Quod me nutrit me destruit
December 13, 2018 7:32 PM   Subscribe

What's the most dangerous food of all time? Experts give and explain their answers: Durian (physical accidents, sulfur content); lookalike mushrooms; domesticated livestock (zoonotic diseases); alcohol; food-spoiling fungi; beef (global warming); raw food; and sugar (x4).

More dangerous foods:
13 Most dangerous foods (cherry pits, fugu, casu marzu, hot dogs, alfalfa sprouts, sannakji, shellfish, unpasteurized cheese, bagels, green potatoes, ackee, green almonds & cashews, kidney beans)

Most Dangerous Foods in the World (ackee, cassava, rhubarb, blood clams, casu marzu, sannakji, hakarl, raw cashews, African bullfrog, elderberries, fugu)

30 Foods that You Didn't Know Could Kill You
posted by Eyebrows McGee (83 comments total) 33 users marked this as a favorite
 
Carrots can be pretty pointy.
posted by aubilenon at 7:40 PM on December 13, 2018 [27 favorites]


i mean. it's clearly anything you can eat 10,000 of without actually noticing and which is in numerous ways bad for you wrt salt or fat or sugar content. no mushroom could possibly be more deadly to me than a family sized bag of kettle chips.
posted by poffin boffin at 7:46 PM on December 13, 2018 [18 favorites]


Okay actually I'm legit mad at the "30 foods you didn't know could kill you"

Because who the heck doesn't know that poisonous mushrooms exist and some people are allergic to peanuts and shellfish and raw meat and eggs can ensicken you. I also knew about raw rhubarb (no idea how common-knowledge that is; rhubarb doesn't seem like an particularly common food). Tomato greens are not food, apple seeds aren't food, plus won't harm you unless you eat a ton at a time. In the end, there were three I didn't already know - castor oil, microwave popcorn bags (those are food, right?) and I'd never heard of an ackee.
posted by aubilenon at 7:47 PM on December 13, 2018 [7 favorites]


When you're walking home tonight and some homicidal maniac comes after you with a bunch of loganberries, don't come crying to me!
posted by Greg_Ace at 7:48 PM on December 13, 2018 [30 favorites]


Yeah, from the third list, I really wanted to know who's eating the elderberry PLANT (wood/leaves) rather than the berries! Like, I don't go apple-picking and take a break to gnaw on the trunk because I'M NOT INSANE.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:49 PM on December 13, 2018 [40 favorites]


which mushrooms would make one gnaw on tree bark. where is the information, scientists. why are you keeping this from us.
posted by poffin boffin at 7:51 PM on December 13, 2018 [7 favorites]


The effects of castor oil was a revelation to me recently as I always assumed that in victorian etc novels when children were given castor oil as a punishment, it was because the taste was terrible. I did not have any fucking idea that the purpose of it was to give them horrible agonizing uncontrollable diarrhea for many hours and I'm ready to do some time travel murders.

i mean im always ready
posted by poffin boffin at 7:53 PM on December 13, 2018 [70 favorites]


Water! Not just all the shit-yourself-to-death diseases but drowning, tsunamis, waterboarding, brain-eating amoebas administered via neti pot, and the comet hitting the Earth that killed all the dinosaurs!

How foolish of them to let beverages into the discussion. If only they had liberal arts degrees instead of all their fancy science, they would know about King Cnut shouting at the tides. He was angry at the water because he knew.
posted by XMLicious at 7:53 PM on December 13, 2018 [22 favorites]


I keep going "Who the fuck is eating enough cherry pits to get poisoned? How do you even GET that many cherry pits?" but then I remembered that actually I have a 40-pound sack of cherry pits in the basement and maybe I should make sure my kids can't reach it.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:02 PM on December 13, 2018 [15 favorites]


If we're going systemic I'm pretty sure the most dangerous food of all time is sugarcane. Caused all sorts of people to break out in empires. I hear the side-effects can last centuries.
posted by traveler_ at 8:08 PM on December 13, 2018 [34 favorites]


Metafilter: Angry at the water
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:10 PM on December 13, 2018 [11 favorites]


Durian’s high sulfur content makes it particularly dangerous when overindulged or consumed in combination with alcohol, coffee, or caffeinated soft drinks, especially for those with preexisting medical conditions like heart conditions or high blood pressure.

