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Hit-Or-Miss

12 Unexpected Foods You Can Eat Raw And How To Do So Without Dying

While many health-conscious folks are into their raw and juice diets, others choose to incorporate uncooked foods without thinking twice. We’re down either way. Although chowing on any food that’s normally cooked will always pose some risk. Here are a few common (and some unusual) eats you’ll want to think twice about.

Chicken

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In Japan, chicken sashimi isn’t a big deal. So, why do Americans freak out over uncooked poultry? The issue has to do with how large quantities are farmed and butchered under less than ideal conditions. Because of this, reports of salmonella poisoning are higher domestically. Restaurants that source chickens from farms with organic, free-range and exceptionally sanitary practices when processing are a safer bet.

Nutmeg

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This PSL spice base shows no signs of danger, so long as it’s eaten in moderation. Taking in extreme quantities may end in myristicin poisoning, which can result in memory loss and visual distortions.

Fesikh

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This fermented, Egyptian fish is fine to dine on. Of course, that’s assuming you dry it in the sun or ferment in salt for a whole year. Bad things (Botulism, anyone?) will come to those who don’t wait.

Ackee 

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It looks harmless enough, right? Wrong! Ensure it’s ripe before consuming. And avoid the black seeds at all costs, unless you desire something called Jamaican vomiting sickness. Ew.

Steak

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Many people still believe having steak that isn’t cooked to “no pink” status is dangerous. It’s one hell of a misconception. Tasty examples of raw cow include beef carpaccio and steak tartare. Like most things you pay good money for, leave it to a well-seasoned chef to prepare this. They’ll serve those dishes using higher quality meat.

See: We Ate The 12 Most Bizarre Things You Could Find In LA, Silkworms And Crickets Included

Potato 

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Raw potatoes are about as exciting as gnawing on celery. But if you’re as desperate as Matt Damon in The Martian, go right ahead. Be sure to avoid any green ones, though. Glycoalkaloids found in these can cause diarrhea or put you in a coma.

Fugu (aka Puffer) Fish 

Aloha Fukuoka! Yanagibashi Market

If you’ve got an expert fish monger, you’re good to go. Just have them discard the liver and internal organs before they make you ill. Cyanide has nothing on fugu poison: it’s 1,200 times more deadly.

Rhubarb 

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Normally pickled or baked into pies, this leafy plant contains a poison known as oxalic acid. This only becomes a concern, however, when had in large amounts. I don’t know anybody who goes crazy eating this vegetable, so don’t be the first.

Sushi

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A general guideline sushi purists have (besides never, ever ordering rolls) has to do with cleanliness. If they think for a second that an establishment is less than spotless, they won’t dine there. Same goes for the seafood. Busy sushi bars go through fish quicker, meaning fresher seafood in rotation. On a medical note, the Food and Drug Administration dictates that sushi grade fish be kept at freezing temperatures to ward off parasites.

Starfruit  

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As pretty as it sounds, you should probably only try starfruit if you have strong kidneys. Impaired kidneys can’t filter out neurotoxins, making starfruit and its oxalic acid bad news for weak systems. Side effects include vomiting, convulsions, and mental confusion.

Elderberries 

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This Harry Potter-esque item should be consumed fully ripened, minus the leaves, twigs, seeds and roots. Ingesting them too soon could mean cyanide poisoning.

Sannakji 

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I’d advise you to cover this raw Korean dish with extra sesame oil and chew like crazy. Remember: they’re served alive. If they fight back and attach themselves to your insides, you’ll choke! But man, would that make for a great story.

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Features

10 Things You Eat All the Time That Could Poison You

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Some foods can totally transform you from a cold-addled snot monster to the picture of health. But there’s a surprising number of everyday foods that, if you’re not careful, could straight-up wreck your day. Or slightly worse, end your life! Don’t worry, getting poisoned by them is gonna take some effort. And most of them are veggies anyway, and we all know you don’t eat those.

Just to be on the safe side, however, tread lightly around these 10 foods:

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Cherries

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That cherry orchard your family used to go to during cherry season? Death trap! Well, not really, unless somebody manages to chew through a bunch of cherry pits and swallow them. And if anyone could do it, it’s your idiot cousin Stu. Like the worst cherry cordial ever, those pits are loaded with hydrogen cyanide. Yep, that cyanide. Luckily, the pits are so thick and hard you can swallow one and it’ll come out intact, which is its own punishment.

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Wild Almonds

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Scientists recently discovered that people who snack on almonds throughout the day eat less at mealtime. Probably because THEY’RE DEAD. Not really. We eat sweet almonds, not wild almonds, which are bitter. They’re also loaded with cyanide and could totally drop you. Luckily, you’re not gonna see them around. But if you find yourself in the wild and see some green almonds, maybe don’t eat them.

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Castor Beans

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That castor oil crap Granny gave you to make you puke back in the day is derived from the castor bean. Which, it turns out, is also an excellent source of ricin when it’s raw. Your Grandma is also a psychopath and, quite possibly, the mastermind behind an international meth operation.

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Apples

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It’s unlikely that you’re gonna do much damage to yourself if you eat the seeds out of an apple or two, but keep it up and you’re in trouble. Your body’s enzymes tend to morph compounds in the seeds into — yup — cyanide. That could explain why the old Johnny Appleseed story just kind of trails off. Kids would probably freak if they knew he was dead somewhere with a tree growing out of his greedy stomach.

While we’re on the topic, check out “How to Eat Apples Like a Boss.” Just remember to spit out the seeds.

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Tomatoes

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Until the 1800s, most people in the U.S. thought tomatoes were outright poisonous. They also thought powdered wigs looked good, but they were kind of right about the ‘maters. Tomatoes are part of the nightshade family, and that whole “poisoning people” thing apparently runs in the family, since their leaves are laced with toxic tomatine.

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Elderberries

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Popular in wine and as a medicinal tea, elderberries can be found and picked all over the place. Just don’t eat the green parts. They contain cyanogenic glycoside sambunigrin, which, in non-science-speak, roughly translates to “thing that will have you exploding from both ends until it’s all out of your system”

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Kidney Beans

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Wanna make some chili that’ll leave your guests resembling Left Eye (too soon?!?)? Well, T-Boz, the best way is to undercook your kidney beans, which’ll season your sauce with a toxin called phytohaemagglutinin. Vigorously boiling them will neutralize it, but just to be safe, get the canned ones.

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Lima Beans

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Not that you actually wanted to eat these nasty little bastards in the first place, but if you want to get your mom off your back, tell her you’re terrified of cyanide poisoning and point out that the uncooked legumes are loaded with it. Then request a side of Cheetos instead. For health.

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Potatoes

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You shouldn’t eat green potatoes. Mainly because they’re gross. But they’ll also seriously mess you up because they’re packed with solanine, which will make you puke and, if you for some reason just keep eating, will cause cardiac arrest. Which is also gross.

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Rhubarb

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Rhubarb’s stalks are the perfect way to add a little tartness to a strawberry pie. Its leaves, on the other hand, are the perfect way to add a little “Oh my God I can’t stop puking and when I puke it burns!” to your life. That’s because they contain oxalic acid, which is in bleach, which you also shouldn’t consume. Unless you want to go into shock and die.

Kudos Thrillist