Humans are one of the few creatures on this planet who have the capability of ignoring our basic survival instinct. We jump out of perfectly good airplanes, something that still sets off alarms in the most veteran skydivers and we push ourselves to the edge of death and back with physical demands on our bodies that defy reason with activities like ultra-marathons in the desert, living in microgravity, and setting the world record for holding one’s breath under water.
Yet as contradictory as it sounds, testing these limits is probably what makes us feel the most human or the most attuned to nature and our own potential particularly when it comes to soaring above the skies, jumping eight feet in the air… and eating the most bizarre, even dangerous, dishes set in front of us on the dinner table.
What are some of the deadliest foods the world has ever seen? Poisonous or harmful by design, not accident, and something that has us questioning our sanity when we choose to take a bite?
Rhubarb leaves contain oxalic acid, which causes kidney stones. It’ll take 11 pounds of leaves to be fatal, but much less to make you seriously ill.
Glycoalkaloids, also found in nightshade, can be found in the leaves, stems, and sprouts of potatoes. It can also build up in the potato if it’s left too long, especially in the light. Eating glycoalkaloids will lead to cramping, diarrhea, confused headaches, or even coma and death. It’s said that just 3 to 6 mg per kilogram of body weight could be fatal. Avoid potatoes with a greenish tinge.
3. Raw Honey
Because it doesn’t go through the pasteurization process in which harmful toxins are killed, unpasteurized honey often contains grayanotoxin. That can lead to dizziness, weakness, excessive sweating, nausea, and vomiting that last for 24 hours. Typically just one tablespoon of concentrated grayanotoxin can cause the symptoms above. Consuming multiple tablespoons would be a bad idea.
The danger in tuna is the mercury that the fish absorbs. Once in your body, mercury will either pass through your kidneys, or travel to your brain and supposedly drive you insane. The FDA recommends children and pregnant women do not consume tuna at all. While it’s unlikely that eating a massive amount of tuna in one sitting will kill you, it’s a good idea to monitor your weekly intake.