Can confirm that this is definitely a cultural rule of thumb... but on the other hand i see old uncles swilling tiger beers during their durian feasts. in any case, my mother will feel so validated.
posted by cendawanita at 8:12 PM on December 13, 2018 [13 favorites]


Actual Cannibal Shia Labeouf has opinions.
posted by pykrete jungle at 8:29 PM on December 13, 2018 [2 favorites]


Dihydrogen Monoxide: the silent killer!
posted by sexyrobot at 8:29 PM on December 13, 2018 [1 favorite]


Bitter almonds contain a lot of cyanide.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:34 PM on December 13, 2018


I'm reminded of my delicious Sorrel that I am growing but am afraid to eat due to the Oxalic acid content of the leaves. I know in small quantities it wont hurt me, but it is giving me significant pause.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 8:36 PM on December 13, 2018


I would totally eat the maggot cheese and now I kinda want to actually seek it out.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 9:02 PM on December 13, 2018


Dihydrogen Monoxide: the silent killer!

I've taken to calling it Hydrogen Hydroxide now that everyone's catching on to the other name.
posted by los pantalones del muerte at 9:10 PM on December 13, 2018 [8 favorites]


Some of these are just silly. Millions of people eat cassava and it is tasty, both sweet and bitter varieties. Ackee is great (though kind of mushy). And others are gross (maggot cheese) but not particularly dangerous except to your appetite.

but then I remembered that actually I have a 40-pound sack of cherry pits in the basement

This sounds like the set up to a murder mystery novel set in rural England. I would read that book!
posted by Dip Flash at 9:13 PM on December 13, 2018 [5 favorites]


Just remember to drive your tank to the Jackfruit forest, and don't go outside it. Those hundred pound spiky fruits, twenty pound spiky fruits, oh and loaded wlth latex when you butcher them, (for the latex intolerant,) those bad boys will do a body in.
posted by Oyéah at 9:14 PM on December 13, 2018 [3 favorites]


Sannakji is a Korean octopus dish served while it's still alive that could suction itself to your throat.

None of my coworkers bothered to tell me that when they were feeding it to me :/
posted by meows at 9:15 PM on December 13, 2018 [5 favorites]


but then I remembered that actually I have a 40-pound sack of cherry pits in the basement and maybe I should make sure my kids can't reach it.

I'm gonna... I'm gonna need some context for this friend. Because it is baffling.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 9:37 PM on December 13, 2018 [21 favorites]


I can't believe tortilla chips aren't on the list. I can't be the only person who has had one end up propped up vertically mid-chew only to have the pointy ends brutally murder your mouth.
posted by loquacious at 9:41 PM on December 13, 2018 [31 favorites]


Didn't waste oxygen kill, like, everything trying to eat it until plants came along? And then all the plants that ate it caught fire and killed, like, everything?
posted by Riki tiki at 9:45 PM on December 13, 2018 [1 favorite]


The pits left in is what gives cherry clafouti that delightful almond taste!
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 9:47 PM on December 13, 2018 [1 favorite]


the claim that unripened "green" potatoes are poisonous has been the subject of debate for some time.

alright this person doesn't know which end of a shovel goes in the ground. Potatoes are not green when they are young they become green when exposed to light. Sheesh. "Unripened" new potatoes are the most delicious potatoes.
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 10:03 PM on December 13, 2018 [16 favorites]


"I'm gonna... I'm gonna need some context for this friend. Because it is baffling."

So cherry pits hold heat really well -- way better than rice or buckwheat -- and basically you get some all-cotton flannel and make some 16" x 6" "pillows" and fill them with cherry pits, and then nuke them for 2-3 minutes in your microwave and they are GLORIOUS bedwarmers, footwarmers, or heat packs for sore muscles, which smell like cherry pie. Takes 1-2 pounds of pits to make a single footwarmer, and you can buy clean dry cherry pits in large quantities from factories that process cherries for pie filling etc. and have all the pits left over.

