8 Surprisingly Poisonous Foods We Eat

Photo by: Renee Comet
1. Lima beans
Like many legumes, the seemingly innocent lima bean should not be eaten raw - doing so can be lethal. (And who wants to die in such an ignoble way as death by lima... more 
Photo by: Renee Comet
1. Lima beans
Like many legumes, the seemingly innocent lima bean should not be eaten raw - doing so can be lethal. (And who wants to die in such an ignoble way as death by lima bean?) Also known as butter beans, the legumes can contain a high level of cyanide, which is part of the plant's defense mechanism. Here in the U.S. there are restrictions about cyanide levels in commercially grown lima bean varieties, but not so in less developed countries, and many people can get sick from eating them. Even so, lima beans should be cooked thoroughly, and uncovered to allow the poison to escape as gas. Also, drain the cooking water to be on the safe side.

Related: 5 seasonal recipes for lima beans

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Thu, Jun 20, 2013 3:28 PM EDT
By Melissa Breyer, Mother Nature Network



One of the great perks of being around during this phase of human history is that we seem to have a relatively good understanding of food. Which doesn't mean that we are necessarily heading in a great direction (junk food and its ilk seem rather self-destructive to the species), but through trial and error, we have a lot of wisdom behind us. We know that steaming the bud of an otherwise intimidating thistle flower yields a delicious cooked artichoke and that beyond the menacing claw of a lobster awaits yet another delicacy.



We can also thank our foodie forefathers for discovering the things that can kill us. To those who discovered that belladonna and hemlock should not be eaten: we salute you. But we're a funny bunch. Although our most basic instinct is for survival, we continue to eat poisonous things, or parts of them at least. If you doubt it, consider the following foods.



Also see: 8 alarmingly unhealthy snacks