Watch What You Eat!

Food safety is one of the most important issues of our time.

Stephen Ostroff, the FDA Deputy Commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine, retired in January, according to Politico. After a reorganization, the FDA brought in the Blockchain food-safety king Frank Yiannas as Deputy Commissioner for Food Policy and Response. Anyone who's been following Yiannas knows he's the voice for Blockchain food-safety.

​His landmark use of IBM's technology is by far one of the best advancements and uses of Blockchain I've seen yet.

​It is great to see that he will be continuing his mission to protect our food supply at the FDA.

​In the spirit of Yiannis' new role in protecting our food supply, here is a showcase of some of the deadliest foods.

According to Food Digest here are the "Top 15":

Meat Products

This seems like a broad category, we know. But 29 percent of all deaths from foodborne illnesses originate in meat and poultry, according to outbreak data collected by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Raw Dairy Products

“I personally do not drink raw milk. Pasteurizing milk reduces or removes potential hazards,” says Amanda Kinchla, associate professor at the University of Massachusetts Department of Food Science.

Raw Sprouts

Paul Dawson, a food science professor at Clemson University’s College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences, says he doesn’t eat raw sprouts if he doesn’t know where they’ve come from.

Peanuts

For those who are allergic to peanuts, exposure to even a tiny amount can cause symptoms that range from a runny nose to full-on anaphylaxis, when the throat swells, making it difficult or impossible to breathe.

Tree Nuts

The American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology estimates that between a quarter and 40 percent of people who are allergic to peanuts are also allergic to at least one tree nut, a category that includes almonds, cashews, walnuts, and pine nuts. Along with peanuts and shellfish, it’s one of the primary causes of anaphylaxis.

Shell Fish

Shrimp, crab, lobster, clams, mussels, oysters, and scallops are a double-threat to some people: Shellfish are one of the food allergens that most commonly lead to deadly anaphylaxis, and raw shellfish are also one of the most common causes of foodborne illnesses.

Starfruit

For most of us, this sweet and pretty yellow fruit is safe to eat—but that’s only because our kidneys filter out a neurotoxin called caramboxin, according to Phys.org.

Cherry pits

“There are chemicals inside of cherry pits that can liberate cyanide,” says Carl K. Winter, an extension food toxicologist at the University of California, Davis.

Apple & Pear Seeds

Cherries aren’t the only fruit with poisonous seeds. “Many seeds and pits contain compounds that, when eaten, are digested into cyanide,” Dawson says.

Cassava

This starchy root is another potential poisoner: “It’s similar to cherry pits in that it has cyanogenic glycosides, chemicals that can liberate cyanide,” Winter says.

Ackee

The national fruit of Jamaica also requires extreme care—although it’s beloved in dishes like ackee and saltfish, it’s also known to cause Jamaican vomiting sickness, according to Medscape.

Raw Elderberries

They make delicious jams, compotes, syrups, and pies, according to the BBC, but only after they’re cooked. Raw berries (and the plant’s bark and leaves) contain a compound that can cause nausea

Wild Mushrooms

“If you’re an experienced mycologist, it’s a great hobby for you,” Winter says. “You know what you’re doing, you know what to avoid.” If, on the other hand, you’re not completely sure what kind of mushroom you’re looking at, don’t pick it. The death cap mushroom’s toxins totally resist cooking and will cause severe illness within hours, leading to coma and eventually death in half of the people who eat it, according to Britannica.com.

Green Potatoes

When they’ve been sitting around for a while, exposed to light and warm temperatures, potatoes can start to produce a chemical called solanine that, in high enough concentrations, can cause nausea, headaches, and neurological problems, according to the New York Times.

Fugu (Pufferfish)

Fugu, aka pufferfish, are the second-most poisonous vertebrate in the world (after the golden poison frog), but their meat is sold for hundreds of dollars at high-end restaurants in Japan, reports CNN.

Reality Changing Observations:

Q1. How do you see foresee Blockchain affecting our food supply?

Q2. What foods do you avoid because of their potential for contamination?

Q3. What can you do to be safer about your food consumption?

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Nikki Diefenbach
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