Well, actually, someone did die after eating leftover pasta, poor lad.
Us humans have a knack for pushing boundaries when it comes to satisfying our food-related desires and even though modern science and death tolls have warned us against certain meals, some of us are still willing to munch risky foods that could make us meet our demise.
I guess some dishes really are to die for.
The list below is compiled of some of the world’s most dangerous foods that could leave you with serious health problems such as kidney failure, cardiac arrest, seizers, or better yet, just simply kill you.
It gets worse as you read on so you’ll have to persevere through the list to see what kinds of questionably tasty treats could end being the last thing someone may ever eat. In a way, it’s for your own safety – you’re welcome.
Warning: If you’re holding any sort of food item, I’d advise you drop it now. If you’re on a diet, then this is the article for you.
There’s no magic in these mushrooms I’m afraid, just good ol’ poison. When ingested, you can suffer from symptoms that range from liver and/or kidney failure, vomiting, blurred vision, diarrhoea and severe stomach pains. All of which can lead to death in extreme cases. Not such a fun-gi is it? Though they’d be handy for making a mushroom risotto with if you needed to, ahem, get rid of someone.
Only the largest Himalayan honeybees in the world could make a product called Mad Honey, and it truly is. After having one teaspoon, this rare hallucinogenic honey can make users feel the need to purge, then they’ll lose and regain the ability to see while in a state of paralysis. Unsurprisingly, with death being the result of taking too much of the honey, it is now becoming tougher to sell on the black market. Who would have thought?
Bhut Jolokia, mostly known as Ghost pepper, won’t exactly kill you, but if you ate loads in one go, I think you’d rather wish you were dead. At a rating of 1.35 million Scoville units, bearing in mind a jalapeno is 2,500 on the Scoville metre +, every single hair on your body will feel like it’s on fire. The less severe symptoms you can get is painful stinging, increased heart rate, watery eyes and sweating. The more intense symptoms include stomach discomfort, seizers, heart attacks, diarrhoea and difficulty breathing. If Indian ghost chilli farmer Digonta Saikia says eating one feels ‘like dying’ then I reckon you shouldn’t try one at home.
This is a fruit you don’t want to see in a fruit salad when it’s unripe, as the common symptom linked with Ackee is named, ‘Jamaican vomiting disease’. So you can pretty much guess what happens when you eat an unripe Ackee. When it’s ready to eat however, it’s packed full of essential fatty acids, vitamin A, zinc and protein. Although, you never want to mess with the black seeds, ever.
It’s no surprise that the people of Iceland are a fan of seafood and the basking shark is among the favourites. It’s pretty harmless too, however, if it’s not fermented properly, then you can expect to get severe food poisoning. Bit fishy that it’s still popular really.
Fugu (pufferfish to me and you) is considered to be a Japanese delicacy that not even the Emperor is allowed to eat, as the neurotoxin tetrodotoxin that resides in certain parts of the fish are deadly. Chefs have to train for three years to prepare the fish for a restaurant. If any bit of the neurotoxin is eaten, the unlucky person will go into a state of paralysis while being unable to breathe, and will eventually die of asphyxiation.
This Egyptian fermented mullet fish has hospitalised several Egyptians every year and yet, people keep eating it for the spring festival Shem el-Nessim. Sounds pretty rotten. Despite warnings from health officials and deaths from previous years, the market for Fesikh has not slowed down even though some have admitted they don’t even like the taste, they eat it just for tradition. Imagine accidentally dying ‘for tradition’.
Korean Sannakji, live baby octopus, doesn’t seem like much of a threat when you’re the one chewing up parts of its body. However, due to its nerve activity being in full swing closely after its death, a Sannakji’s suction cups can attach to your throat as you swallow, ultimately becoming an obstruction in your windpipe. They can even crawl back up your throat and choke you, how’s that for revenge?
Similar to Fugu, the giant jellyfish is considered to be a Japanese delicacy which contains toxic parts, the only difference is Numura can’t be eaten raw. There’s also jellyfish flavoured sweets inspired by it too. When it comes to bizarre things; if you’ve thought about it, Japan has already done it.
Despite the name and the bloody appearance they have, blood clams have a rep of tasting pretty good which is why they’re still being farmed. However, they can potentially give us nasty viruses they’ve ingested because they live in a lower oxygen climate where they have to take in everything from the seawater to live – in this case, we’re talking typhoid, dysentery, and hepatitis A and E.
We can pardon the French for only eating the legs of this creature, as some residents of Africa are known for eating every slimy part of a bullfrog. The young bullfrogs are the most lethal as they carry a variety of toxins that can cause kidney failure and sometimes death. Looks like neither the frog or the dinner would be jumping for joy in that scenario.
Fruit bat soup isn’t quite like the carrot and coriander soup tin ageing in your cupboard. This soup can contain enough toxins for someone to develop a rare and fatal neurodegenerative disorder. Fruit bats are also able to carry nasty things such as ebola and margburg viruses in their skin too, things you can’t just bat-away. Yikes.
Gordan Ramsey wouldn’t be too pleased with eating pig’s blood soup as Thailand’s street cooks believe it’s best served raw. As you can guess, eating raw pigs blood alongside entrails can potentially leave your insides teaming up parasites and other bacterial infections. A handful of herbs in the soup just isn’t going to make it any better.
This is the last gag-worthy soup I promise. Youtuber Sonny Side was the brave human from the west that tried both Luu Moo and Luu Piea – buffalo sh*t juice soup – and lived to tell the tale. The ingredients of Buffalo sh*t juice soup is pretty much in the name. It’s a soup that contains the intestine of a buffalo that’s carrying the contents of partially digested grass. Like Luu Moo, there’s plenty of innards to eat inside the intestine soup – oh, and it’s served with bile. Surprisingly this is the safest item to eat on the list, but you’re certainly at the risk of vomiting just by looking at it.
Sardinian maggot cheese, need I say more? Unfortunately, I will. The Sardinian cheese which smells as bad as it sounds is actually illegal and rightfully so. Casu Marzu during fermentation is purposely left outside to rot to the extent that maggots grow inside it and expel their juices which changes the texture of the cheese. The cheese is best eaten when the maggots are still alive and the problem with that is, if you don’t chew the maggots to death, they’ll eat through your intestines. If you shock the maggots, they can jump up to 6 inches in your eye. Some Sardinians say it’s an aphrodisiac; I say it’s a pointless danger to society.
If you think having a pet monkey is bad, eating their brains is definitely worse. Chowing down a monkey’s brain for dinner comes with the risk of contracting Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, a neurodegenerative disorder similar to Mad Cow disease. That means you could get progressive dementia, impaired vision, depression, and eventually death. Monkey brain stir-fry with a dash of slow death anyone?
Let’s not forget, there are people out there that have a particular pallet who enjoy the taste of homo sapiens far better than chicken. Much to my surprise, eating human flesh for nutrition is absolutely fine, it’s the brain you should void. Handy to know in case you were planning on trying it one day. Kuru is a fatal prion-based disease, similar to mad cow disease, you can get from eating human brains. We have the Fore people in New Guinea to thank for this discovery in the 50’s.
Salad finally doesn’t seem so bad.
Gugu mashava is a Journalism (aka ‘not a real degree’) student who tends to self-medicate with cocktails. She was most likely taken on by The Hook, not for her mediocre article writing skills, but to fill a diversity quota. During her anti-The Hook hours, you can find her running through fields of wheat, spending her loans wisely on sales, and improving her intellect by watching trash TV.