Another Top 10 Foods That Can Kill You



Another Top 10 Foods That Can Kill You

VOICE OVER: Phoebe de Jeu WRITTEN BY: Michael Wynands
We're not talking about choking hazards. For this list, we're looking at even more foods that could prove fatal if incorrectly prepared, consumed in excess, or simply… eaten. From stone fruit seeds, to cinnamon, to unpasteurized honey, to rhubarb, be careful what you eat! WatchMojo counts down Another Top 10 Foods That Can Kill You.

Special thanks to our user trtwatchmojo for suggesting this idea! Check out the voting page at WatchMojo.comsuggest/Another+Top+10+Foods+That+Can+Literally+Kill+You.
Script written by Michael Wynands

Another Top 10 Foods That Can Kill You

We’re not talking about choking hazards. Welcome to, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for Another Top 10 Foods That Can Kill You.

For this list, we’re looking at even more foods that could prove fatal if incorrectly prepared, consumed in excess, or simply… eaten. It's also worth noting that we’re excluding common allergens and are instead looking at foods with a more universal power to be deadly. If you feel that something was missing, be sure to check our original list for more!

#10: Stone Fruit Seeds

If you've ever read a mystery novel, watched a detective procedural or learned about the fall of the Third Reich then you've surely heard of cyanide. But, the danger is closer than it seems. In addition to being unpleasantly hard to eat, the pits and seeds of cherries, peaches, plums, apricots and apples all contain amygdalin, a compound that, when it enters the body, produces cyanide. To be fair, a few apple seeds aren’t going to send a person to the ER, but a few cherry stones could – and have. So maybe it's best to spit the pits, no matter how unglamorous it seems.

#9: Cinnamon

This savory spice can make a dish, but too much of it can make for an unfortunate death. Cinnamon itself isn’t inherently dangerous for any chemical reasons. No conventional amount of cinnamon in your baking or hot cocoa is fatal. The cinnamon challenge however, carries significant health risks. Once that spoonful of cinnamon coats the mouth, it eliminates all moisture, making it impossible to swallow. That might be funny on camera, but the body’s reaction is to inhale, which can result not only in choking, but also serious damage to the lungs too. So maybe let’s just save it for the apple pie recipe, okay?

#8: Unpasteurized Honey

Historically used by numerous cultures both as a sweetening agent and for medicinal purposes, honey was actually considered to be the Food of the Gods in Ancient Greece. Though history might be on its side, the old-school approach to honey - leaving it unpasteurized - can be deadly. Raw honey can result in botulism in infants. In adults and children alike, in certain regions of the world, the sweet stuff comes with the risk of “mad honey disease” - due to the fact that the bees are sourcing nectar from certain toxic plants. If the concentration of grayanotoxins is high enough, intoxication or even death can occur.

#7: Rhubarb

In a pie, mixed with strawberries, there’s nothing better than some chopped up pieces of rhubarb stalk. But if throwing out the leaves seems wasteful to you, this is one of the rare cases where a salad is the wrong choice. Unfortunately, the leaves of the rhubarb plant contain oxalic acid - a substance that is poisonous to humans. Admittedly, the stalks contain it as well - but the concentrations are significantly lower. One would likely have to start a rhubarb leaf diet for the poisoning to reach toxic levels, but smaller servings can still lead to serious health risks and illness.

#6: Kidney Beans

Looking for a crunchy snack? Look elsewhere. Raw food diets are trendy, but when it comes to these legumes, cooking is a must! Though a great source of protein and fiber, kidney beans also pack a whole lot of phytohemagglutinin, a substance that is toxic to humans. To be fair, this compound can be found in many types of beans, but few boast such high concentrations as the kidney bean. In order to be consumed safely, kidney beans should first be soaked, and then boiled for at least 10 minutes time. Though sources disagree, it’s also recommended that you not cook them in a slow cooker.

#5: Nutmeg

Another spice, another cause for concern. Unlike with cinnamon however, the danger of nutmeg is inherent to the substance, not as a result of online challenges. In low doses, nutmeg poses no risk. But historically, it has been consumed raw in large quantities for its psychoactive properties. The effects can last for days on end and have mostly been described as extremely unpleasant. As with any toxic substance, if too much is consumed, the results can be fatal. But for however risky nutmeg is for we humans, it's even worse for our canine companions.

#4: Lima Beans

Beans may be the musical fruit, but if you eat these bad boys raw, that may be the least of your worries. When consumed uncooked, certain chemicals in lima beans breakdown to become the toxic chemical known as hydrogen cyanide. Much like with kidney beans, it’s crucial that you boil them for at least 10 minutes time before ingesting these legumes. Within the United States, only lima beans with low level toxicity can be grown, but regardless… better to play it safe than invite the grim reaper over for supper.

#3: Raw Cashews

You can buy raw peanuts at a health food store, but not raw cashews or, at least, not real raw cashews - and that’s a good thing. The shell that protects cashews contains anacardic acid, which is similar to urushiol - the substance in poison ivy that elicits such a strong reaction. Even when shelled and washed, this severe irritant remains on the nut. The only way to actually ensure safe consumption is by roasting the nut, or, for those who prefer a “raw” feeling, boiling or steaming it. But if enough actual raw cashews are consumed, the results can be fatal.

#2: Unpasteurized Milk

In a world where seemingly everything is mass produced by conglomerates and mega corporations, it can be very easy to distrust a lot of what winds up in the refrigerator or pantry. The general mentality seems to be “the less processed… the better,” and for the most part, that motto holds true. But when it comes to pasteurizing milk - things get a little more complicated. In some studies, drinking unpasteurized milk has been associated with a decrease in allergies and delivers arguably higher nutritional value. But… it also comes with the risk of E. Coli, salmonella and listeria - any of which could prove fatal.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions

Giant Bullfrog



#1: Sausage

They might be delicious on the barbecue, in a pasta sauce or on pizza, but sausages come with significant risk, at least in certain areas of the world. In 2013, a study from France found that 1 in 4 processed sausages were infected with hepatitis E. In 2017, a similar situation made headlines in the United Kingdom when HEV was found in sausages. In developed nations, hepatitis E is rarely fatal - but it poses deadly risks to pregnant women and those with already compromised immune systems. Time to start buying the good, unprocessed meat.