Dangerous food combinations
We are in the middle of autumn and it’s persimmon season! Well, at least in China, because I don’t remember ever having eaten persimmons in Spain when I was a child. At home my mum used to buy not-so-fancy fruits like apples, pears and oranges.
The other day C.’s mum gave me a bag with some persimmons. “Don’t eat them with milk or yogurt because you can die”. Sorry, what? “Yesterday on tv there were some news about two children who ate persimmon after eating a yogurt and they both died because those two foods together form a solid ball in your stomach and it kills you”.
Had you ever heard anything like that? I had not. But it turns out that Chinese people have a lot of restrictions regarding which foods cannot be consumed together. I’ll talk about that later. First I want to share the results of my Google search about persimmons and dairy. Searching for “persimmon” and “milk”, there are several results on the first page that talk about this supposed danger, but they are all English versions of Chinese websites. The sixth result is a recipe for persimmon milkshake from an American website. Uhm, could this be another one of those typical “foreigners are not affected by this, but Chinese people would die”? When I do the same search in Chinese (柿子 and 牛奶) there are hundreds of websites saying persimmons contain tannins which will harm you if they come into contact with milk. But wait a minute… coffee and tea also contain tannins, millions of people drink them with milk and no one died yet… no?
Is there any scientific base in all this? I would think it might be bad for you if you eat 5 kilos of persimmons and drink 7 liters of milk in one meal… but you would probably have a tummy ache too if you ate 5 kilos of apples in one go.
As I mentioned a couple of paragraphs above, Chinese people have a lot of restrictions about foods that cannot be eaten together. Let’s see some examples that I found online:
Tomato and shrimp: shrimp contain something that when mixed with tomato becomes poisonous. This sounds a bit suspicious as shrimps with tomato sauce, or pasta with shrimps and tomato sounds like something pretty common to eat.
Honey and scallion: also poisonous and will affect your eyes. Doesn’t seem a very appetizing combination so I think we are safe.
Chicken and celery: affects the immune system. This sounds serious.
Mushrooms and donkey meat: causes illness in the arteries. Luckily we don’t eat donkey too often in this family.
Carrot and white radish: if you eat them together very often they can affect the immune system and cause a blood infection.
Potato and persimmon: if you eat them together very often they can form kidney stones.
Carrot and baijiu (rice wine): can poison your liver. Well… I think baijiu does this on its own too…
Pumpkin and lamb: causes inflammation of the pleura.
White radish and loofah: I’m a bit confused about this one as I thought loofah was not eaten. Isn’t it the thing to exfoliate your skin? Anyway, this combination causes premature ejaculation and diabetes.
Pear and goose: bad for your spleen.
Spinach and tofu: will prevent calcium from being absorbed and spoil the calcium already in your body. I am 100% sure I’ve had spinach and tofu in the same meal when having hot pot. Will I suffer from osteoporosis when I’m old?
Tangerine and lemon: if you eat them together very often you will get stomach ulcers.
Dog meat and garlic: harms the stomach walls and poisons you. Damn! I love dog meat with garlic!
Banana and watermelon, cantaloupe or related melons: raises your blood sugar. But well… I guess less than drinking a bottle of Coca Cola!
There’s more in this website but they don’t have a nice table with pictures. Eggs and saccharin, you die. Tofu and honey, you will become deaf. Kelp and pig blood, constipation. Potato and banana, you will get freckles (gasp!!). Beef and brown sugar, the mixture expands inside you and you die. Pork and swamp eel, you die. Lamb and river snails, you will fart a lot (this sounds deadly too!). Celery and rabbit, your hair will fall. Tomato and mung beans, it will affect your qi. Crab and persimmon, diarrhoea.
Well, I think you get an idea. Now I’m wondering how Chinese people even dare to eat anything without checking first if the combination is dangerous or not! I had never heard anything similar to these risky mixtures in Spain, but a commenter on my Spanish blog told me that we have a proverb that says you cannot eat or drink anything after drinking milk or you will get diarrhoea. It seems my family was not well informed, as I don’t remember even my grandma saying this!
