When These Vegetables Are Old or Rotten, They Are Highly Toxic

A selection of melons, tomatoes, zuchini, eggplant, and various kinds of peppers at a stall at a farmer's market.

Shopping at a farmers' market or buying directly from a local farm is an economical alternative. (Image: via Pixabay)

Vegetables are an essential part of a healthy diet, as long as they are fresh and healthy; however, old, moldy, or rotten vegetables can be extremely toxic if consumed. Here are the most toxic vegetables that you should avoid at all costs.

Green tomatoes

Green tomatoes contain a toxin called solanine. Green tomatoes can leave a bitter taste in your mouth, and later cause nausea and vomiting. Consuming large quantities may be fatal.

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Bok choy (Chinese cabbage)

Rotten bok choy can cause hypoxia and result in headaches, dizziness, nausea, abdominal distension, and severe cramps.

Budding potatoes

The buds and green peel on sprouting potatoes contain concentrated solanine, and are poisonous if consumed in large quantities.

Ginger root

Rotten ginger root produces a powerful toxin called safrole. Even small amounts can damage your liver cells.

A pile of ginger root.
Rotten ginger root produces a powerful toxin called safrole. (Image via pixabay / CC0 1.0)

Tea leaves

Moldy tea leaves are contaminated with fungi, such as Penicillium and Aspergillus. If you drink tea made from moldy tea leaves, you may experience dizziness and diarrhea.

Sweet potatos

Dark spots on your sweet potatoes indicates that they are contaminated with Ceratocystis fimbriata, which is poisonous when consumed in large amounts.

Tree ear

Yellowish white tree ear (Tremella fuciformis) fungus indicates it’s contaminated with flavobacteria. Eating these can cause dizziness, stomachache, and diarrhea.

String beans

Undercooked string beans contain saponin, which can agitate the digestive track. Trypsin in uncooked string beans can result in symptoms of gastroenteritis (stomach flu). To avoid this, it’s important to clean and fully cook them.

Research by Monica and Hsin-Yi

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