A clean-eating Instagrammer posted a photo that appears to show a delicious berry pudding. It’s inedible, of course, because it’s covered in flowers. You’d be lucky to get a straw in there, let alone a dessert spoon.
However, when a botanist took a look at the post, he noticed something else about it that made the “healthy” pudding inedible. One of the ingredients is extremely poisonous.
Yes, whilst this “pudding” is free from gluten and the milk we’ve drunk for centuries, any health benefits would be heavily offset by the terrible diarrhea you would likely get from lycorine, found in the deadly Narcissus flowers sat prettily atop the glass. You might briefly feel good because you’ve avoided sticky toffee pudding, but before long the convulsions could set in.
“Remember, as a general rule: If you are not 100 percent sure something is edible, just don’t eat it,” Botanist James Wong explained.
“If it’s a staple eaten for centuries, which you don’t have a diagnosed medical intolerance or allergy to, it’s probably safe.”
At higher quantities, lycorine can be lethal if ingested. The plant’s toxicity has been known for centuries, and has been used in various suicide attempts over the years. In 2009, 12 children became ill and needed hospital treatment after a single bulb of a daffodil (a type of Narcissus) was put into their soup in a cooking class.
The bulbs can look similar to onions, which is why the mistake was made. As some of the replies to Wong’s tweet showed, it’s much more common than you’d hope.
Using deadly flowers on pudding appears to be a recurring theme for wellness bloggers. Last year Wong spotted another Instagram post. This time, toxic flowers were used to decorate a wedding cake. Welp.
The cake was made for Ella Woodward, better known as Deliciously Ella, by “wellness blogger” Olivia Wollenberg, Cosmopolitan reports. There were no reports of anyone falling ill after the wedding, however, so we assume the flowers were avoided.
Shortly afterward, Wong posted four more examples of deadly flowers on food he’d found on Instagram.
It appears that there’s nothing Instagrammers love more than eating poisonous plants and then documenting it on social media.
You should probably all stop doing that.