The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports

Letters to the Editor

August 10, 2013

Some unfamiliar foods can be dangerous

Some unfamiliar foods can be dangerous

WARNING: Look up nutritional value of new foods BEFORE you consume them.

I have been a nurse for 27 years with a master’s in nursing education. Many of my elective courses were in nutrition. As I began a new venture in my life of juicing to improve my health, I looked for new flavors to experiment with. At two local grocery stores I found Yuca in the fresh produce section. The only posted information on this product states it has a sweet, soft flavor.

After juicing the raw Yuka, I mixed it with some pineapple juice and drank it. It tasted like a virgin pina-colada. Upon looking up the nutritional value of Yuca (and Yucca) I read that a pound of Yuca can kill a cow and people (http://www.thedenverchannel.com/about/news-team/laramie-students-sickened-by-yucca-plant-served-in-school).

With further research I discovered a school recently served Yuka raw to students as a grant funded project and over a dozen of those children were hospitalized for consuming raw Yuca. http://www.thedenverchannel.com/about/news-team/laramie-students-sickened-by-yucca-plant-served-in-school. This plant from south America is unsafe unless prepared properly, which includes extensive cooking time to kill of cyanide-like parts of this plant.

I am writing this to warn everyone that before trying any new foods, all of us should look up safety and nutrition. Our health is our own responsibility.

Rebekah Mead RN, MSN Ed, FND

Maryland

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