People are hardwired to show off. Unintentional or not, our competitive spirit gets the better of us, and often times are actions backfire. Without proper food safety training, we’re all at the mercy of chance and guesswork. So in case someone invites you to a food challenge or makes a crazy bet with you, do not ever take a single bite off these deadly foods:
1. Live Octopus
Known as Sannakji in Korea, this raw delicacy is made from the tentacles of a live octopus that are immediately served after being cut into small, edible pieces. That is, if you find the dish edible at all—tentacles squirming and all. The tentacles are dabbed with some salt and sesame oil to give them some flavor. So what’s causing people to drop dead after eating this dish? The suction cups on the tentacles can stick to your throat and choke you to death.
Fugu, which is known to English speakers as pufferfish or blowfish, is a highly toxic fish originating in Japan. This sashimi favorite is served in paper-thin slices by chefs who’ve undergone intensive two to three-year food safety training. Its skin, gonads and liver contain tetrodotoxin, which has no antidote and so potent that a small drop of it can literally kill a person. An entire fish, on the other hand, possess enough poison to kill 30 people.
3. Castor Beans
You’re probably aware that castor beans are lethal if you’ve been watching TV hit Breaking Bad. The beans contain ricin, a highly toxic protein that can cause vomiting, diarrhea, palpitations, seizures and ultimately, death after being inhaled or ingested. The oil derived from the beans isn’t lethal though and is used to ease stomach aches and is crucial ingredient of artificial food flavorings and colorings.
4. African Giant Bullfrog
The axiom “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” definitely rings true for Namibians who find the African giant bullfrog delectable. The skin and organs of the frog is loaded with toxins that can cause kidney failure.
5. Ghost Pepper
The hottest pepper in the world is the Naga Bhut Jolokia, which is endemic to India. It measures 300,000 to 1,000,000 on the Scoville scale. If you can’t take the heat, refrain from every trying this pepper variety out. A single dose of this pepper is 300 times hotter than the Jalapeño pepper and when consumed, can cause intense pain and burning for an hour. You won’t die from eating this pepper variety but you’d probably wish you were dead after swallowing a chunk of it.
6. Inky Cap Mushroom
Special kinds of mushrooms can cause hallucinations—those that are popular among hippies and tribes and used during rituals to conjure spirits or good fortune. There are lethal varieties of mushroom, however, and most of them appear harmless and safe to eat. Examples of these varieties are the death cap, inky cap, the destroying angels and the deadly webcap, which contains over seven toxins and can instantly cause death.
Ever wonder why you discard the leaves of the rhubarb? It’s because you shouldn’t eat it! Rhubarb, a plant that belongs to the buckwheat family, is a popular pie ingredient, but its leaves are inedible and for good reasons. The leaves of the plant contain high levels of oxalate, a compound that can cause kidney ailments or even death. Consuming the leaves can also cause dizziness and nausea.
Ackee is Jamaica’s national fruit and weirdly so. The Ackee belongs to the lychee family and its pod cracks open when ripened. Its inedible portions and unripened flesh contain toxins hypoglycin A and hypoglycin B, which can cause Jamaican vomiting sickness. Symptoms of this severe illness include vomiting, dehydration, hypoglycemia and in severe cases, coma and death.
Cess Padilla is a SEO for Learn2Serve.com. When not working, playing or watching TV series, she’s usually out shopping on malls, eating in restaurants, chillin’ on a friends house or exploring new places. You can follow her adventures on her twitter account @360cesspadilla