8 Poisonous Foods We Commonly Eat

5. Kidney Beans

Thinking about making chili tonight? Make sure those kidney beans are well cooked before serving. While a common ingredient in many recipes, these red legumes share something dubious with their cousin, the lima bean.


Kidney beans contain a toxin called phytohaemagglutinin, also known as kidney bean lectin. Kidney bean lectin can cause nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, and in extreme cases, fatalities.

Like many other foods containing poisonous compounds, the toxin is neutralized when the beans have been cooked. The US Food and Drug Administration recommends boiling for 30 minutes to ensure they reach a sufficient temperature long enough to completely destroy the toxin.

Trying to decide if you should use canned or dried beans? Canned beans are usually pre-treated and safe. Dried beans should be used as stated on the instructions with overnight soaking and long, slow cooking over moderate heat.


8 Poisonous Foods We Commonly Eat

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