Every holiday season I make a bunch of these as teacher presents (since it's just straight seams my kids can sew them themselves with a little supervision), and while everyone I'm related to has long since owned cherry pit footwarmers, I diligently replace all the lost or damaged ones too, and make a few new ones for pregnant friends since they're great for sore pregnancy backs.

Every few years I buy another 40# sack of cherry pits from a Michigan factory so I can keep making them! Plus, you know, all my cyanide poisoning needs for English countryside mysteries.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:03 PM on December 13, 2018 [109 favorites]


I'm enjoying this thread. Greg_Ace beat me to the Monty Python reference. I do think that man is by far the most dangerous food. It's why I personally gave up cannibalism. Just not worth the risk. Also kuru.
posted by philip-random at 10:12 PM on December 13, 2018 [3 favorites]


My mother has always been super into food safety, and eventually became a nutrition educator with the cooperative extension. Some of my earliest memories are of being pulled aside before meals at relatives' houses and being whispered at not to eat the macaroni and tomatoes or whatever because she didn't trust their home canning process to be sanitary enough.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 11:11 PM on December 13, 2018 [4 favorites]


Interesting. We use seed corn instead of cherry pits.

I don’t think it works for the English mystery purposes though.
posted by nat at 11:38 PM on December 13, 2018 [2 favorites]


Sugar. Its (too much) sugar.
posted by sjswitzer at 11:41 PM on December 13, 2018 [2 favorites]


I think the article mentioning hakarl is more than a bit wrong. While the Greenland shark doesn't have a urinary tract, sharks generally don't I think and their urea etc is excreted through the skin. The Greenland shark does have a lot of urea in its flesh but the lack of an ability to pee is not why, and it isn't just building up all its waste products in its flesh because it has no way to get rid of them.
And it's a long way from being the only food that's unsafe if not prepared properly is it?
posted by edd at 11:45 PM on December 13, 2018 [4 favorites]


I assume swallowed cherry pits would pass through your gut largely untouched, not releasing any of the cyanide - and surely no-one would be stupid enough to crack the shells first... er...
posted by Segundus at 11:46 PM on December 13, 2018 [2 favorites]


Most dangerous food? Anything you eat anywhere, any time that may contain Salmonella, E. coli, Botulism, Listeria, or Hepatitis A
Worst Foodborne Illness Outbreaks in Recent U.S. History
HealthLine 2/6/2017

Foodborne illness, or food poisoning, affects about one in six Americans every year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that of these cases, there are 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths annually.

You can get food poisoning when your food carries dangerous germs or toxins. Salmonella is the most common known cause of hospitalization due to food poisoning in the United States with over 19,000 cases per year.

This pathogen, along with others, can get into your food through:

• improper food handling
• unsafe practices on farms
• contamination during manufacturing or distributing
• contamination in stores

Read about the biggest foodborne outbreaks in recent U.S. history, and learn how to recognize food poisoning and protect yourself from it.
See also CDC > Food Safety > Foodborne Illnesses and Germs.

If you're reading this, you made it through Thanksgiving OK, but Christmas is coming up.
posted by cenoxo at 11:46 PM on December 13, 2018 [2 favorites]


I don’t think it works for the English mystery purposes though.

you have to lure them into your corn silo cunningly disguised as a fanciful garden folly and entrap them horribly in the grain
posted by poffin boffin at 11:51 PM on December 13, 2018 [15 favorites]


I heard free cheesecake can be surprisingly dangerous.
posted by peeedro at 11:58 PM on December 13, 2018 [8 favorites]


OK, in the long run a surplus of sugar will get you but in the short run... stay away from the fresh salsa bar. (Ask me how I know).
posted by sjswitzer at 12:01 AM on December 14, 2018 [2 favorites]


you would have to eat about 11 pounds of rhubarb leaves to reach that lethal amount.

I'm on it.

