What do the world’s most dangerous foods have in common? Other than the fact that they can kill you, they also have names which are impossible to pronounce! In this list, we’ll be taking you through some of the most perilous foods from every corner of the world. For the full list, make sure to check out our dangerous infographic.
Ackee is an unusual-looking Jamaican fruit which is meant to be eaten fully ripe without its seeds, as its black seeds are actually toxic. However, that’s not all, as it also contains the poison hypoglycin which can cause the Jamaican vomiting sickness. In fact, in 2011, there were 35 poisoning cases in Jamaica. Another poisonous fruit, with roots in southeast Asia this time, is Pangium Edule, very aptly named, “the fruit that nauseates”. This shelled fruit contains hydrogen cyanide which is also extremely harmful to humans.
Ever heard of Sannakji? It’s a fishy delicacy straight out of Korea which is eaten raw. I’m sorry to say that it doesn’t even come close to sushi as this octopus is served still squirming on the plate. Sannakji must be eaten with caution; meaning, make sure you chew it well, as around 6 people each year die as a result of choking on the tentacles. Care to guess why? Our infographic has the answer.
I know that they eat an array of animals in Asia, but I never thought that I would find monkey brains on the menu (you read right!). Served raw, cooked or baked, this pink and bloody delight may contain an illness called Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease which targets the human brain. Come to think of it, in the 1984 film Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, I do recall chilled monkey brains being served for dessert.
Next, a bizarre tradition takes us to Italy where they enjoy rotten cheese, called Casu Marzu. The cheese is left uncovered, allowing flies to lay eggs inside. Maggots then cause the cheese’s fermentation. When ingested, the larvae can bore through the intestinal walls and thus cause severe illness. Who knew the Italians, connoisseurs of food and wine, would serve something so distasteful on their cheeseboards?!
If you think you’re safe in Europe, think again, as some of the most dangerous foods – or drinks in this case – are also found on this continent. Remember the box office love story featuring a singing Ewan McGregor and a slowly dying Nicole Kidman? The movie Moulin Rouge is all about bohemian drinkers of the highly alcoholic spirit, absinthe, also called the green fairy, being the liquid that causes chaos. It’s a terribly addictive hallucinogen and psychoactive drug which has been blamed for causing tuberculosis, amongst other things, which was the cause of the French courtesan’s (Nicole Kidman’s character) death in the film.
Sorry folks, things just got worse as rhubarb leaves sprout from a poisonous plant found worldwide. Its stalks deceptively resemble celery so try not to pick them up next time you’re in the supermarket. These leaves contain oxalic acid and toxins that form deadly crystals in your kidneys. I’m sure you can make an intuitive guess as to what the symptoms of rhubarb poisoning might include.
The list goes on to mention other savoury delights like Egyptian year-old fermented fish, rotten smelling shark from Greenland cured up to six months and served with a side of rye bread, and bloody clams straight out of China containing several viruses and bacteria such as Hepatitis A and E, Typhoid and Dysentery. Believe it or not, raw cashews have also earned their place onto our list! Head to the infographic now to find out why. So…who’s hungry?