Quiz: Do You Know Which of These Items Are Inedible?
Do You Know Which of These Items Are Inedible?
By: Maria Trimarchi
Image: shutterstock

About This Quiz

From the color of potatoes to how much, exactly, is too much kale, see how your knowledge of edible versus inedible foods stacks up!

If you're like the average American who eats just a little more than 11 pounds of bananas over the course of a single year, have you ever wondered if you can eat the peel -- and if you try it, will it kill you? The skin is slightly bitter, and it's so fibrous it could stymie even a powerful jaw or blender. While there isn't a lot of scientific evidence to back up eating it, it won't hurt you. But consider this: Even monkeys peel before eating.

So what makes something edible, anyway -- does it just come down to if it tastes good or bad? It boils down to just two things, actually. One, your body has to be able to break it down and digest it. And two, it can't be toxic to humans. Toxins in some foods are naturally occurring, although in other instances and foods those toxins may form during processing or handling. Some toxins, for instance, will interfere with your nervous system, and can cause everything from mild symptoms such as nausea to seizures or even death. For the average American, though, toxic reactions to foods are relatively rare -- much less common than instances of, for example, food poisoning from salmonella, listeria or toxoplasma.

Feeling confident about your knowledge of what's safe and not safe to chow down on, whether it's store-bought, found at the farmers market, or from an afternoon of foraging? See how much you know about pits, seeds and plants -- some that we commonly consume -- that can poison, or even kill, us.

1.0 of 35
You would need to consume about 200 of which seeds to receive a fatal dose of cyanide?
2.0 of 35
Sassafras, which contains the toxic compound safrole, used to be used to flavor what drink?
3.0 of 35
When it's green, which starchy tuber contains a compound that can cause gastrointestinal distress, confusion, or even death?
4.0 of 35
Which common kitchen spice is also a hallucinogenic that may also lead to psychosis?
5.0 of 35
The pits of which fruits contain the poison cyanide?
6.0 of 35
The leaves of which perennial contain oxalates?
7.0 of 35
Except for its fruit, all of which plant is toxic to people?
8.0 of 35
Because it contains cyanide, never chew the pit of which fruit?
9.0 of 35
Which type of nut contains as much as 9 mg of cyanide, per nut?
10.0 of 35
The high mercury levels in which type of fish make it a no-no for kids to eat?
11.0 of 35
Because it doesn't go through the pasteurization process, which food may contain a toxic compound called grayanotoxin?
12.0 of 35
Which nut isn't sold raw because it contains a chemical also found in poison ivy?
13.0 of 35
Which type of edible mushroom is often confused with the poisonous Jack O'Lantern mushroom?
15.0 of 35
Which fish contains potent neurotoxins yet is also a delicacy in Japanese cuisine?
16.0 of 35
It's unsafe to eat raw lima beans because they contain what toxin?
17.0 of 35
Which starchy tuber, consumed mainly in Latin America, Africa, South Asia and the Caribbean, must be prepared properly to avoid cyanide poisoning?
18.0 of 35
Which berries should never be eaten when they're unripe or uncooked?
19.0 of 35
At 1,000 times more radioactive than many other foods, which is one of the most radioactive foods we eat?
20.0 of 35
Eggplant, also called aubergine, is part of the notoriously toxic nightshade family. Which of these statements is false?
21.0 of 35
Although they look like green tomatoes, which fruit grows inside a poisonous paper "lantern"?
22.0 of 35
Which additive is used in the U.S. to make bread dough rise higher?
23.0 of 35
Which candy is 50 times sweeter than sugar, can turn your teeth black and possibly cause a heart attack?
24.0 of 35
It's in a lot of the proteins we eat, but high amounts of what can cause hair loss and garlic breath?
25.0 of 35
Which fruit has the most naturally occurring psoralens, compounds that can cause photosensitivity reactions?
26.0 of 35
Which toxic substance is found in rice and rice-based products?
27.0 of 35
The chemical acrylamide is found in cigarette smoke, and also in which food?
28.0 of 35
Which licorice-flavored seed pod can be easily confused with its poisonous twin?
29.0 of 35
Paralytic shellfish poisoning is a serious condition caused by eating shellfish that have been contaminated with what?
30.0 of 35
The roots and leaves have been used as herbal medicine for hundreds of years. But which plant is now banned in the U.S. for its toxicity?
31.0 of 35
Which type of chili peppers contain the dangerous chemical capsaicin?
32.0 of 35
Which vegetable contains naturally occurring nitrates, believed to be harmful for human consumption?
33.0 of 35
Opioid peptides are proteins can alter how we perceive pain and can affect our respiration. What food are they found in?
34.0 of 35
Known as the national fruit of Jamaica, a toxin in which fruit may cause "Jamaican vomiting sickness syndrome"?
35.0 of 35
Which of these foods is considered "goitrogenic," meaning it enlarges your thyroid?
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