1

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Are there any weird compounds in parsnips?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 07, 2012 at 6:53 AM

I keep having slightly psychedelic responses to eating parsnips. Metallic taste in the mouth, slight skin numbness, and lessening of sensation in my limbs as well a sort of disassociated feeling in my mind. Honestly, the first time it happened it scared me a little, and I was anxious that I could pass something bad onto my child via breastmilk later that day. If it only happened once I would've just chocked it up to a random weird thing, but it has happened 3 times now. I know you are thinking "then just don't eat them", but I really dig the flavor, and would like to eat them as long as I'm not endangering myself or my son.

I know a common reminder in foraging guides is stay away from white carrots because unless you really know what you are doing you could accidentally eat some deadly hemlock. Is it possible that parsnips could possibly interbreed or be distant cousins with a far lesser amount of the hemlock badness? This has also only been happening since I started getting them from my CSA, which often provides us with exotic varieties of produce, it didn't happen when I used to get them from the grocery store.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on January 09, 2012
at 11:14 PM

Yup, always peeled, but I am wondering if my local organic farm might've been playing around with natural pest control oils that could have soaked in beyond the skin or something.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5147)

on January 07, 2012
at 08:38 PM

Are you peeling them? Since parsnips are tubers, if they're sprayed w/pesticides & herbicides, they tend to stay unless peeled. I always peel them. You'll notice that the skin shrivels up very quickly though even in the fridge, unlike potatoes or even yams. So perhaps they're not spraying them too heavily.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5147)

on January 07, 2012
at 08:35 PM

So your method of cooking caramelizes the sugar in parsnips. That's my method of cooking, too: parsnips fried in bacon grease (now coconut oil) until brown on each side. But I never got that reaction -- dissociation --which is indeed strange.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on January 07, 2012
at 08:23 AM

Yikes, I hadn't even thought about a food allergy. I have a nut allergy and my throat usually gets scratchy and then starts to tighten, being a different kind of reaction certainly wouldn't rule out it being a food allergy with parsnips.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on January 07, 2012
at 08:20 AM

Ha! Thanks for making me do some homework Namby Pamby. I haven't found the exact description in the text yet, google has revealed a million references about it though, I'll keep looking when I have a little more patience. As to how I'm cooking them, I peel them and then either slice and pan fry in butter or I just throw them in one big piece or a few chunks in a hot oven until they are soft.

D5a4ff096a452a84a772efa0e6bc626e

(2486)

on January 07, 2012
at 08:13 AM

Or, having more carefully reread the question, seems like you might be reacting to some fertilizing/pesticide chemical (whether inorganic or organic) in this farm's soil or on the parsnips?

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5147)

on January 07, 2012
at 08:05 AM

Sounds like reaction to Datura in Carlos Castaneda's Don Juan tales.

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5147)

on January 07, 2012
at 08:00 AM

How ru cooking your parsnips?

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4 Answers

2
D5a4ff096a452a84a772efa0e6bc626e

(2486)

on January 07, 2012
at 07:00 AM

I never have that sort of reaction to parsnips, but my husband reacts that way to traces of pineapple juice (he has an anaphylactic reaction to fresh pineapple). Is there a chance you have an allergy to something in parsnips?

3c6b4eed18dc57f746755b698426e7c8

(5147)

on January 07, 2012
at 08:38 PM

Are you peeling them? Since parsnips are tubers, if they're sprayed w/pesticides & herbicides, they tend to stay unless peeled. I always peel them. You'll notice that the skin shrivels up very quickly though even in the fridge, unlike potatoes or even yams. So perhaps they're not spraying them too heavily.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on January 07, 2012
at 08:23 AM

Yikes, I hadn't even thought about a food allergy. I have a nut allergy and my throat usually gets scratchy and then starts to tighten, being a different kind of reaction certainly wouldn't rule out it being a food allergy with parsnips.

D5a4ff096a452a84a772efa0e6bc626e

(2486)

on January 07, 2012
at 08:13 AM

Or, having more carefully reread the question, seems like you might be reacting to some fertilizing/pesticide chemical (whether inorganic or organic) in this farm's soil or on the parsnips?

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on January 09, 2012
at 11:14 PM

Yup, always peeled, but I am wondering if my local organic farm might've been playing around with natural pest control oils that could have soaked in beyond the skin or something.

1
9b17b95a93230b046ab6f4f649f20d42

(10)

on March 03, 2013
at 12:33 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) -Parsnips have been found to contain a chemical that can cause genetic mutation and cancer in animals, but the scientist who discovered that says there is no immediate reason for people to stop eating them. - yeah, no reason. What?

1
6a26f2ca2cd1c5c5afcda9276b309a9c

(579)

on January 07, 2012
at 08:56 PM

The last two times I've eaten parsnips I've gotten stomach pain and then about 2 hours later pain in my hip and down the side of my leg (seems to happen to me with some foods). I hadn't eaten them in a while but I used to eat them every day.

1
13c5a9f1678d75b93f269cdcf69f14d5

(2339)

on January 07, 2012
at 08:45 PM

In this book, Little Heathens, http://www.amazon.com/Little-Heathens-Spirits-During-Depression/dp/0553804952?tag=duckduckgo-d-20

the author talks about a compound in parsnips and how they were advised not to eat them all the time. They only ate them briefly in the spring.

Sher didn't say anything about psychedelic effects specifically and I don't remember the name of the compound.

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