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Purple Pear Farm
Purple Pear Farm
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131 Anambah Road, Maitland, NSW, AU
Climate zone:
Warm Temperate

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Purple Pear Farm

Purple Pear Farm

Maitland, AU

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Poisonous Zuchinni

Project: Purple Pear Farm

Posted by Mark Brown over 13 years ago

Pinched from my post elsewhere this is a warning for those who look on the humble zuchinni as harmless.

This very healthy plant has produced toxic fruit. When used in cooking, it gave a disgusting, bitter taste and made the cook very sick when tasting the dish. Beware!

I have continued my education after a startling event that happened earlier this year. 

My partner was cooking a rice dish and when completed she found it to be inedible due to a bitter taste.
At first she blamed the red mustard which was part of the vegetables used by further testing led to the Zucchini. A small taste of the zucchini proved to be all the proof needed and we ate something else.

Over night there were repercussions that were severe - with diahorea, nausea and cramping.

We found this information here

Mild bitterness in zucchini, like that in related species like cucumbers, may be result from environmental factors such as high temperature, low moisture, low soil nutrients, etc. The bitterness is caused by compounds called cucurbitacins.

There is also a rare condition which can cause extreme bitterness in zucchini. A compound calledCucurbitacin E is found in wild species of squash, but is extremely rare in cultivated species. 

Very, very rarely a mutant plant or a chance cross with a wild species may result in cultivated plants with Cucurbitacin E. There will be an acrid smell when you cut the zucchini, and just touching the flesh to your tongue will have an extremely unpleasant bitter taste. 
Do Not Eat such zucchini. 
They may cause cramps, diarrhoea and even collapse. If you know where the seeds came from, notify your local Agricultural Extension service.
Remember, this is not the normal bitterness which occurs occasionally with zucchini and related species. This is a very unpleasant and very bitter taste and is an extremely rare occurrence.

I wonder are others aware of this? We were fortunate in some way, that the offender did not go into our food boxes.
The plant, which was healthy beyond belief and with no pest problems at all, has been removed and we will contemplate a lick of the skin on zucchini we suspect in the future. Very wierd.

Comments (2)

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Carly Gillham
Carly Gillham : That's really interesting... thanks for sharing!
Posted almost 13 years ago

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greg bell
greg bell : How much did she have to eat to cause such a reaction?
Posted over 12 years ago

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