(the main takeaway from these articles is that a lot of really tasty food is banned in America.)
posted by chavenet at 1:15 AM on December 14, 2018 [3 favorites]


It turns out the most dangerous food was inside you all along.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 1:43 AM on December 14, 2018 [18 favorites]


but then I remembered that actually I have a 40-pound sack of cherry pits in the basement

Goodness, whatever for?

cherry pits hold heat really well

oh.
posted by Armed Only With Hubris at 1:48 AM on December 14, 2018 [1 favorite]


It turns out the most dangerous food was inside you all along.

The real toxic cherry pits were the friends we made along the way.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 3:06 AM on December 14, 2018 [19 favorites]


Tomato greens are not food

For some reason, a Western idiot decided that the Shiso should be renamed “the Beefsteak Plant,” because that’s shorter or easier to say. Shiso, a relative of mint, is used in Japanese cooking, mostly as a garnish. The was a long time when Japanese cookbooks for the anglophone market called for “Beefsteak leaves,” so people would use tomato leaves, to bad effect.
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:43 AM on December 14, 2018 [11 favorites]


they would know about King Cnut shouting at the tides. He was angry at the water because he knew.

Alas, your cnews about Cnute is cnuts. Cnute was in the cnow.
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:53 AM on December 14, 2018 [4 favorites]


Never mind British countryside mysteries... who the heck is using durian as a murder weapon? I want Ibu Marple on the case.
posted by ChuraChura at 3:53 AM on December 14, 2018 [6 favorites]


Don't know if they're deadly, but one of the few things I've found that really require paying attention to the expiration date: graham crackers. Old graham crackers are nasty. Really bad. Not kidding.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:57 AM on December 14, 2018 [5 favorites]


Well, in addition to all the health effects, sugar caused slavery (yes, addressed in FTA), and then when planters decided to start exploiting the Southeast because they'd run out of new and inventive ways to exploit the Caribbean islands, they found the climate was too cold for sugar but juuuuust right for tobacco; greed for sugar in the form of an absolutely disgusting candy also causes Edmund to sell out his siblings to the White Witch (IT'S A METAPHOR). You'd have to have a lot of English countryside murders -- almost as many as in Midsomer Murders -- to beat the destructive wrath of sugar.
posted by basalganglia at 3:58 AM on December 14, 2018 [12 favorites]


Dried cherry pits are a fuel for pellet stoves. 40 lb bags available at tractor supply.
posted by Tandem Affinity at 4:00 AM on December 14, 2018 [3 favorites]


Dried cherry pits are a fuel for pellet stoves.

Where does the cyanide end up?
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:03 AM on December 14, 2018 [1 favorite]


There are things, once read, that cannot be unread. I...have learned so much from this thread.
posted by Mogur at 4:20 AM on December 14, 2018 [3 favorites]


Clearly, the most dangerous food would be the one which, by means of ingestion, has over the course of history killed the most people.

Therefore, I am going to vote for live wolves.
posted by kyrademon at 4:58 AM on December 14, 2018 [6 favorites]


I heard free cheesecake can be surprisingly dangerous.

Freed cheesecake even more so.

Where does the cyanide end up?


In the smoke, same as it does when burning damn near anything else. I would expect the actual burning process to create quite a lot more cyanide than was in the pits to begin with.
posted by flabdablet at 5:23 AM on December 14, 2018 [3 favorites]


Carrots can be pretty pointy

Not too dangerous unless you run with them.
posted by waving at 5:42 AM on December 14, 2018 [2 favorites]


In my experience the most dangerous food is too hot cheesy pizza because stalactites. Also, chocolate ex-lax(R).
posted by waving at 6:00 AM on December 14, 2018


Sugar-free gummi bears aren't on the list?
posted by emelenjr at 6:37 AM on December 14, 2018 [1 favorite]


Apropos of the prospect of eating huge quantities of cherry pits and the idea that nobody would do it: there's a spice used in the Near East and North Africa called mahleb, made from ground cherry kernels (not the stones, but the kernels inside). Surprisingly, mahleb apparently is not rich enough in cyanide to warrant any warnings about it that I can find.
posted by jackbishop at 6:55 AM on December 14, 2018 [1 favorite]


Nobody mentioned the scourge of barbecues yet! Also, I heard cheese can be bad for you.
posted by hat_eater at 6:58 AM on December 14, 2018


