Deadly vegetable casserole: Why bitter Zucchini necessarily belong in the trash

As the 79-Year-old and his wife with severe abdominal pain came to the hospital, thought the Doctors, first to a gastro-intestinal infection. The man from Baden-Württemberg was able to report to the Doctors what had both eaten: casserole with Zucchini from the neighbour’s garden have tasted bitter. Shortly afterwards, the pensioner died, survived, his wife. Because of the disgusting taste she had eaten less than her husband.

At the Chemical and veterinary investigation office Stuttgart were analysed in late summer, the remnants of the meal. The experts found an almost forgotten Gift: Cucurbitacin, the Toxin of the cucurbits, including Zucchini, cucumbers, and melons.

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Also in Schleswig – Holstein and lower Saxony had to in the last few years, two women with gastro-intestinal symptoms to a doctor. Both of them had eaten Zucchini. And a few years earlier, an eight-year-old had arrived in Leipzig, after violent vomiting in the clinic. Here is the cause was probably a cream of pumpkin soup, which described the family as “slightly bitter”. All the recovered. Serious or even fatal poisoning by pumpkin plants are fortunately rare. However, people are coming in to Poison centers in which enjoyment of Zucchini or pumpkins bad.

Around 40 Cucurbitacine we know so far. They are poisons, strong Cell and destroy the gastric mucosa, which leads to seizures, to severe Refractive. Fortunately for us consumers that are available today and vegetable was bred out of these, the toxicity to a large extent. You look at the world, however, from the point of view of a Plant, are toxins a fine thing: anyone Who has roots, can’t run and have to defend themselves chemically against insects and other predators. To be fair, has caused the Evolution of many poisons taste so bitter that humans and animals react to it with disgust.

Agriculture has adjusted to that, and in the last few decades, Zucchini, Grapefruits, Apples, or salads with less bitter used materials. Maybe it pays, however, the child with the bathwater, because many of these substances seem to fulfil important functions in the body: Lactucopikrin from chicory or Cynarin from artichokes to stimulate the flow of saliva and stomach acid and ease the digestion of fat. Bitter substances such as saponins are good for the cholesterol-lowering effect of legumes responsible.

Caution with vegetables from the own garden

Extreme bitter should taste, but always as a warning and just of home-grown vegetables before cooking taste a piece. Zucchini, cucumber or pumpkin taste is noticeable: away. The poison does not disintegrate during cooking. It is worthwhile to buy seeds instead and re-tighten. Because in seeds from their own production can split the genome in toxic and non-toxic plant lines. And since pumpkin plants get together fond of each other, from experts advise to plant dining places in addition to ornamental gourds. The latter produce a lot of Cucurbitacin, and the crosses, the pollination to the vegetables.

In the garden you should water the pumpkin plants well, because in the case of Stress due to drought, they produce more poison. This could be become the pensioners from Baden – Württemberg to the doom – summer 2015 was warm and Sunny.

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