Would you eat something if you knew it could kill you?
We all know there are plants and foods that can cause a lot of adverse and painful reactions. Mushrooms immediately come to my mind. But there are more – many more.
Let’s take Green Tea. It’s benefits have been linked with cancer prevention but drunk in excess some studies have shown liver and kidney damage. But this Green Tea and Sake Cocktail looks so inviting?
Or how about some bitter almonds like those in this macaroon? 4-9mg of Hydrogen Cyanide in each one. And if that doesn’t convince you, perhaps a medley of Aflatoxin, Theobromide and Myristicin – all found in Peanuts, Cacao and Nutmeg.
I consumed all of these at a recent London pop up called Cafe de Mort organised by Remember A Charity. The event was held to raise awareness of how much of a difference a charitable gift could make, once we’ve looked after our family an friends. As a nation, 75% of us already give to charity but only 7% include a charity in a Will. Two out of three guide dogs and six out of ten life boat launches are paid for by gifts in Wills, as is over a third of Cancer Research UK’s life-saving work. I think that’s as amazing as the food we ate.
A little Will on a little card
So, at this time of year, while you’re thinking about your ISA contribution, tax deadlines and council cutbacks, why not write out a little postcard. I did it on the night of the dinner after the third course – just in case!
“I, ………….., being of sound mind and memory, do hereby direct that all my estate, which I may own at the time of my death, I bequeath to ……………………… with the exception of …..% of my estate, which I give to my favourite charity/ties, namely…………………
In witness whereof, I have subscribed my name to this, my Last Will and Testament, this ………..day or …………(month) 2013.
Still not convinced?
If you’re still not convinced here’s a list of everyday botanicals that could be lethal:
1. Apple – The seeds are mildly poisonous. they contain a small amount of cyanogenic glycoside and it is possible to ingest enough seeds to lead to fatalities.
2. Apricots and other members of the prune family also have potentially lethal levels of hydrogen cyanide depending on the amount consumed.
3. Kidney beans – Eating as little as five could lead to excessive vomiting and diarrhoea.
4. Nutmeg – contains Myristicin which is a hallucinogenic.
5. Rhubarb – the stalks are of course edible but eating the leaves could leave you in convulsions or a coma because of the corrosive acids.