We all know junk foods like candy and potato chips are bad for the body and will slowly but surely kill you over time. This article isn't about those types of food. The foods here, when prepared incorrectly, could kill you much, much faster than that. Proceed with caution, folks. These are the most dangerous foods in the world.
Ackee is the national fruit of Jamaica. It's a strange looking little fruit, as it turns red and splits wide open when it reaches maturity and has been exposed to just the right amount of sun. It's at this time the fruit is harvested and the edible portion of the fruit is extracted. Harvest the fruit too soon and you might suffer from a bout of what's lovingly referred to as "Jamaican Vomiting Sickness Syndrome" (JVS) caused by a strange amino acid combination that exists in the fruit until it splits open and has been exposed to enough sunlight.
JVS doesn't always kill you, but it'll make you wish you were dead. The hypoclycin found in the seeds and the unripe fruits can make you violently ill. It isn't dubbed the "Vomiting Sickness Syndrome" for nothing.
Cassava is a tuber enjoyed across much of Africa, Southeast Asia and Americas. It's a staple in the diet of hundreds of millions of people across the globe, but only after it's been properly prepared. Raw cassava contains a toxin known as linamarin that has a similar chemical composition to sugar, but contains an extra molecule that causes it to convert to cyanide poison when consumed.
A few bites of raw cassava can kill you, so it's imperative to make sure it's been properly boiled and prepared.
Cassava cakes are a delicacy enjoyed by children across the globe, but they aren't without danger. A quick search reveals a number of cases in which children have died from consuming cassava cake that was improperly prepared. In one shocking case, 30 second and third grade children died and at least 50 fell ill after consuming cassava cake that was sold to them by a lady who regularly sold cakes to the kids as they walked to school.
Most people look at the above image and see tasty peanuts, but those allergic to them see a deadly food ingredient that must be avoided at all costs. Peanut allergies are caused when the body initiates a strong immune response to the proteins found in peanuts. In the most severe cases, anaphylaxis can occur, which results in a rapid increase in blood pressure and the constricting of the airways to the point where the victim can no longer breathe.
Before you throw out all of the peanuts in the house, rest assure they're perfectly fine for most individuals. That said, if you're one of the select few who has a peanut allergy, you've got to avoid peanuts at all costs. They hospitalize thousands and kill at least a couple hundred people a year.
Most people have heard of rhubarb and many have eaten it, but were you aware the leaves of the rhubarb plant are highly toxic. Eating the leaves, which can contain oxalic acid and antraquinone glycosides, can result in poisoning that requires immediate medical attention. Difficulty breathing, diarrhea, seizures and severe stomach pain are just some of the many symptoms associated with eating rhubarb leaves. In the most severe cases, patients can fall into a coma and die. When consuming rhubarb, stick to the stalk and avoid the leaves at all costs.
There are a number of varieties of mushrooms that are edible and are completely harmless to most people when consumed. They're sold in stores and are consumed by people across the globe. This has led some people to believe they can head out into the wilderness and harvest any mushroom they find and eat it for dinner. While there are indeed some species of mushrooms that can be harvested and consumed, there are a number of species that are highly poisonous. To up the danger factor even more, some of the deadly mushrooms closely resemble non-toxic mushrooms and are easily mistaken for their edible cousins.
With names like the Death Cap and Deadly Webcap, it's obvious these mushrooms are dangerous. Leave the collection of mushrooms in the wild to those who know what they're doing. Picking the wrong mushroom can result in severe illness, internal organ failure and even death.
Even when properly prepared, the strong ammonia smell and flavor of Greenland shark is an acquired taste. The meat of the Greenland shark has to be buried in the ground and fermented and then hung out to dry for up to 5 months before it's considered "edible." It's a traditional Icelandic food that's sold in stores across Iceland, but isn't consumed in too many other places. The meat of the Greenland shark is consider a delicacy by those who can stand it when prepared properly, but contains large amounts of urea and trimethylamine oxide when fresh and is highly toxic.