When placed in a situation in which you have not eaten for days and you are about to pass out from hunger, you probably will eat just about anything. Bear Grylls have shown us in his television show called “Man vs. Wild” that even the smallest insect or tiniest worm or weirdest-looking fruit can actually help provide you with vitamins, minerals and protein that you need to make it through. The Japanese have shown us that we can actually eat raw fish. And if you get really hungry, you probably would not need too much cajoling to try out even the strangest looking food.
But hold on because some foods are, in fact, deadly if not prepared properly. This is especially true for delicacies and specialties of remote towns in far away lands. Sometimes, however, even a very common food item can be deadly if not consumed in the correct manner.
Here now is a list of the top 10 deadliest foods in the world.
1. Ackee Fruit
This is a very popular fruit that we usually associate with Jamaica. It actually comes from the African continent before it made its way to the Americas. Ackee fruit can actually be eaten raw. Sometimes, it is mixed into traditional dishes. Be sure to remove the large black seeds inside the fruit, however. These seeds are loaded with hypoglycin, which is a poison that can cause vomiting and diarrhea. In extreme cases, it may lead to coma or may even be fatal.
2. Cassava Root
The roots of cassava are actually a great source of carbohydrates. These are also used to make tapioca. Millions of people eat cassava on a regular basis. Make sure, however, that the cassava roots you have were properly cultivated, prepared and cooked. Otherwise, you may end up digesting poison as cassava roots are known to contain cyanide.
3. Casu Marzu Cheese
Popular in Sardinia in Italy, casu marzu cheese is prepared in a very strange way. It is left outside in the open and exposed to the elements for days. Flies lay their eggs inside the cheese. Maggots come out of these eggs when they hatch. These are all part of the casu marzu cheese fermentation process. It is actually now illegal to produce this kind of cheese, but the locals in Sardinia still swear by it and consume the item in liberal amounts. Never mind that the maggots may survive even when eaten, causing severe problems to one’s health like vomiting and loose bowel movements.
4. Fugu Puffer Fish
Also known as the blowfish, the fugu puffer fish is considered to be a delicacy in Japan. It commands high prices because of the unique taste it provides. Make sure, however, that an expert is preparing the food for you. If not prepared properly, your muscles can actually contract so much so that you would not be able to breathe. This is because the fish has the poison called tetroxodin, which only gets released if the fish is cut the wrong way. If consumed, it would be the last meal you would ever eat because there is no antidote to this.
5. Giant Bull Frogs
Giant bullfrogs are considered as delicacies in the African country of Namibia. Normally, there is no problem eating this food as it actually tastes a bit like chicken. The problem is when the item served is a bullfrog that has not fully matured yet. Premature bullfrogs, the ones that have not bred yet, have poisons that can cause damage to your kidneys. It is not fatal so long as you get immediate medical attention. It can keep you in sickbay for quite some time, however.
That’s right, that old American classic found in street corners and sold everywhere called the hotdog is actually a very dangerous food. No, it does not contain any poison like the other items listed here. What is dangerous is the actual shape of the hotdog. If taken in big bites or if chewed improperly, there is a risk of choking, especially in young kids. So those with impressionable kids should make sure that they are not watching ESPN during the Nathan’s Hotdog Eating Contest held every Fourth of July, lest they start idolizing Joey Chestnut and Takeru Kobayashi. Eating 68 hotdogs in buns within 10 minutes is not cool!
7. Monkey Brains
Even if you find yourself in the company of Indiana Jones in India on his way to the Temple of Doom, do not eat everything that they put in front of you. His partner in that movie did right in fainting rather than eating the monkey brain. It contains an illness called the variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Once afflicted, your brain will get mushy and this will lead to death. The disease is roughly similar to the Mad Cow disease that scared the world a few years ago.
Who does not eat pasta with mushrooms? Or garlic mushrooms for that matter? It seems like a pretty harmless and delicious food, right? Bear in mind, however, that there are a lot of different kinds of mushrooms. Poisonous mushrooms carry toxins that can lead to sickness and even death. So be sure to buy your mushrooms from reliable sources. If you pick wild mushrooms, consult an expert first.
9. Rhubarb Leaves
Often prepared as rhubarb pie, there is absolutely nothing wrong with rhubarb so long as you limit your consumption to its stems. Do not eat the leaves, however. They are packed with a poison called oxalates. When eaten in substantial amounts, it can lead to seizures and respiratory problems.
10. Sannakji Choking Octopus
Octopus is known to use their eight legs to good advantage by choking the life out of its prey. The Sannakji choking octopus is a Korean delicacy that is served raw. While generally safe, there have been instances when it has attached itself so tightly to the person consuming the food that the person will choke to death.