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  #1  
Old 02 March 2009, 05:15 PM
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Icon81 Don't eat raw green beans

Comment: Some Chinese and Germans insist that raw green beans have to be
thoroughly cooked or they are bad for you. i.e. toxic or poisonous.
Google "raw green beans poison" and see the sites that pop up.

(My boss saw me eating raw green beans and warned me about them. She says
the Chinese always cook them thoroughly and with garlic to help neutralize
them. I don't believe this and have never had a problem.)
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  #2  
Old 02 March 2009, 06:21 PM
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Does garlic neutralize toxins in green beans? And I thought it was just useful against vampires.
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  #3  
Old 02 March 2009, 06:47 PM
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I think they possibly got green beans confused with red kidney beans, which are toxic when raw.
IIRC, there are some other vegetables which are also toxic if eaten raw. I can't remember what they are off the top of my head, and the current fads regarding food makes googling them quite daunting.

Of course, there are a lot of toxins in a lot of the foods we eat. Usually it isn't much of a problem because our bodies have the ability to deal with some toxins, and preparing foods using traditional/conventional methods generally means they are relatively safe (because people would have noticed if they weren't, at least for common foods).
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Old 02 March 2009, 07:07 PM
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I have long heard that rhubarb is quite poisonous if not cooked thoroughly. Also quite unpalatable, as it is very sour. The sourness suggests to me that it may only be stomach-upsetting, rather than outright poisonous - time to Wiki.

ETA: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhubarb#Toxic_effects - it appears that the stems are not all that toxic, especially since the tender young stems dipped in sugar have been used as a sort of candy/treat for children in Scandinavia. However the leaves may be a bit more toxic, with very high levels of ixalic acid and perhaps another toxin as well. It seems, though, it would take five kg to get to a really dangerous level (if you eat 5 kg of ANY single food at one sitting, you may reach toxicity! ). However I note that it says of the roots: "The roots have been used as an aggressive laxative for over 5,000 years" and I wonder and shudder to think just how aggressive a laxative they are!

Last edited by A Turtle Named Mack; 02 March 2009 at 07:13 PM.
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Old 02 March 2009, 07:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A Turtle Named Mack View Post
I have long heard that rhubarb is quite poisonous if not cooked thoroughly. Also quite unpalatable, as it is very sour. The sourness suggests to me that it may only be stomach-upsetting, rather than outright poisonous - time to Wiki.
I used to go in the backyard and eat rhubarb all the time when I was a kid. Mom told us the leaves would make us sick so we stayed away from them. Rhubarb is really quite good in a pie.
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Old 03 March 2009, 02:27 AM
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One of my favorite things to do is pick green beans right off the vine in my dad's garden and eat them right there. I'm still around.

And the cooking thoroughly? I saute my green beans in olive oil with garlic* until they are essentially warm. They are still very crisp and very tasty. Not at all like the green beans my husband likes, which are basically blobs of green mush.

*I use garlic for the taste, not for any neutralizing properties. I use garlic in nearly everything I cook. Them vampires won't get me!
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  #7  
Old 03 March 2009, 01:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snopes
Comment: Some Chinese and Germans insist that raw green beans have to be thoroughly cooked or they are bad for you. i.e. toxic or poisonous. Google "raw green beans poison" and see the sites that pop up.

(My boss saw me eating raw green beans and warned me about them. She says the Chinese always cook them thoroughly and with garlic to help neutralize them. I don't believe this and have never had a problem.)
We eat raw string beans.
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  #8  
Old 03 March 2009, 02:47 PM
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I eat raw green beans all the time. Not poisonous at all.

Rhubarb leaves are poisonous, but the stems (which is what you eat) are not. That's not unusual; you can't eat tomato leaves, either. I've often eaten Rhubarb raw.

The only vegetable I know of that is poisonous if eaten raw is tapioca.
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  #9  
Old 03 March 2009, 04:23 PM
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According to the fairly reliable Netherlands Nutrition Centre they are. For those who can't read Dutch, they are said to contain lectins:

Quote:
Foods with high concentrations of lectins, such as beans, cereal grains, seeds, and nuts, may be harmful if consumed in excess. Adverse effects include allergic reactions, nutritional deficiencies, and immune reactions. Different foods may have different effects depending on blood type.
According to the Dutch site, prolonged consumption may lead to serious intestine disruption and kidney damage.
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  #10  
Old 03 March 2009, 04:45 PM
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Hello Kitty

Quote:
Originally Posted by smackmac View Post
One of my favorite things to do is pick green beans right off the vine in my dad's garden and eat them right there. I'm still around.
I grow beans all summer, and they rarely make it to the kitchen: the Kitten and I just graze them off the vines.

