OOPS: Even Chefs Can Mix Up Poisonous Foods

The ordinary potato can become quite toxic if the tuber is exposed to sunlight. Green potatoes should be thrown away instead of eaten.

"A potato has buds, it's a stem, it's actually an underground stem," Jauron said. "When we see that [green color], we can still use them, we just have to cut off the green section," said Jauron.

Other green dangers can be found in the leaves of the tomato plant, the leaves of the avocado plant, the leaves of horse radish and the green parts of the tasty rhubarb.

Like the potato, the edible portion of the rhubarb contains a low level of a toxin found in the green parts. Also, like the potato, cooking the green parts doesn't help.

"Human [rhubarb] poisoning was a particular problem in World War I, when the leaves were recommended as a food source in Britain," the Canadian Poisonous Plants Information System says.

While the stalks of the rhubarb make great pie filling, the green leaves can be poisonous.

Modern day health food advice may still get people into trouble when they use traditional foods in new ways. The taro root must be cooked to remove toxins, so no raw juicing is allowed. Those who'd like to include the green parts of the buckwheat plant in their wheat grass shots should also take care.

Lamont said that the substance fagopyrin in the green part of the buckwheat plant can react with sunlight causing redness, numbing, itching, and pain on contact with cold water.

People all of the world can eat the buckwheat grain safely, but consuming the green part of the plant may cause serious skin conditions.

More often, toxins in our food are lying right in the center of the fruit or nut we eat such as apples, pears and almonds. Luckily, it often takes much more exposure to become sick from these foods.

What To Do

"Almost anything, if you eat it in large amounts, could be dangerous," said Charlie Nardozzi, the senior horticulturalist with the National Gardening Association. "It doesn't mean you shouldn't garden, you just need to do it with a bit of knowledge."

Nardozzi recommends that anyone who starts a garden, or who is just checking out farmer's markets, ask lots of questions.

"If you're just buying food at a farmer's market -- sometimes people are just really shy about it, they see an unusual food there and they don't really know how to eat it," Nardozzi said. "I would trust the person growing it."

Associated Press reports contributed to this report.

-- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 6749187. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 6749187. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 6749187. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 6749187. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 6749187. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 6749187. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 6749187. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 6749187. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 6749187. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 6749187. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 6749187. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 6749187. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 6749187. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 6749187. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 6749187.
Page
  • 1
  • |
  • 2
  • |
  • 3
Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...