Do you have similar sayings in your country? What foods cannot be eaten together?
Should I sacrifice my body to science and try myself what happens when eating persimmon and yogurt together?
hahahaha! Fantastic! I love it. I haven’t heard of a single one of those but I’m not sutprised. Why isn’t there isn’t a picture of a human drinking cold water? I’m told that is about the worst thing ever by all of my Chinese friends. Or baijiu and all food?
Wife is going to be disappointed – no dog meat and garlic tonight! (Have you had dog meat? I did once without knowing what it was going in my mouth, called it after the first bite – horrible. Greasy and sweet)
Oh you are right, drinking cold water is the deadliest activity on Earth, haha.
I have never had dog meat! Never had the chance and also not terribly interested – Nico might smell it on me and get sad!
I forgot to add a good persimmon trick. Pop one or two in a freezer for like 45 mimutes or so and it will become half frozen. Cut off the top and eat with a spoon. It’s like persimmon sorbet. That’s how I like to eat them. But no whipped cream topping or you’ll die.
Hilarious! I didn’t know chicken and celery was a supposed bad combination. My mum cooks it quite often, fried in a pan and served for dinner and I don’t think it really affects my immune system lol. When I was growing up, my parents always told me not to swallow chewing gum or else that will form a hard rock in you stomach and it will never come out and you will die from rubber poisoning :P
Yep, Spanish mums also say that about bubble gum! Also that if you make ugly faces or cross your eyes, your face/eyes will stay like that forever!
Old wives tales and the internet, what a combination!
Gotta call bullshit on the chicken and celery, though. Otherwise, how do you make chicken stock for hot and sour soup? Or any soup?
Andy’s parents have a few weird ideas about food. They have weird ideas about sex, though.
Remember those mail chains? Forward this and Bill Gates will give 1 dollar to a girl in Nepal who has no legs. I guess some people believed it back then…?
I have no idea how chicken stock is made, haha. Can it be done without celery? Because you can die, you know.
Gonna take my chances with the celery. I am such a rebel.
Oh yeah my MIL is sending my wife each week new info about what she can’t eat as it might kill her…
The Chinese view towards food is a bit odd and each time they see foreigners not following those rules they be like “It is because Western people are much stronger”…I wonder how often I will have to listen to something like this
Yes, we are stronger because we eat beef every day! Also, because we drink a lot of milk. I am starting to see more and more Chinese people drinking milk at meals, like if it was water. Some people in Spain would just gag at the thought of drinking milk alone, without sugar or anything haha.
Milk with sugar :o gives me somehow the chills. In Germany and Finland we drink milk also without anything :)
Haha! I can drink it alone too but many people in Spain only drink it with sugar or powdered coffee or chocolate. Also, it’s something that is drank on its own, not accompanying meals as if it was water or a soft drink.
Some are just too funny to comprehend. I love my dogs so dog meat is just ‘out’. Well for me all meat is ‘out’ being a strict vegetarian.
I am not a vegetarian but I don’t really see the need to go out of my way and eat dogs or donkeys! In fact I prefer veggies or fish over meat…
Hilarious!! Can’t think of lethal / health hazardous combinations but I do here in India a common admonishment to not drink water with your meal (or within 30 minutes afterwards) as it will make you fat as it spoils digestion? Or the cold water gives you a sore throat / cold.
Uhm, I had heard that drinking during meals would dissolve the gastric juices and give you bad digestions, but I always drink water with meals. Oh, cold water is also the demon in China, haha.
Hehe! I’m also equally ‘bad’ and drink water with meals. It is funny but cold water seems to be a no-no for most of Asia vs Canada where everyone seems to have cold water!
There’s tons of advice in books and on the internet about what to eat, when, and how much, some of it directed to people with one kind of condition or another, much of it contradicting other advice. Just thinking about it makes me tired. I haven’t heard too much about combinations.
