By Helen Otway

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Despite this, poke salad remains a popular dish in the southern United States. The mould grows in damp corn after rain and makes the kernels swell up into big, deformed blobs. The black stone in the sapodilla fruit has a hook at one end and can stick to the throat if swallowed. Antarctic explorers Douglas Mawson and Xavier Mertz got severe vitamin A poisoning from eating husky liver after they lost their food supplies in a crevasse. Lard is pig fat. Much of the lard sold in supermarkets is treated with bleaching and deodorising agents.

Qxd 12/6/07 9:38 am Page 59 59 65 million guinea pigs are eaten in Peru each year! Beef tripe is from the first three of a cow’s four stomachs: the rumen makes smooth tripe, the reticulum gives honeycomb tripe and book tripe comes from the omasum. Elephant ears are a popular snack in the United States. Fortunately, they are not animal parts but pieces of fried dough sprinkled with sugar. Shaw’s Bistro and International Tapas Bar was the first restaurant in Scotland to serve rattlesnake, crickets and locusts.

A bag of flour may be infested with tiny beetles called weevils that can spread the deadly E. Coli bacteria. They also like hiding in packets of cereal. You have been warned! 3 metres (34 feet) of raw stinging nettles to win the World Stinging Nettle-Eating Championship in 2006. Gruesome Food Facts Dead insects go off quickly so should be eaten alive or immediately after being killed. Hopping insects need to be chilled or frozen before cooking so they don’t jump out of the pan! qxd 12/6/07 9:38 am Page 50 50 1001 Gruesome Facts Rhubarb leaves contain a poison called oxalic acid that irritates the gut and causes kidney damage.

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