Four Kitties
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  #11  
Old 03 March 2009, 08:17 PM
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I was once told that most French people believed the what we call French Beans were poisonous even if cooked. Tomatoes were originally grown in the UK purely for decoration and were believed to be poisonous, until later when they were marketed as aphrodisiacs. Many varieties of bean are poisonous unless pre treated (not just cooking; with Red Kidney Beans and Butter Beans they must be soaked as well)
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Old 03 March 2009, 10:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mycroft View Post
I was once told that most French people believed the what we call French Beans were poisonous even if cooked. Tomatoes were originally grown in the UK purely for decoration and were believed to be poisonous, until later when they were marketed as aphrodisiacs. Many varieties of bean are poisonous unless pre treated (not just cooking; with Red Kidney Beans and Butter Beans they must be soaked as well)
I think the presoaking of these beans has a lot to do with cooking with dry beans. There are two methods of soaking, overnight and quick soaking where you bring to a boil and turn of the heat and let it soak for an hour or two. All dry beans I've worked with (pinto beans, chick peas, etc.) require a presoak to make them easier to cook.

This source does indicate some toxic compounds in uncooked kidney beans, but doesn't indicated presoaking has anything to do with anything but making them easier to cook.
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  #13  
Old 09 March 2009, 06:44 PM
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Quote:
I think the presoaking of these beans has a lot to do with cooking with dry beans.
As far as I know, that is correct. Although on the food forums, there is much debate as to whether this is true or not. Many people don't bother to pre-soak and don't have any trouble with cooking.

There is also some debate as to whether pre-soaking helps prevent/reduce bean flatulence.
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  #14  
Old 10 March 2009, 01:59 AM
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There are vegetables that are not good for you if eaten raw, but green beans are not one of them.
I eat them raw all the time. I love the texture and the taste. Sometimes I'll eat a whole bag of them and I've never had so much as an upset stomach from it.
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  #15  
Old 10 March 2009, 05:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xia View Post
There are vegetables that are not good for you if eaten raw, but green beans are not one of them.
There are a lot of things which are poisonous without you noticing it. It all depends how old you want to become, and in what physical state. Kidney damage is not a thing to be taken lightly, but you only notice it when it's too late.
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  #16  
Old 10 March 2009, 09:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joostik View Post
According to the fairly reliable Netherlands Nutrition Centre they are. For those who can't read Dutch, they are said to contain lectins:



According to the Dutch site, prolonged consumption may lead to serious intestine disruption and kidney damage.
But are they talking about kidney beans and other dry beans, or are they talking about fresh green beans? (No, I don't read Dutch, so can't check for myself.)

It wouldn't be at all surprising either for different varieties of a crop to contain different toxin levels (or for some to have a toxin that others lacked entirely), or for different growth stages of the same crop to do so.
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  #17  
Old 30 April 2009, 09:51 AM
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So, what exactly is meant by lectins in beans causing "nutritional deficiencies" and "immune reactions"? I know eating raw kidney beans will give a person the pukes, but how and in what way can long-term consumption cause "intestinal disruption"? Finally, if these were really the seriuos problems the site posits them to be, then why don't we see such problems in populations who eat a lot of beans (e. g. Mexicans)?

- Pseudo_Croat
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  #18  
Old 30 April 2009, 10:46 AM
Troberg Troberg is offline
 
 
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Raw beans are not recommended as rat food, as they do something bad with the blood. Iirc, it clotted the red blood cells. The same goes, by the way, for raw peanuts. Cooking them fixes this (the peanuts/beans, not the rats!).

Then again, I suspect that it's all about how much you eat. For a rat, a peanut is half a full meal, while most humans will not eat the corresponding amount in a single sitting.
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  #19  
Old 30 April 2009, 05:25 PM
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The only vegetables I don't eat raw are potatoes.
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  #20  
Old 30 April 2009, 06:09 PM
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I eat them since I was a kid, and had no problem with them. And I did in fact eat a lot of them.
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