Durian!!!!! I see a fresh one in Amsterdam once in a while. Whenever I'm in Asia I totally pork out on the stuff. In Singapore I had to walk 10 minutes across the parking lot of the supermarket, because they were sold as far from the shop as possible.
Best Durian story? I had the privilege to go food shopping in Bangkok with - recently deceased - legendary food critic Bob Holiday. He told me the story that Pat Boone - I think he was en route to Vietnam to perform for the troops - landed in Bangkok and discovered Durian. He over ate to such an extent that he couldn't make it out of his BKK hotelroom for days & eventually flew back to the US without performing.
posted by ouke at 7:03 AM on December 14, 2018 [3 favorites]


How about apricot kernels?

CBC: Man treated for cyanide poisoning from apricot kernels says, 'Selling them like nuts is nuts'
[Brendan Brogan] was visiting a friend in Montreal when he popped into a Rachelle-Béry and grabbed a $16 bag of Organic Traditions bitter dried apricot kernels, which are the seeds inside apricot pits.

"My friend that I was staying with is deathly allergic to nuts and he walked by and said, 'I hope you're not eating almonds, they'll kill me,'.

"And I just looked at him and I said: 'Nope, don't worry about it Mike. These are apricot kernels. No problem. They're not nuts.'"

His friend replied: "You better be careful with those. They're poisonous."

"I said: 'That can't be. I just bought them at the Rachelle-Béry. They're healthy. Look, it says "superfood" on it.'"

Then he read the warning on the back.

"Caution: Do not consume more than 2-3 kernels per day," it read. "Health Canada warns eating too many apricot kernels may cause acute cyanide poisoning."

Brogan started to panic.

"I had just probably munched down about 40 of them," he said.
posted by Secret Sparrow at 7:34 AM on December 14, 2018 [12 favorites]


I believe you can build up a tolerance for cyanide, FWIW, as Rasputin (and Mithridates) are supposed to have done.
posted by Segundus at 7:44 AM on December 14, 2018 [4 favorites]


...as did the Dread Pirate Roberts (with iocane).
posted by leotrotsky at 7:58 AM on December 14, 2018 [7 favorites]


Just remember to drive your tank to the Jackfruit forest, and don't go outside it. Those hundred pound spiky fruits, twenty pound spiky fruits, oh and loaded wlth latex when you butcher them, (for the latex intolerant,) those bad boys will do a body in.

I grew a couple of jackfruit trees a while back. Those things will take your head off.

Gave up growing them mainly because dealing with the latex was just too much work. It is seriously sticky shit.

I can buy it fresh and latex-free at the local weekly markets, which is waaaaaaay easier. :)

Seeds can be eaten too.
posted by Pouteria at 8:07 AM on December 14, 2018 [1 favorite]


And [hakarl]'s a long way from being the only food that's unsafe if not prepared properly is it?

From what I've heard, it's pretty damned deadly (tasting) even when it is prepared properly.
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:53 AM on December 14, 2018


When I lived in Austria a a few centuries ago, I learned to eat (home!) canned cherries pits and all. When in Rome, er, Steiermark...
posted by tippiedog at 8:58 AM on December 14, 2018


I just watched an Agatha Raisin mystery where the plot featured the surprise of poison in castor plant!
posted by chapps at 9:57 AM on December 14, 2018


You could write a mystery series featuring dangerous food!
Death Buffet!
posted by chapps at 9:58 AM on December 14, 2018


I feel like about half the menu at KFC, but particularly the Double Down, belongs on here somewhere.
posted by delfin at 10:21 AM on December 14, 2018 [2 favorites]


