Cathy Isom tells us about some of the foods we eat every day that could be harmful to our health. That’s coming up on This Land of Ours.
Many of the healthy foods we eat every day: fruits, vegetables, and other plants that are good for us also could be harmful to our health, if prepared or eaten improperly. Here are some you may not have known about. Such as the Tomato. Not the fruit, but the leaves, roots, and stem are rich in tomatine, an alkaloid that’s mildly toxic to humans. It won’t kill you, but you’ll have one heck of a stomach ache. The seeds of these fruits: Apples, Cherries, and Apricots are not considered edible; they’re hard, bitter, and unpleasant. That bitter flavor is a protective element: The plant puts it there to discourage animals, including us, from destroying them. And, it comes from a substance which turns into cyanide when it comes into contact with acids in the human digestive system.
Many legumes can cause mild gastrointestinal distress when undercooked. Kidney beans contain a chemical compound when ingested even just a few undercooked kidney beans can cause serious diarrhea and vomiting. Rhubarb, a springtime stalk most commonly used in strawberry-rhubarb pie, is also spectacularly poisonous. Rhubarb leaves are very high in oxalic acid, which quickly causes kidney failure in humans. You would need to eat about 11 pounds worth to put yourself in harm’s way.
Cashews are another delicious product that should never be eaten raw. They’re covered with anacardic acid, closely related to the acid that makes poison ivy so irritating.
Good thing when we buy them, they’re already roasted and totally safe to eat.
I’m Cathy Isom…