Some of them, as usual, might seem harmless.
But the truth is that not all foods can be eaten without choosing them properly, cooking them properly or without removing some inedible or toxic parts.
In poor condition and without proper preservation or incorrect cooking, they can make the consumer sick and cause symptoms such as nausea, shortness of breath, psychosis and even death.
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Here are five foods to be careful before ingesting them. In fact, if you’re not sure of some of the aspects we mentioned below, even better to avoid some of them.
1. Balloon Fish
Consuming pufferfish is quite popular in Japan.The puffer fish is deadly. It is considered even more lethal than cyanide. However, despite the risks they present, they are also an exclusive delicacy in some countries.
Especially popular in Japan, fugu (the name of the prepared puffer fish) is often served raw and thinly sliced or added to the soup.
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So why risk eating it when there’s a lot at stake? Well, in Japan (and other countries) chefs receive extensive training for several years before they are allowed to prepare the fish and serve it to customers.
To be safely consumed, chefs are trained to remove from the puffer fish all organs containing a dangerous toxin. The key is to make sure that by the time the fugu reaches the dish, its poisonous parts, including the brain, skin, eyes, ovaries, liver and intestines, have been removed from the fish, as they contain the dangerous tetrodotoxin, a poisonous substance feared by the speed and violence of its effects.
2. Casu marzu cheese
It sounds strange, but what has made this food stand out is the presence of worms inside.
It doesn’t seem like the most attractive dairy, but this Sardinian cheese in Italy has numerous followers.
Casu marzu cheese has a powerful flavor due in part to the droppings of the larvae inside. Casu marzu is made by adding larvae to pecorino, a cheese of parmesan-like flavor and consistency. Over time, the little worms soften the cheese so that when served, the center has almost liquid consistency.
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It is often said to have a taste similar to gorgonzola. With worms and everything, casu marzu has a fairly strong and distinctive taste, due in part to larvae droppings.
To prove it, you have to keep a few things in mind.
First, have quick reflexes to catch the worms, as they can jump up to 15 cm in the air while eating a portion.
Casu marzu is considered the «most dangerous cheese in the world». Secondly, the difficulty of finding it. In fact, for example, it is a cheese that is not included in the european union-approved food list.
Third, his condition. The main reason why it is on this list is because it is often described as «the most dangerous cheese in the world» as it poses a health risk.
This is especially true if the worms are dead (unless it’s because the cheese has been in the fridge), as that means it’s spoiled.
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Symptoms of consuming it in poor condition include upset stomach, vomiting and diarrhea.
Rhubarb stems are quite popular, for example in British cuisine. Many of the British’s favorite desserts or drinks carry this ingredient as part of their recipes.
Rhubarb stems are used in gastronomy. But special care must be taken with rhubarb, as the green leaves that accompany the tasty stems contain poison. Specifically, oxalic acid, which in large quantities causes nausea and problems in the kidneys.
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However, there is much debate about how dangerous rhubarb leaves actually are because of the level of oxalic acid found in them.
Rhubarb is often used in pastry. In fact, oxalic acid is also present in the stems, but its amount is much higher in the leaves.
The substance causes kidney failure and, although you would have to eat a very abundant portion of leaves to die, it is best to avoid them.
In a question-and-answer session on the subject, for example, Oregon State University explained, «Rhubarb leaves are toxic and humans should never ingest them.»
4. Red beans and soybeans
Red beans, without due cooking process, can also harm health. It is generally accepted that beans and legumes are good for your health, but there are some types that, if not prepared properly, can make the consumer sick.
The humble red bean and the mild-tasting soybeanfall into this dangerous food category.
Let’s start with the beans.
On the plus side, they are packed with protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals.
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By the negative, when they are raw they contain a type of lecithin called phytohemaglutinine. Difficult to write, it’s equally difficult to digest. And if you do the latter, get ready for a double hit of stomach pain and vomiting.
The good news is that by cooking them properly you can avoid this unpleasant combination.
Red beans are part of multiple recipes and stews around the world. It is recommended to soak the dried beans in water for at least 12 hours, then drain and rinse them.
Then cover with fresh water to boil vigorously for at least 10 minutes before simmering for 45-60 minutes to keep tender.
If it sounds too laborious, then it’s worth thinking about buying them in their canned version.
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Like red beans, soy beans are full of protein and are also said to come with antioxidants. Unfortunately, they also come with a natural toxin (trypsin inhibitor), which can prevent you from digesting food properly.
To cook the dried soy beans properly, again, you have to immerse them in water for at least 12 hours, then drain and rinse them. Cover with fresh water and simmer vigorously for 1 hour before simmering for 2-3 hours to soften.
Nutmeg is used in various recipes and overconsumption can cause psychotic effects. This ingredient comes from a tree native to the Moluccas Or Spice Islands in Indonesia.
It is a key product for the preparation of certain cookies and is a delicious addition to rice with milk and puddings.
Beyond desserts, it is used to season potatoes, meats, sauces, vegetables and even drinks such as eggnog.
However, if consumed in large amounts, nutmeg has some horrible side effects such as nausea, pain, shortness of breath and even seizures.
Although poisoning from consumption rarely brings death, it is not a pleasant experience.
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So why would anyone choose to eat a lot of spices at once? Well, apparently it used to be a popular hallucinogen.
Of course, given the side effects, it’s definitely not worth «taking a trip» of this kind.