Perhaps it wasn't the lead water pipes that helped the Empire's Fall, but drunken Roman emperors swizzling syrupy sapa:
Encyclopedia Romana > Wine and Rome > Lead Poisoning and Rome
...
Rather than encrusted lead pipes, the probable cause of chronic lead poisoning (plumbism or "saturnism" because its symptoms seemed indicative of the god's melancholic and sullen character) was the consumption of defrutum and sapa. The elder Cato, Columella, and Pliny all describe how unfermented grape juice (mustum, must) was boiled to concentrate its natural sugars. "A product of art, not of nature," the must was reduced to one half (defrutum) or even one third its volume (sapa) (Pliny, XIV.80), although the terms are not always consistent. Columella identifies defrutum as "must of the sweetest possible flavour" that has been boiled down to a third of its volume (XXI.1). Isidore of Seville, writing in the seventh century AD, says that it is sapa that has been reduced by a third but goes on to imagine that defrutum is so called because it has been cheated or defrauded (defrudare) (Etymologies, XX.3.15). Varro reverses Pliny's proportions altogether (quoted in Nonius Marcellus, De Conpendiosa Doctrina, XVIII.551M).

The thickened syrup was used to sweeten and preserve wine and fruit that otherwise was sour or would spoil. Cato recommends that quinces and pears be preserved in boiled must (On Agriculture, VII.3) as does Varro (On Agriculture, I.59.3). Columella insists that defrutum always be boiled with quinces or some other flavoring (XII.20.2)...

In De Agri Cultura, the earliest example of Latin prose (c.160 BC), Cato gives directions for reducing must in "a copper or lead vessel" over a slow fire, "stirring constantly to prevent scorching; continue the boiling, until you have boiled off a half" (CVII). Writing in the first century AD, Columella elaborates on the process.
"Some people put the must in leaden vessels and by boiling reduce it by a quarter, others by a third. There is no doubt that anyone who boiled it down to one-half would be likely to make a better thick form of must and therefore more profitable for use....But, before the must is poured into the boiling-vessels, it will be well that those which are made of lead should be coated inside with good oil and be well-rubbed, and that then the must should be put in....The vessels themselves in which the thickened and boiled-down must is boiled should be of lead rather than of brass; for, in the boiling, brazen vessels throw off copper rust, and spoil the flavour of the preservative" (XII.19.1, 19.6, 20.1).
Pliny, too, recommends that the must be prepared in lead vessels.
"Also boiled-down must and must of new wine should be boiled when there is no moon, which means at the conjunction of that planet, and not on any other day; and moreover leaden and not copper jars should be used, and some walnuts should be thrown into the liquor, for those are said to absorb the smoke" (XIV.136).
It would seem therefore that must was boiled in cauldrons of lead, although Scarborough is reluctant to weaken his case, insisting that "one needs to read these texts carefully which mention a 'preference' for lead over bronze to realize that the Romans most often used bronze cauldrons (copper and tin in alloy), not those of lead" and that the short boiling time would not have contaminated the juice in any event. But copper and bronze are suspect as well. Not only, says Pliny, was the best bronze alloyed with ten percent lead and tin (XXXIV.95) but "When copper vessels are coated with stagnum [a lead alloy], the contents have a more agreeable taste and the formation of destructive verdigris is prevented" (XXXIV.160).
...
Eisinger found that must reduced in a lead-lined pot to one-third its volume contained approximately one gram of lead per liter. If, as Columella recommends (XII.20.3), one sextarius of defrutum was mixed with one amphora of wine, the resulting proportion would be one part in forty-eight or almost 21 milligrams of lead per liter (mg/L)—a burden of lead so high as to be scarcely credible. Just three deciliters, the equivalent of two five-ounce glasses, would contain almost 2100 micrograms per deciliter (µg/dL) and certainly induce symptoms of lead poisoning...

Such levels of lead have significant physiological consequences. A single teaspoon of Columellan wine would have approximately 103 µg/dL of lead. As reported by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, there is brain and kidney damage in adults with blood lead levels of 100 µg/dL; gastrointestinal symptoms such as colic with levels of approximately 60 µg/dL; anemia with levels of 50 to 80 µg/dL; neurological symptoms with levels of 40 to 60 µg/dL; depressed sperm count with levels of 40 to 50 µg/dL; and increased risk of preterm delivery, low birth weight, and impaired mental development with maternal blood lead levels of 10 to 15 µg/dL. The physiological insult to children is even greater. Since 2012, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended intervention in children five years or younger when the level of lead in the blood is above 5 µg/dL and even may lower that figure to 3.5 µg/dL.

