Foods made out of potentially lethal ingredients

I know two - fugu and gyromitra esculenta. Greenland shark might count but the wiki article suggest it won’t kill you, just make you very, very drunk. Any other foods where incorrect handling or eating the ingredients raw will poison you?

Polar bear liver has lethal amounts of vit. A.

Do people eat it regularly? I’m sure there’s all sorts of poisonous body parts people never eat, not really interested in those.


Bitter almonds; 50 (if you’re a small child, 5-10) will kill you. Not sure how regularly they’re eaten.

Raw tapioca is poisonous.

Raw taro, pokeweed, and unwashed quinoa and acorns all contain substances that are highly irritating even if they aren’t outright poisonous, sufficiently bad as to render the uncooked/unwashed items inedible.

Cycads are toxic and requiring processing to be edible, and even then residual toxicity might be bad over the long term.

Rhubarb leaves contain poisonous oxalic acid and maybe other toxic compounds, but you would have to eat about 10 pounds of them to reach the LD50. They might kill a child or someone in poor health. The stems have much lower concentrations of oxalic acid.

Lutefisk–can it be fatal if the lye makes it too caustic?

Castor oil.

(Not that one might classify it as a food, but close.)

Anything made from coconut. Falling coconuts can kill you.

Kidney beans. Raw are toxic. Cooked from raw in a slow cooker can be even more toxic. They should be boiled for 30 minutes to deactivate the toxin.

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Do spices count as well?

High doses of nutmeg can be toxic.

Corn. It causes Pellagra. Also acorn is toxic if you don’t treat it properly before consumption.

Quite often, indirectly. Almond extract, often used as a flavoring (for instance, in some cookies) is made from bitter almonds.

Lots of other fruits also contain cyanogens, but usually not in the portion that’s eaten. Apple seeds, for instance.

Corn doesn’t really cause Pellagra (which is a lack of niacin), so much as eating ONLY corn will give you Pellagra because you aren’t eating enough of other things. Saying corn causes pellagra is like saying water causes starvation; because if all you consume is water, you will starve.

Multiple polar explorations failed because they didn’t know that the polar bear liver was poisonous, let alone why. IIRC, a serving size (as in 3 ounces) contains enough vitamin A to satisfy a person’s requirements for a YEAR. The Inuit have always discarded the liver in such a way that their dogs couldn’t get at it either, most likely by dumping it in the ocean.

Well,there’s sodium and chloride…

Potatoes exposed to light can develop dangerous levels of solanine and chaconine. Deaths are rare but not unknown.

Thanks for the info. Do you think baking the cookies destroys the poison?

May Apple – “All the parts of the plant are poisonous, including the green fruit, but once the fruit has turned yellow, it can be safely eaten with the seeds removed.[10]” ( )

I recall reading about this in my Boy Scout handbook or a Golden Guide or something, and recalled that you could eat it at certain times of they year. Nobody could remember what time of year that was, so we didn’t go near it, and our camp was full of the things (the book didn’t mention that Helpful Fact about the color change. It turns out that it was poisonous during the month we were at camp, so it’s just as well.)