglycin. We recommend that you don’t bother eating this fruit at all, but that’s just us.
You may think that this one is a bit weird since you eat cashews all the time, but newsflash: they ain’t raw. The kernels have actually been steamed to get rid of a super dangerous chemical called urushiol. In large amounts, this chemical can be deadly. Tip: Stick to supermarket cashews.
Another interesting choice of a delicacy, bullfrogs are very much appreciated in some areas of Africa, such as Namibia. Do watch out though, as a young frog that hasn’t yet bred carries a toxin, which can cause kidney failure in Humans. How they can tell whether the frog has bred yet is beyond us.
Elderberries that aren’t ripe or cooked properly can trigger diarrhea (fair enough) and seizures (no thank you).
These roots are used to make tapioca (a type of starch used as a filler in chips and cakes) and when improperly prepared can produce cyanide. Make sure to peel and boil them to avoid any unwanted poison.
This Korean dish sees raw baby octopus being dismembered and immediately served with sesame oil on a plate, meaning that many of its tentacles will still be moving. Since each tentacle has its own brain, it won’t hesitate to move around to protect itself if swallowed –which can very easily become a choking hazard. One word: chew.
Want to get hepatitis? Eat blood clams in Shanghai, as the style of preparation there is to simply “quick-boil” them, leaving a tons of viruses behind. Yum!
This traditional Icelandic dish is often described as being the “worst food on earth”. This rotten shark from Greenland doesn’t have a urinary tract, meaning that the waste and toxic substances are filtered straight into the animal’s skin. The shark should be fermented and hung dry for six months to filter the toxins.
Ever felt like making your own rhubarb jam? If so, make sure to never –ever– include the green leaves, as they are filled with oxalates (a poison that can cause seizures).
This (very appetizing) sounding dish is mostly served in Asia. The best thing is to kindly refuse to taste it as Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease –which is known to “hang out” in monkeys’ skull– will turn your own brain to slush and consequently lead to your death. Is it worth it?