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Dried Beans (the worst is dried kidney beans) contain a poison called phytohaemagglutinin according to the FDA--CHECK OUT THEIR "BAD BUG AND NATURAL TOXINS" The information on dried beans is at http://vm.cfsan.fda.gov/~mow/chap43.html In one to three hours after you eat undercooked beans you could experience extreme nausea, severe vomiting and then diarrhea. Recovery is usually rapid and spontaneous (within 3-4 hours after onset of symptoms.) It seems the beans MUST BE HEATED TO A HIGH TEMPERATURE TO BREAK DOWN THE TOXIN and SLOW COOKERS MAY NOT GET HOT ENOUGH TO DESTROY IT, ACCORDING TO THE FDA BEANS INSUFFICIENTLY HEATED ARE 5 TIMES MORE TOXIC THAN RAW BEANS

-- Ann Fisher (zyax55b@prodigy.com), November 21, 1998


Ann, are you the same Ann (L.) Fisher that wrote to Howard Belasco?

-- Gayla Dunbar (privacy@please.com), November 21, 1998.

Damn, one more thing to worry about. Also, don't eat potatoes if they have begun to sprout, fava beans are extremely toxic, peanuts cause migraine headaches. Please add to this list, we need to warn people and eliminate anything that can kills us or immobolize us.

-- Merrill (SterileMerril@purity.com), November 22, 1998.

Can I still squish bugs?

By the way, 100% of those who have breathed air or drank water between the years 100 AD and 1800 AD have subsequently died.

Frightening isn't it?

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (cook.r@csaatl.com), November 22, 1998.

Fava beans are only toxic to those people who are allergic to them. Not to everyone. They are a regular part of the diet in many European countries. Canned and/or dried fava beans are sold in most grocery stores.

Potato skins turn greenish when exposed to light, faster in sunlight. Be careful. A toxin is associated with this greening. Potatoes are in the nightshade family. Ref: Greening of Potatoes

The concern with greened potatoes should not be the color but the fact that solanine, a potentially toxic alkaloid, develops in the same area along with the chlorophyll. Greened potatoes, therefore, are often higher in solanine than those not greened. The bitter taste associated with greened potatoes is caused by the solanine, not the chlorophyll. The amount of greening is not a direct measure of its solanine content, since the synthesis of chlorophyll and solanine are separate processes.

Consumers should be aware that some greening of potatoes is not unusual and may be more prevalent in some varieties than others. Excessive greening should be used as a symptom that solanine may also be present. A bitter taste will verify its presence.

The concentration of solanine is greatest in or directly beneath the peel. Peeling is effective in removing most of the affected tissue. Cooking in steam or water reduces solanine to 60%-70% of the value in raw material.

-- Tom Carey (tomcarey@mindspring.com), November 22, 1998.

What is FAVA Beans and where do you buy them? An old Dr. friend of mine showed me a book, said they were good for Parkinson's Disease. He has looked everywhere for them.

Thanks, Bridget

-- Bridget (sworks@internetpro.net), November 22, 1998.

Bridget, hope it wasn't the good Dr. from Silence Of The Lambs:-)

"I'm having a friend over for dinner, with fava beans and a nice bottle of chianti...)

or something like that:-)

-- Andy (andy_rowland@msn.com), November 22, 1998.

Standard food preparation - boil all dried beans HARD for at least ten minutes. If you do that, no problem.

THe danger is to someone who soaks them, then thinks "soft anyway -- why cook?". If he survives the self-inflicted food poisoning, he knows!

(Academically, I do wonder about whether dried beans are safe for folks living at high altitudes: this reduces the boiling point of water. Practically, a pressure cooker will both avoid the problem and reduce the amount of fuel needed for cooking).

-- Nigel Arnot (nra@maxwell.ph.kcl.ac.uk), November 24, 1998.

Fava beans are a bean which grows in early spring and fall, and in mild winter areas, in the wintertime. (No watering!) It is a big big bean, which means you don't have to shell a lot of them to fill a pot. Seeds are available from Johnny's, and many other places. Only certain people of Mediterranean descent are allergic to them. Their protein profile is almost like Soybeans. Thanks for the hint on dried beans...hadn't heard that before. Mary G.

-- Mary L. Gonzales (blufrogg@garlic.com), November 24, 1998.

Folks, the warning was primarily directed to those who use dried KIDNEY BEANS, you know the kind everybody makes CHILI with? Apparantly, the softness of the cooked bean is irrelevant if high enough temperature (boiling for at least 10 minutes) was not used to cook it, it remains poisonous in spite of being soft. Not enough to kill you, just enough to make you wish you were dead for about 4-5 hours.

-- Ann Fisher (zyax55b@prodigy.com), November 25, 1998.

Thats why I always buy tinned kidney beans already heat treated (I hope!).

-- Richard Dale (rdale@figroup.co.uk), November 25, 1998.

In an above post it states "Don't eat potatoes if they have begun to sprout."

This is not true. We grow our own potatoes and keep them all winter in the cellar. Sure they start to sprout before Spring, but we just pick the sprouts off. Sprouted potatoes wouldn't be the greatest for baked potatoes, but they make great mashed potatoes. We haven't gotten sick and died yet.

-- Louise (~~~~~@~~~~.~~~), November 25, 1998.

AFAIK sprouted potatoes are no danger provided you don't eat the green bits. More nasty are ones that have gone black. Throw these away -- the whole potato, not just the blackened bit.

What's happened is that the potato is being attacked by bacteria, and is fighting back by producing a potent antibacterial agent. Unfortunately, the same agent is also a powerful carcinogen and teratogen in humans. Of course, the risk from any one blackened potato is small, but best avoided all the same.

-- Nigel Arnot (nra@maxwell.ph.kcl.ac.uk), November 25, 1998.

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