Friday, 21 June 2013

8 Surprisingly Poisonous Foods We Eat IV


Photo by: Chiot's Run
7. Tomatoes and potatoes
The leaves and stems of both tomatoes and potatoes, members of the nightshade family, contain a toxic alkaloid called solanine. In potatoes, it is particularly concentrated when the spud starts to sprout and when the eyes and flesh turn green. Potatoes have higher concentrations than tomatoes- and a report from the University of New Mexico notes that wild potatoes in the Andes can be more than double that of cultivated potatoes.

But even so, a 100-pound person would need to eat 16 ounces of a fully green potato before solanine poisoning would occur. If you happen to have a taste for green potatoes, keep an eye out for excessive salivation, diarrhea, slowed pulse, reduced blood pressure and respirations, and cardiac arrest. 



Photo by: Tatiana Bulyonkova
8. Mushrooms
No list of poisonous foods would be complete without mention of mushrooms, and specifically, Amanita phalloides, the deadly (and dastardly delicious) "death cap" mushroom. Responsible for a multitude of mushroom poisonings , along with its cousin, Amanita ocreata, better known as the "destroying angel."

Our fascination with funghi goes way back and we continue to poison ourselves with various members of the mushroom family. Why? Because they are amazing to eat, while at the same time, it's hard to differentiate between those that are good and those that are deadly. If you have a fondness for foraging, take Matt Hickman's advice: be totally neurotic.

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