One key thing about Ghanaians is that, you dare not talk ill about our foods, because we cherish it.
Ghanaians don’t joke with their staple foods and everywhere you go in the country, every tribe and their stable foods. But do you know, some of these are actually poisonous?.
Here are foods widely consumed by Ghanaians but are naturally poisonous in some forms.
We know one of the most important foods among the Akans is the cassava. But do you know, there is enough poison in cassava to kill a full grown horse?
Every cassava you see is laced with cyanide and the cyanide is what gives it the slippery texture right after peeling the cover. This is why we scrap cassava before boiling it.
There are many types of cassava and some are more poisonous than others but they all have cyanide in them which can kill you.
2. Petre Salt (Kanwu)
In the preparation of most of our foods, salt petre, popularly known as “kanwu” in Ghana is used as a catalyst but do you know that salt petre is actually Potassium Nitrate? Chemists will tell you how dangerous Potassium Nitrate is.
It’s what is used in gun powder in making bullets, also used in fertilizers, rocket propellants and fireworks(what we all know as “knock outs”). Ever wondered why putting too much of it in your food could give you a serious stomach upset?
Popularly known in Ghana as “Mmere”.
There are many different types of mushrooms in Ghana and not all are edible but even the popular ones we consume may actually contain(depending on species) 20 kinds of poisonous toxins that can kill you instantly.
There have been many instances where people have died from it without anybody knowing the cause until later during autopsy. That’s why it’s important to cook it very well before consuming. It is very dangerous to chew on mushrooms in its raw state, you could die instantly.
In Ghana, nutmeg is common in most homes. It is viewed as the best spice for food because it makes food smell good. What most probably do not know is that, it is also poisonous.
Do you know nutmegs actually contains the compound known asMyristicin? This compound is known to cause a lot of hallucinations when consumed in large quantities and could actually kill you.
The Myristicin compound can also be found in “weed” and it is what makes people get high when they smoke the herb. For your information, even consuming a table spoon of nutmeg in it’s raw state can cause serious vomiting that can lead to death.
We know you love potatoes but do you know if not stored properly and exposed to sun light, potatoes can develop high-concentration of the toxin Solanne?
Solanne is known to cause paralysis to the central nervous system that can lead to a respiratory failure.
6. Tuna (Poku)
We know how the average Ghanaian loves tuna and it can be found in most cuisines around the country, but how many of you actually know it sometimes contains harmful compounds such as mercury?
Tuna is a kind of fish that can’t digest poison and so any harmful compound that finds its way into the river and consumed by the fish can last in its system even when roasted. When eaten, poisons such mercury can actually cause paralysis in unborn babies (mothers can transfer it to them when they are still in the womb).
Well we know your doctor always tells you to eat more carrots for a good eye sight, but did he ever tell you they also contain Cyanide?
Carrots actually contain Cyanide(in low proportions) and as already explained, cyanide can actually kill you in high dosages.
8. Raw Honey
Try eating honey in its raw state and see what happens. You will be left dizzy and nauseous for over 24 hours.
This is because, bees leave behind spores and pollen after the honey production, so eating honey in it’s raw state is not good. What you need to know is that, bees produce honey from all kinds of flowers including poisonous ones and so when you take in honey without proper extraction, you’re likely to end up in a bad situation. It is known to cause hallucinations.
We know you’ve heard numerous times that an apple a day will keep the doctor away, but do you also know an apple can actually knock you out?
The acidic content of an apple is so high if you should mistakenly chew its seed, you could end up in the hospital. That’s the main reason why we try to avoid eating the seeds.
10. Cashew Nuts
We know how most of you love cashew nuts but we want you to know that, never ever try tasting it in it’s raw state.
Cashew nuts are so acidic it can actually corrode your skin when you drop some of it’s liquid your skin. The acidic content is so high it can cause fatal injuries when a small amount is dropped in your food.
But don’t worry that much, the roasted ones sold on the market are not harmful.