If Nightshades are so bad, why do they taste so good and are so prevalent in many cultures?
Things that are naturally tasty for humans are a signal for us to eat that certain food. And don't come with that "sugar is tasty and that is not healthy". Because this is only true for natural food as I wrote. Sugar is a highly processed food.
So how come that tomatoes that are so sweet and tasty when you pick them from your garden can be considered a poisonous food? If the alkaloids in the tomatoes were that bad, we wouldn't think of them as tasty. More likely this alkaloid poison is meant to protect the tomatoes from other dangers than from human consumption.
asked byJohan_Lindn (115)
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on February 28, 2013
at 02:19 PM
Are they so bad? They may be detrimental to some people (rheumatic arthritis seems to be affected in some cases). They certainly are disliked by TCM practitioners. But are they actually bad for most people? (IMO that would be a no - they are in fact GOOD for most people. Some people are horribly allergic to eggs or nuts. That doesn't mean the rest of us should stop eating them.)
However, taste is not always a good indication of safety. A plant could have evolved tastiness to appeal to some other species like birds. It could have evolved sweetness that entices a species to eat, but back it up with chemicals that have a laxative effect to ensure the seeds are excreted before they get too damaged by digestion. So long as the seed spreading organism is not so damaged that it doesn't get to reproduce, the plant wins.
At the extreme end of the "flavor is an indicator of safety" argument - consider sugar and wheat!
on February 28, 2013
at 05:55 PM
Who says nightshades are bad? If you look enough for it every food on the planet has something bad about it. I would guess organic boiled potatoes and ripe tomatoes to be among the safest of foods to consume for sick people.
I think potatoes get a bad reputation because the fast food industry violate them poor taters with damaged, rancid fats making fries and chips.