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Bad Nuts

Retired Article • Written by Jason Bellows

Like many people, I am haunted by a can of "mixed nuts" that some neighbor or distant relation or random bloke has conferred up my household for Christmas. If you're anything like me, the stout little Planter's has been picked through, leaving only the dredges … meaning everything but the cashews.

But here's the kicker that might make you want to throw out that whole can of nuts: cashews are actually highly toxic.

Not "a little nauseated" toxic, they're "put-a-good-sized-healthy-guy-out-of-commission" toxic. At least when they are in their natural state.

The cashew hails from South America, but is now grown mostly in India. The cashews grow as a seed on an evergreen bush that is related to the poison sumac—sounds good, huh? To be processed for eating, the cashew mush be harvested, removed from the "apple" in which it grows, and cooked. It's not really the nut that is toxic, but the apple. Even the juices it leaves on the nut are caustic enough to do a person harm. When one goes to the grocery, and sees "raw cashews" they aren't really raw. Because of the liability issue, one cannot buy truly raw cashews easily.

Why call them raw when they're not? I don't know.

And don't worry about being accidentally poisoned by one. There hasn't been a case of cashew poisoning this century.

If you're going to worry, worry about nutmeg. There are people in the world who get high off of nutmeg. Most agree that one has to be desperate to resort to the seemingly innocuous spice for a buzz, but it works. Eating more than 3 nuts (or about 50mg of the powdered stuff) is enough to spawn hallucinations, kill a few brain cells, and massacre the taste buds.

No matter the fact that nutmeg can add flavor to an apple pie or dispense a buzz do not apply to open wounds! A little nutmeg in the blood system can kill a person.

Most of the people who try nutmeg for the psychotropic effects report unpleasant experiences, so I'm not advocating its use, but I can't help but wonder why a substance with very similar effect—specifically marijuana— is illegal, while nutmeg is just as potent, less pleasant, and in every granny's cupboard.

Article written by Jason Bellows, published on 05 January 2006. Jason is a contributing editor for

Edited by Alan Bellows.

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Posted 05 January 2006 at 04:09 pm

I had a friend who reportedly consumed a can of nutmeg while in school. He said that he was seeing crazy stuff (and generally messed up) for the next three days.

I wonder how many other common products have ill effects when taken in quantity?


Secret Ninja
Posted 05 January 2006 at 04:18 pm

Cashews are delicious.

Posted 05 January 2006 at 04:22 pm

Jason Bellows writes in the article,

Most of the people who try nutmeg for the psychotropic effects report unpleasant experiences, so I'm not advocating its use, but I can't help but wonder why a substance with very similar effect—specifically marijuana— is illegal, while nutmeg is just as potent, less pleasant, and in every granny's cupboard.

Ever tried marijuana in an apple pie? There is your reason.

Posted 05 January 2006 at 05:27 pm

When I lived in Guatemala, the Guatemalans told me about this fruit. I had no idea, that cashews grew from this fruit until then. The funny thing about this fruit, called mariñon, that I found is the fact that when you eat it(and you can eat some of it, check out Wikipedia it will tell you how), it dries your mouth out instead of what we are used to when we eat juicy fruit, and it tastes funky too.

Posted 05 January 2006 at 07:51 pm

I notice that the obvious hasn't been stated. This century is only 6 years old.

Secret Ninja
Posted 05 January 2006 at 09:04 pm

MtnManNH said: "I notice that the obvious hasn't been stated. This century is only 6 years old."


Posted 05 January 2006 at 09:05 pm

So, somewhere in the beginning, with people dropping left and right from cashew poisoning someone loved those little jewels enough to figure out how to eat 'em. gotta hand it to us. we WILL get what we want.

Posted 05 January 2006 at 09:10 pm

Nutmeg's not illegal because you can't make paper or clothes out of it.

Posted 06 January 2006 at 06:00 am

LOL - loved all the entries. You are very witty posters. Unless I missed it, I will throw in that cashews are NOT nuts, they are legumes. Hence, while eating a 2 week long sugar buster diet planned out by my nutritionist, I was to eat RAW (apparently not) Cashews and Brazils because they were NOT NUTS. Apparently, nuts actually give the body a reaction to create sugar to break it down and blah...blah....whatever.

Posted 06 January 2006 at 07:55 am

Let's all eat nutmeg and get high!

The End
Posted 06 January 2006 at 09:14 am

I'll have to get some nutmeg and see for myself... =)

Posted 06 January 2006 at 12:17 pm

One time I took a shit and there was a lot of peanuts in it. Funny thing is I didn't eat any peanuts in the last week. So I decided to pick the nuts out with a fork and feed them to my dog. My dog ate them and really liked it. But it made me sick so I puked all over his furry face, then I kicked him across the room and caused internal bleeding.

