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.
How much do you know about how car engines work? And how much do you know about how the English language works? And what about how guns work? How much do you know? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks is about more than providing great answers about how the world works. We are also here to bring joy to your day with fun quizzes, compelling photography and fascinating listicles. Some of our content is about how stuff works. Some is about how much you know about how stuff works. And some is just for fun! Because, well, did you know that having fun is an important part of how your brain works? Well, it is! So keep reading!