You’re feeling queasy, your forehead is clammy, and all that tea you’ve been mainlining is doing nothing at all to perk you back up. What happens next is why it’s so hard to know if you had food poisoning or just a brush with the flu.
Locusta was one of the first recorded professional chemists. She was employed by several royal Romans, and even established a school for other chemists. Here’s why it was best not to piss off either her or her students.
Some people believe she was the first recorded serial killer. Not everyone she poisoned was for profit. It’s a toss up as to whether she poisoned them for fun or for practice.
There wasn’t much to be done about syphilis for most of its history. It was a horrible, slow way to die and the only way to ward off the most acute attacks was mercury—until a dye and a poison provided the inspiration for an effective treatment.
Arsenic is still a silver bullet today. It’s used to cure Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia. Cure, not treat; and APML used to be a death sentence.
When you get a package of dry beans examine the cooking instructions on the side. Most likely they’ll stress that after you’ve soaked your beans in water for an hour or two, you should discard the water before cooking the beans very, very well. That’s not just a culinary tip. Undercooking your beans can cause extreme, painful, and occasionally long-term reactions.
Previously, I operated under the belief that we soaked the beans to minimize the oligosaccharides. This was to stop the farting before it started 😉
Now I also understand why it’s recommended to wash/rinse the beans with fresh water after soaking, prior to cooking.
It’s a normal part of human life to wonder about whether or not eating an excess of condiments could be lethal—specifically about the amount of ketchup it would take to not only disfigure you but take you to the big tomato patch in the sky. Well, your nightly wondering is over, and we’ve got an answer.
Toxicologists have a saying that “the dose makes the poison,” meaning that anything and everything can kill you in large enough quantities. So here we take five incredibly common (and usually benign) foods and household items to their illogical conclusion. Ever contemplated eating 480 bananas? Don’t do it.
While we’re on that note, this isn’t a dare. Also, drinking that much coffee sounds disgusting.
Who would eat toothpaste?! But “food coma” does not get a mention…
Alcohol has been part of human existence for millennia. Alcoholic beverages are an integral part of human culture. Like the wines consumed in Jewish and Christian rituals, these drinks have ceremonial and religious uses. Until the nineteenth century, beer, brandy, rum or grog was the drink of choice for sailors in lieu of stagnant water during long voyages. Alcohol is a social lubricant, an anesthetic and an antiseptic. It is one of the most widely used drugs in the world and has been manufactured since the advent of agriculture nearly 9000 years ago. How is it that this drug — an intoxicating poison — has become such a part of human existence?
The majority of the article talks about the enzyme details…
While we started making alcohol when we figured out agriculture some 9,000 years ago, the research suggests that we’ve had exposure as far back as 10 million years ago. Now consider that the Y-chromosomal Adam is believed to be ~208,300 years old (vs 200,000 years for Mitochondrial Eve). Some posit that alcohol is what prompted agriculture – what a sobering thought. Agriculture almost destroyed civilization…