By: Keeba Smith
One proven fact about the human race is no two people are alike. We are all different and because of that, we eat different types of food. When it comes to eating, food safety should always be the number one priority. Foodborne illness, also known as food poisoning, can be dangerous and possibly deadly. While raw foods may have significant nutritional power, some foods should NEVER be eaten raw. Our list may surprise you, and sushi is not even on it!
Raw chicken is often contaminated with bacteria such as Salmonella, Campylobacter, and Clostridium perfringens. More bacteria can also be picked up between the processing plant and the supermarket. Consuming raw or undercooked chicken can cause food poisoning. Raw chicken should not be washed before cooking because the splashing water could possibly infect the entire kitchen. Chicken should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. The harmful bacteria will be killed during cooking.
Raw beans contain a protein called lectins. While some lectins can be beneficial, they can be toxic in high doses. Red kidney Beans contain the highest concentration dosage of lectins. Lectins break down with cooking which is why Kidney Beans should not be eaten raw.
A small handful of raw kidney beans is enough to cause gastrointestinal problems such as nausea and vomiting. The symptoms will intensify if more raw beans are eaten. Red kidney bean poisoning can result in possible hospitalization.
Everyone remembers that time Rocky ate raw eggs while training. Sure, they were loaded with proteins, but eating raw eggs was not a smart thing to do. Raw eggs have the possibility of containing Salmonella, which infects about one out of every 30,000 eggs.
Eggs are one of the world’s healthiest foods. They contain many important nutrients that provide various health benefits. Cooked eggs have the same benefits as raw eggs without the risk of Salmonella infection. While eggs can be cooked in a variety of ways, it is important to note that almost all of the nutrients are concentrated in the yolk. The white part of the eggs mostly consists of protein.
While pork does not have to be cooked well done, it should not be eaten raw. Even though the risk of contracting trichinosis from raw pork has diminished over the years, it does still exist. Pigs are raised differently than they used to be decades ago but there is still the risk of contracting two nasty parasites from eating pork: trichinosis or pork tapeworm.
The CDC reports about 20 cases of trichinosis each year. Very severe cases can lead to hospitalization and possibly death. The pork industry has made systemic safety changes and awareness of proper cooking has increased. Pork should be cooked until there is no pink flesh inside at all. Meat should reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
PITS/SEEDS OF APPLES, MANGOS, PEACHES, PEARS, AND APRICOTS
Some people believe that you can get additional nutrients inside the seeds of these fruits. NO! These seeds should not be eaten at all even if they are cooked. If the seeds and pits are cracked open, the insides are soft and may appear to be edible. Please do not eat them. The insides contain a chemical called amygdalin that can turn into cyanide. Cyanide is a very dangerous and deadly poison. Eating these seeds and pits is a definite NO NO!
Potatoes can be eaten several different ways but they should never be eaten raw. No one likes getting a chunk of raw potato inside a casserole. The starch from raw and uncooked potatoes can cause digestive problems, gas, and bloating. To get the most benefit and least risk from potatoes, try baking, steaming, sautéing, or otherwise cooking them. Stay away from green potatoes. They contain a high concentration of a poisonous toxin, solanine, which can cause headaches and nausea, even in small doses.
Raw Honey is a natural sweetener that is easy to find at supermarkets. Raw honey is unpasteurized and should never be given to young children. Raw honey contains grayanotoxin, a naturally occurring neurotoxin found in rhododendron nectar. While usually not lethal to humans, symptoms of grayanotoxin poisoning can include dizziness, hypotension, and vagal block.
Illnesses from drinking raw milk are on the rise. Drinking raw milk has become a new trend followed by people who believe it will prevent certain diseases and illnesses. Raw milk is unpasteurized milk. During pasteurization, milk is headed to at least 161°F for no less than 15 seconds before rapid cooling. The process kills disease-causing bacteria like Salmonella, E. coli, and Listeria. Children are most likely to get sick from raw milk. Fact: Pasteurizing milk does not reduce milk’s nutritional value.
Raw yucca may contain cyanide. The starchy root of this plant can be mashed, fried, or boiled like potatoes. They have a variety of health benefits and pack plenty of macronutrients. While most of the poison is contain in the leaves, some of the cyanide does make its way into the root and edible parts. They must be dried, soaked in water, rinsed, and cooked as soon as possible following harvest.
EATING RAW FOODS
The options are almost limitless when it comes to the types of foods you can eat raw. While raw diets are a part of the latest health trend, it is important to be cautious about the foods you consume raw. Always be safe and when in doubt, cook it.