Nriagu estimates the aristocracy of Rome to have consumed two liters of wine a day or almost three bottles (which would seem to make alcoholism more suspect than lead poisoning) and the resulting lead intake to have averaged 180 µg daily. He further estimates the total amount of lead absorbed from all sources to be 250 µg per day and lead concentration in the blood to be 50 µg/dL, at least for the gluttonous and bibulous (as he phrases it) and those with an appetite for adulterated wines and sweetened dainties—who he presumes most Roman emperors to have been.
Remember, emperors, all things in moderation.
posted by cenoxo at 10:38 AM on December 14, 2018 [9 favorites]


I saw that Gizmodo post when it went by, and the disingenuous answers irritated me more than they probably should have. Yeah, yeah, beef is bad for me or whatever, but I'm not putting myself at unusual, immediate risk by eating a burger. I'll come up with hundreds of "dangerous things to do with lighters" long before I get to "lighting a cigarette", you know? And an angry durian pouncing on me from the treetops isn't yet food.

That said, I suspect the Casu Marzu is as "sanitary/hygienic" as about any other clotted-and-aged dairy product. We just don't like to eat bugs here in the US. Yet.

Metafilter: Totally eat the maggot cheese.
posted by phrits at 10:40 AM on December 14, 2018 [2 favorites]



I can't believe tortilla chips aren't on the list. I can't be the only person who has had one end up propped up vertically mid-chew only to have the pointy ends brutally murder your mouth.


Try getting the point of one jammed in the empty socket of your recently removed wisdom tooth! Lime-flavored, too.
posted by little cow make small moo at 10:42 AM on December 14, 2018 [4 favorites]


Hmm, I've definitely thrown tomato leaves into pre-made sauce or canned tomatoes to make it taste more tomatoey. I can't explain it, but it works! But I guess it's also bad for you? I don't stew the leaves or eat them; they get fished out after a few minutes of cooking.

(On the other hand, I've had various people tell me very seriously that nightshade family foodstuffs are not fit for human consumption. I spend every summer living off of okra, tomatoes, eggplant, etc...so that doesn't check out either. I guess this is more of a "some people are sensitive to these foods" list, which, yeah, duh, that's how allergies work.)
posted by grandiloquiet at 11:42 AM on December 14, 2018 [1 favorite]


I literally had a spatula of raw cookie dough in my mouth last week when the nice people on the radio reminded me it could kill me.
posted by The corpse in the library at 11:53 AM on December 14, 2018 [7 favorites]


The corpse in the library, I was also in the midst of taste-testing some raw cookie dough at the very moment the TV told me the CDC would really prefer it if I not do that. Sorry not sorry, it hasn't killed me yet.
posted by yasaman at 11:55 AM on December 14, 2018 [5 favorites]


Because who the heck doesn't know that poisonous mushrooms exist and some people are allergic to peanuts and shellfish and raw meat and eggs can ensicken you.

Every year around Xmas I make a number of cookies in the mid-four digits. It is the family tradition that everyone gets a tin. Last night as I was cooking up my seventh batch of 200 or so in two days, Mrs Biscuit said, “it’s too bad no one in your family is allergic to coconut, because then you could make that many fewer batches.” I briefly thought, “Hmm, if I were to put some peanuts in my cousin Jim’s cookies... but no, that would be wrong.”
posted by ricochet biscuit at 12:14 PM on December 14, 2018 [1 favorite]


I feel like about half the menu at KFC,

true story. One of the last times I did ecstasy, I woke up the next day feeling rather depleted, and hungry. But it was a very specific hunger. A hunger for something that I couldn't even name. I just felt it deeply. Later, while driving crosstown, I got stopped at a traffic light in front of a KFC. And there it was in those KFC fumes getting vented into the street -- the thing I NEEDED.

Except I hadn't eaten KFC in at least a decade having overdosed as a teen when a friend got a job at one. But I NEEDED some now. So I bought a snack pack or whatever and voila! It worked. It filled the void I was feeling. Like medicine. It was medicine. It cured me. I felt magnitudes better about everything.

