Is any meat toxic to humans?

Other than that Japanese fish, of course.

For reasons I cannot now reconstruct, I was thinking about being lost in the wild and what you’d eat. Some plants are fine, others are toxic to humans. What about meat? Is there any meat that you’d be in trouble eating without additional information/identification?

I remember reading that some Arctic expedition got in serious trouble after eating polar bear liver, as it contains toxic doses of vitamin A.

From Wikipedia:

Oh, and if you are in the Arctic, don’t eat your sled dog’s liver, either.

It depends on your definition of ‘meat’ - there are plenty of poisonous insects - OK, they’re animals, but probably not what you had in mind. There are numerous poisonous fish and amphibians. There are crustaceans and molluscs that would be dangerous to eat, either because of inherent toxicity, or because they concentrate environmental poisons, or play host to toxic bacteria.

But if the list is restricted to mammals, I don’t think there are any that would actually be toxic if you just ate the muscle meat. Offal could be quite another matter - Polar Bear liver, for example, contains dangerously high levels of Vitamin A.

Hm, yeah, totally hadn’t examined my premise, which was pretty mammal-centric.

Amphibians, okay – what about reptiles?

And birds?

(Thanks for the heads up on polar bear livers, btw.)

I think it’s true that some skinks have blue or green blood and it’s that colour because it contains a high concentration of something or other that makes them either toxic or just highly unpalatable, but there’s not much meat on a skink anyway, so again, this might not be what you had in mind.

Not sure about birds - nothing springs to mind.

Lots of venomous snakes, of course, though I think you’re OK as long as you stick to the meat and don’t eat the head or stomach contents.

Venom isn’t necessarily the same as poison though - although I wouldn’t want to put this to the test - there may be such things as deadly venoms that can be safely eaten.
(That sounds like a contradiction, but the term venom describes an injected poison - ingesting it may not necessarily have the same effect)

Here’s an interesting article on snake venom:

"…King Boris of Bulgaria who was allied to Hitler during World War II, was killed by his queen with snake venom, because she wanted Bulgaria out of Axis alignment… "

I think I’d pass on the Golden Poison Frogs.

Yeah, I was leaving aside venomous snakes, on the assumption that I’d be eating body meat and stay away from the head, which is where the venom pits are. Good reminder about the stomach, though I’d probably stay away from snake organs in general.

According to this air cavalry survival manual:

There are also fish and marine animals that although not of poisonous flesh are particularly dangerous to catch because of toxins or defensive features. (Scorpion fish, sharks, stone fish (remember the blue lagoon?), blue ringed octopus).

There is also ciguetera poisoning, which is poisonind from ciguatoxin that builds up in the flesh of fish in the tropics, it concentrates through biomagnificication from it’s source of micro-algae at the bottom up to the to the top of the food chain in predatorial fish.

Didn’t Anthony Bourdain eat a still beating cobra heart during one of his travel programmes (I’m sure he mentions doing it, or being constantly asked about it by fans, in his book “The Nasty Bits”)?

Also, I have no idea why that survival manual list Hawksbill turtles as a poisonous flesh to eat. While wikipedia lists the Hawksbill turtle as a delicacy in many parts of the world?

Previous thread on subject

I’ve always wondered why the ratio of toxic plants to toxic animals has to be about 1,000 to 1, yet some people claim humans are natural vegetarians.

Oh, didn’t read the article entirely…

But then again, everyone knows you shouldn’t eat Vermicious Cnids, nor anything that feeds upon them…that’s common sense.


Should have known there was already a thread. Thanks.

As a matter of fact, the remedy for snakebite, assuming you are in the wild and cannot readily find medical assistance, is to slit open the wound (I remember diagrams showing X-shaped slits and suck it out since snake venom was not dangerous to swallow. I guess you were better advised to spit it out and this obviously supposes you have no open wounds in the mouth.

I remember catching some kind of puffer fish (maybe related to fugu) off the Jersey coast and they showed me how to filet it just taking the main side muscles, leaving aside the poison gland.

I would not want to eat the animals living in the shadow of Chernobyl, but that is obviously a special case.

The Giant Squid flesh is full of ammonia, so is poisonous.

Der Trihs cites the [Pitohui]( Pitohui.html) in post #20 of the above thread. There seems to be another viz. the Ifrita (Ifrita kowaldi). Both birds are briefly discussed here.

Wiki mentions the rufous shrike-thrush as toxic but confirmation of that opinion escapes me.

I never eat anything that sounds like you should spit it out… Ptooey!