If we followed every recommendation on the internet we probably wouldn’t be able to eat anything!
Good thing Fruit Salad counts as healthy food
Might want to think twice before eaating it in China… it’s served with mayonnaise!
Oh man Marta this is the best post ever, hahaha… Seems like I better stop stir frying mushrooms with my donkey meat!
I do think that some food combinations will make you uncomfortable (like drinking beer immediately after eating yogurt sounds like a terrible idea), but I don’t think you’ll DIE! I wonder if those children really did die from just eating persimmons with dairy? Hm.. Chinese media… What are they trying to pull?
I had a comment in my Spanish blog from a girl who said she always had persimmons and then a glass of milk, so I’m fairly sure it’s ok to do it. Maybe those kids were allergic to persimmons, or to milk, or they did something else. Who knows! (Or maybe it’s true that these things only affect Chinese people, haha).
You can get persimmons or kaki’s (maybe that’s what they are in Catalan) in Spain now! Both Carrefour and Alcampo sell them and they’re delicious in smoothies! No milk, usually with grapefruit, pineapple and lime. Still alive!
Hahaha, good to know!!
That’s not sponge, it’s bitter melon. So; bitter melon and daikon are bad? Personally bitter melon is kind of terrible with everything. :D
It’s not the bitter one, this is 丝瓜 and the bitter one is 苦瓜. I’m not a big fan of it either xD
Donkey and dog meat o my lord.In many parts of Saudi Arabia people tend to believe that eating fish and drinking buttermilk could cause Vitiligo.
Hahaha! Spanish and Japanese people eat a lot of fish, we should have more vitiligo cases than other countries then :D
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I am reading this while I am eating a bowl of yoghurt and persimmon. it was very tasty. I think they are a good mix. we will see if I die by tomorow:) nice blog.
I suspect you will be completely fine xD
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Its eating “UNRIPE” persimmons that will hurt you. And also too much persimmons. They cause some reaction in your stomach to form hard balls in your stomach that have to be surgically removed.
I was wondering about pineapple fruit. What do the Chinese say about pineapple, especially when you live in a tropical climate, how does this affect the blood? Does it thicken it? I heard it was considered a deadly fruit.
Er… I have never heard anything like that. Pineapples are widely available and eaten here, so they might not be so deadly, hehe.
I’m not a nutritionist but based on what I found on Google, pineapple would actually thin blood, not thicken it.
The only thing regarding pineapple I’ve heard in China is that, according to the pregnancy app my husband downloaded, pregnant women should not eat pineapple because it can be toxic. Turns out pineapple does contain a substance that can be toxic but only in huge quantities. As long as you don’t eat 8 pineapples in one go, you’ll be fine.
Bear in mind that many Asian people are lactose intolerant – that’s why it is almost impossible to buy cheese in China – their genes are not well suited to such products – that may have made the story about persimmons and milk being a bad combination.
Having said that, you can now buy more and more milk products and yogurt in China now
But why singling out poor persimmon then? Anything combined with milk is a bad combination for lactose intolerants, haha.
Yes, milk and yogurt is widely available now. Cheese is mostly imported… and very expensive.
…I just ate persimmon and yogurt…guess I’m going to die now… ;(
Oh, noes! Here goes another victim of the ruthless killer aka persimmon!
the do not drink cold water makes sense before the sanitation of drinking water. In America, it was prevalent to drink whiskey instead of water as drinking water risked ingesting bacteria that would give you diarrhea (diarrhea killed you back then). In the same idea, the Chinese drank a lot of tea as the heating of the water killed all the bacteria that would potentially kill you
Yes, that makes sense. However, for an old Chinese lady, drinking water that has been boiled and later chilled is still a big no no because cold itself kills, hehe.
there is some truth to spinach and tofu, as calcium does inhibit iron absorbtion
How about eaten avocado and yogurt together it’s will be safe
Of course, why wouldn’t it be?