Six deadly foods in your pantry

Most of us assume that the food in our kitchens is safe to eat. However, most pantries contain these potentially fatal foods, and we don’t even realise it.

Apple seeds
Apple seeds contain a small amount on cyanide. While it would take the cyanide of around 200 apple seeds to become fatal, even small doses can harm your heart and brain. Symptoms of cyanide poisoning include headache, nausea, vomiting and stomach cramps. It can cause respiratory failure, coma, cardiac arrest and death.

Microwave popcorn
Diacetyl is a chemical used to give microwave popcorn it’s buttery taste. It has been linked to respiratory conditions including ‘popcorn lung’ – scaring of lung tissue – in the workers who manufacturer it. While some microwavable popcorns use alternative flavouring chemicals, they likely still contain traces of diacetyl.

Red kidney beans
These beans contain phytohaemagglutinin, a toxin that can agglutinate red blood cells. This toxin is poisonous if not prepared correctly. Red kidney beans must be boiled for at least 10 minutes before being eaten. Cooking them for any less time or on a lower heat can leave them twice as toxic.

Tuna
Even in small amounts, mercury can harm your digestive, immune and nervous systems, as well as your lungs, kidneys, skin, eyes and brain. People are mainly exposed to methylmercury through eating fish, and tuna contains more mercury than most other fish. Australia and New Zealand’s Food Standards recommend eating no more than two to three servings of fish a week.  

Mushrooms
Mushrooms are a delicious and easy meat substitute that can be used in a variety of dishes. However, if you grow or pick your own mushrooms it’s essential that you know exactly what is and isn’t safe to eat. There are a number of poisonous mushrooms that look incredibly similar to edible ones, such as the deadly Amanita phalloides, also known as the death cap.

Nutmeg
While in small amounts nutmeg is safe to eat, it can be fatal in higher doses. It contains myristicin, an organic compound that can cause nausea, headaches, dizziness, hallucinations and even death.

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Disclaimer: This article contains general information about health issues and is not advice. For health advice, consult your medical practitioner.

Written by Liv Gardiner

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