That was over twenty years ago. I haven't eaten KFC since.
posted by philip-random at 12:35 PM on December 14, 2018 [6 favorites]


but then I remembered that actually I have a 40-pound sack of cherry pits in the basement ...

the set up to a murder mystery novel ...

Better than finding your father buried six-feet-under in the basement.

Oh, wait ... oh my.
posted by Twang at 3:00 PM on December 14, 2018 [1 favorite]


We are clearly seeing a divide between "things you should know from a food-safety standpoint" and "things that will off your Cousin Jim."
Just in time for the holidays.
posted by TrishaU at 3:56 PM on December 14, 2018 [3 favorites]


philip-random: "I got stopped at a traffic light in front of a KFC. And there it was in those KFC fumes getting vented into the street -- the thing I NEEDED.

Except I hadn't eaten KFC in at least a decade having overdosed as a teen when a friend got a job at one. But I NEEDED some now.
"

Charlie: Dad, how can you hate "The Colonel"?

Stuart: Because he puts an addictive chemical in his chicken that makes you crave it fortnightly, SMARTASS!
posted by Chrysostom at 4:17 PM on December 14, 2018


Huh. I used to like KFC chicken. I didn't eat it a lot, but once in a while. I hadn't had it in years, and decided to get some recently. It was awful. For me, they're doing addictive wrong.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:33 PM on December 14, 2018 [1 favorite]


Worked part-time at a KFC for a couple years in high school, over 40 years ago.

Haven't touched the stuff since. The smell of it is not welcome in my nose. :(
posted by Pouteria at 5:43 PM on December 14, 2018 [1 favorite]


taste-testing some raw cookie dough at the very moment the TV told me the CDC would really prefer it if I not do that.
It is a case of putting the bottom line before our health. This year, a million Americans will succumb to salmonella poisoning. Several hundred will die. Yet in Europe, a cheap vaccine for chickens has slashed the number of cases. Vaccination in Iowa shows US lives can be saved too – but US rules give meat producers no incentive to use a vaccine that doesn’t boost their profits.

...
https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn23165-us-should-vaccinate-poultry-to-stop-killer-salmonella/

CDC has a job to do that it's been neglecting.
posted by sebastienbailard at 10:55 PM on December 14, 2018 [5 favorites]


I feel like that whole sannakji thing is bullshit. Don't get me wrong, I have heard tons of friend of a friend stories and whatnot, but I can find no information saying that six people a year die from choking. Naver talks about a few individual cases but they are all years apart and seemingly all made the news because oooh dangerous octopus! Anyway, sannakji tentacles are small, so even if they stick to your throat I don't think it would totally block the airway, and who the hell is swallowing tentacles whole anyway? I mean chew your food!

But even still, let's say eating octopus kills a half dozen people a year. How many people choke to death on chicken bones every year? The whole thing is just irritating to me. Blefh.
posted by Literaryhero at 2:16 AM on December 15, 2018


CDC has a job to do that it's been neglecting.

It's not their job to order livestock vaccinations. That's the FDA, or sometimes the FSIS, and boy are they neglecting their job.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:55 AM on December 15, 2018 [3 favorites]


At least 10 die after eating at Indian temple ceremony [The Telegraph, 12/15/2018]:
At least 10 people in southern India died Friday of suspected food poisoning after a ceremony to celebrate the construction of a new Hindu temple, police said.

Another 32 people were hospitalised after they ate at the ceremony in Chamarajnagar district of Karnataka state, south of the state capital of Bangalore, said police officer Mahadev, who uses one name. Eight of those hospitalised were in critical condition, he said.

Samples were collected for chemical analysis of food that was served to devotees following a temple foundation laying ceremony. They vomited, complained of severe stomach pain and were taken to nearby hospitals.

Police detained two members of the temple’s management for questioning, The Press Trust of India news agency reported.

In 2013, 22 children died in a school in India’s eastern state of Bihar after eating food tainted with a pesticide. It had been stored in a cooking oil container.
posted by cenoxo at 10:16 AM on December 15, 2018


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