Thursday, May 14, 2009

Poison Secrets in the Kitchen

I have two blogs--Mystery Fanfare and DyingforChocolate, and I find that they sometimes overlap. While checking twitter for chocolate news, recipes and info, I came across the Blog Sweets Foods. Yesterday there was a list of natural foods that contain substances potentially harmful to the body. Now, this was a warning, of course, to all the people in cyberspace, but I thought mystery writers and readers could certainly use the knowledge. To what end? Well, that's up to them.

Beans: Favism or fabism or favismo or fabismo is a genetic disease for having a different gen that codify and react against the fava beans producing blood problems and other important ones. Favism (an incurable disease) is found mainly in the contour of the Mediterranean sea with some focus in Africa.

Cassava or yuca (Spanish) or mandioca (Portuguese) and many other names in the world. A staple food tuber that originated in South America and an important source of carbohydrates globally. It has a little quantity of cyanide. Avoid eating raw; cyanide doesn’t need more explanation!

Almonds, the so-called sweet almonds aren’t toxic but a bitter variety has some cyanide. They both can become poisonous in very damp environments…cyanide has the smell of almonds (but you knew that!)

Apricot kernels and other fruit seeds like peaches, pears, cherries, plums, apples contain natural cyanide but the problem begins with exaggerated quantities that have a toxic effect.

Fugu, a Japanese famous fish, contains lethal toxins in several parts of its body. Not available in most pantries.

Green potatoes are poisonous. Avoid using green potatoes or take away the green part of a normal potato. Store potatoes in dark, fresh and dry places because when they're exposed to light, they generate natural toxins.

Nutmeg a classic in cooking, has a narcotic and toxic side in your heath if it's taken in large amounts.

The Jamaican fruit, ackee, can emit a toxic gas if it is forced open before it's ripe!

Care to add to the list?


Janet A said...

Rhubarb leaves are poisonous.

Dorte H said...

"..but I thought mystery writers and readers could certainly use the knowledge. To what end? Well, that's up to them" What a resourceful & helpful person you are ;)

I also consider various mushrooms useful - for many purposes.

Pete Daniels said...

Let's not overlook all the possibilities with food allergies. Peanuts and peanut butter are maybe the best known but I think the list is a long one. A friend of mine has an allergy to jalapeno peppers - flushed face - tongue swelling - throat closing - all that.

Not even mentioning the toxic cooking that may actually represent the best efforts of a 'bad' cook.

Janet Rudolph said...

Yes, we do Chocolate Tastings, and we always warn the groups about peanut allergies. So much chocolate is processed in the same machines as chocolate.. and other reasons.

Love Pete's bad cook comment, too

Kerrie said...

Janet, this book: may be of interest

See also