October 3, 2015

Help I Ate A Raw Cashew

There's a farmer's market on a street near our house every Saturday. I like to go there for produce. And pure sugar cane juice from our favorite vendor. This guy puts the cane in a machine that flattens it and the juice runs into a pitcher, which has a filter on the top. Then he pours the juice into another pitcher which the cashier pours into cups or different sized bottles as the customer wants. I like to watch the whole process. 

Today, I was waiting behind a guy at the cane juice kiosk and the cashier lifted up a liter bottle to ask if that's what I wanted. I nodded yes. There was a third worker there today, one I haven't seen before. She started asking me questions...perhaps if I wanted the bottle sealed or not. I just looked at her for a moment before my regular lady jumped in and told her that I didn't speak Portuguese. And that I'm an American. Then I think then she started telling her about how big our family was and I take the juice home. It was just me today with Jocelyn and Kira. It's funny that I don't really understand a lot, until you start talking about me and then I understand plenty. Ha ha.

So, this photo below is from a few weeks ago at the market. All of that produce was $12.50 USD. That's about what I spent today, too. I bought a dozen bananas today for 2 reais, which is about 50 cents. It was too expensive, though. They only lasted 10 minutes after we got home. Banana peels were found all over the back yard. And we don't have even one left.

So check out the juice in the photo above. For $2 USD, you can get a little pitcher of fresh juice in a restaurant. It's seriously awesome. So much fruit. So inexpensive. So good. So little time.

So whenever we go to the market, I let the kids pick out whatever fruit or vegetable they want. Jocelyn really wanted a watermelon, so we paid about a dollar for one. Kira's awesome choice was what she thought were cherries. Nope. It's called jabuticaba and I love them. They actually grow on a tree trunk. Click the link and you can see photos on wikipedia...and read about how many awesome antioxidants are in this bad boy.

So, you win some and then you lose some. When Rilary was living with us last year we ate some cashew nuts. She was asking about what they were called and didn't believe me when I told her what they were...because in Brazil you don't eat the nut or legume. Only the fruit. The nut that we eat is actually the cashew fruit's seed.

So my first clue that there's going to be a problem should have been that the Brazilian we live with has never actually eaten a fresh cashew...only drank cashew fruit juice. That doesn't stop me. I've got an adventurous spirit and there's not a question in my mind that this is going to be good. The shell on the nut was firm but not hard like a regular nut. We tried to crack it but the shell was tough skinned and not hard or soft enough to open. So I used my teeth. Brilliant idea! ...said no one ever. Though it did work.

My second clue that I may have a problem should have been how hard it was to get to the nut. Nope. Turns out the clue I recognize is the tingling sensation on my lips and tongue. And I don't mean tingle in a good way. Graeden asked me if it was poisonous. What?! No Graeden. It's not poisonous. We love cashews. 
"Because didn't you tell me Mom that if I wanted to know if a berry was poisonous or not I could put it inside my lip for up to 5 minutes and if it tingles then it's poisonous?
Oh yeah. I did say that. And I believe that's true even though I've never tried it on an unknown berry...or fruit. Or anything, really. 

So then I get a few photos and think the reaction will slow down...maybe disappear...nope. The area around my mouth starts turning red. I cut up the cashew fruit and give it a try. Weird. Weird consistency. Weird taste (not bad). But that nut is the weirdest part of all. Weird color. I know it's completely raw but does it have to be pasty white? The ones I buy in the store are most likely been roasted to turn golden. But still.

So I do a google search entitled "help I ate a raw cashew" and find out that the seed cover has the same toxic chemical on it that is found in poison oak and ivy and that you really shouldn't ever ingest it. Ever.

One lady posted a video about it and talked about nearly dying. Yeah. Whoops. She was told to go to the hospital and get pumped full of anti-biotics. She had some redness on her face and then after 3 hours her face swelled up and was rock hard. She was really sick for a week. Yikes!

I'm not sure what I'd do without the internet.

I did a google search for poison oak and essential oils. If I can help it, I don't want to have a hopsital experience tonight. I found an article recommending frankincense, peppermint and thieves (Young Living brand) or on-guard (doTerra brand). Dabbing on frankincense on my lips and tongue felt soothing immediately. Oh, it was nice. The peppermint and on-guard didn't feel as great but already my lips were on fire so I can take a little heat. I put more frankincense on after about an hour. Now I am almost 2 hours post incident and my face feels almost back to normal, though I'll put on more frankincense just for good measure.

So let me be a lesson to you. If you don't see the natives doing something, you shouldn't do it either. And if you're interested in how cashews are harvested, please watch this video. It's really interesting and only a few minutes long.

This is me a couple of days after the cashew incident. That thing that looks like a cold sore, is actually the chemical burn I got from trying to bite open the cashew nut shell. It's totally better now, a week later. Well maybe still a little pink but the scab fell off so that took most of the color with it.

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