- Ass Pastor

Posted 06 January 2006 at 12:31 pm

Woah Ass Pastor, I had the same sort of thing happen to me. Funny how something like that could happen to two different people. Except when I spewed out that log from my ass, it cut my asshole in all different directions because the peanuts were really sharp. Naturally, I became overcome with pain, so I picked up my dog and threw it as hard as I could against the wall. He went flying through it and into the insulation. It rubbed all against his eyes and gave him a really bad infection. I'm going to the vet clinic very soon to have his eyes surgically removed. I will then put him in a travelling Romanian circus. Good luck, Brutus!

The End
Posted 06 January 2006 at 04:14 pm

o_0 Hehe...

Posted 06 January 2006 at 07:26 pm

I for one do not welcome our new Troll overlords.

Posted 06 January 2006 at 11:07 pm

I tried nutmeg a few years back. Graded 6 nuts up and chocked them down. I felt sick for about 3 days slept for about 20 hours woke up saw red balls floating around and said fuck that. My body ached and felt very down. Id try it a again just to see if my bodies reaction is any diffrent. Try it once, but it tastes way better with So-Co and egg nog.

Posted 09 January 2006 at 08:35 pm

I was babysitting this one time, and I ate the family's 2 pounds of cashews. havent touched the damn nuts ever since.

I will try nutmeg, I might see jesus -_-

Posted 14 January 2006 at 11:07 am

I ate Nutmeg once as a hallucinogen. You have to use uncooked nutmeg, which is available as whole nuts at gourmet grocers. I brewed a thick tea from two nuts which tasted unbelievably foul, had me vomiting and dry heaving for an hour, then tripping for twelve hours. At the time, this seemed like an acceptable price to pay, but about a day after the trip I became violently ill and felt extremely ill for two days. Not worth it.

For anyone interested, the essential oil metabolizes to a substance halfway between MDMA and Mescaline. See PHIKAL by Alexander Shulgin (inventor of MDMA) for full info.

Posted 05 February 2006 at 09:21 pm

Cashews are delicious.

Posted 20 March 2006 at 11:18 am

Arcangel said:
"Ever tried marijuana in an apple pie? There is your reason."

I have tried this experiment, and my grandma loves it

Posted 26 January 2007 at 06:13 pm

i ate 20 grams of nutmeg today and im loving it so far and i dont feel sick or nething but im trippin mad hard

Posted 17 April 2007 at 12:15 am

I tried the nutmeg thing a couple of years ago. Oh, it works. -shudder-.

I remember feeling totally fucked-up (that really is the only way to put it, it was almost impossible to co-ordinate mind and body, though both were working to some capacity) and being unable to move for at least two hours, swimming vision, that wierd floaty feeling you get when you are tired, but to the power of ten, and more. I also remember two days of vomit and a day of post-vomit nausea. You also have to eat a shitload of nutmeg for that nightmare experience :P
Seriously, you're better off getting a hole drilled in your head, at least you get anaesthetic for that : )

Posted 30 April 2007 at 09:46 am

All this talk of marijuana nutmag apple pie and Floj is nowhere to be seen? I'm shocked. I'm gonna have to try the nutmeg. Or I could just get someone else to do it, and laugh at them when they relize what's happening.

Posted 19 September 2007 at 02:45 pm

When I was in my early teens the kids in my age group were talking about how nutmeg could get you high. We didn't know how since it's in powder form (we didn't know about the actual nuts - we were young, ok!) We actually ended up trying to put the powder in a pipe and smoking it like it was pot. No, it didn't work. I got a pretty good headache though. =)

Posted 17 February 2008 at 06:45 pm

Yeah I ate nutmeg once to! If you read online people always have creative ways to ingest the stuff, foods to mix it with that they claim will over power it .. Or something to drink after to wash it all down. Me I am way more creative than that ... I just flattened out bread, put a pinch of freshly ground nut meg in and then rolled it into a ball and swallowed it whole. It only took me like 25 bread balls to do it. One bad side effect that happened to me is that my eyes turned completely red! and for DAYS. I didnt have any visual hallucinations which was a real disappointment. I just couldn't sleep and felt like I was dreaming, only in my dream I just drank a shit load of caffeine and wanted to sleep! Also the only real hallucination I had was really quite random, Suddenly I heard the cry of a large eagle somewhere in my dorm, and I couldn't find it, but it was pretty loud. all in all 2 thumbs down, but hey curiosity killed the cat.

Posted 02 May 2008 at 09:39 pm

The savory taste of marijuana might be more appropriate for veggie or chicken "pot" pie.

Posted 08 December 2008 at 03:50 pm

aelfwyne said: "I for one do not welcome our new Troll overlords."


Posted 17 May 2012 at 08:53 am

On a related note, the people of Goa (India) make a potent drink out of the apple of the Cashew called 'Feni'.

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