Thread: Venison
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Default Venison

graham > wrote:

> "sarah" > wrote in message
> ...
> > Doctor J. Frink > wrote:
> >
> >> On Mon, 19 Dec 2005 09:35:53 +0000, sarah > wrote:
> >> >
> >> >Speaking (as it were) of parsnips, does anyone else find that one or two
> >> >of them seem to leave the mouth/tongue/lips slightly numb? I know it's
> >> >in the same family as some rather nasty plants; I just wondered if some
> >> >roots contain a higher concentration of something. Or perhaps it's my
> >> >first food allergy!
> >>
> >> I can't say I've experienced any numbness but parsnips do contain toxins
> >> (as lots of veg does), which can cause skin irritation when exposed to
> >> sunlight and possibly upset stomach.
> >>
> >> They tend to be in the damaged areas so if you peel the parsnip well and
> >> thoroughly cut out any bruises (if you don't already) it might help.

> >
> > I certainly peel them, but haven't paid close attention to cutting out
> > all the damaged bits. I know about the skin irritation bit; they (and
> > many other members of the family) contain a chemical that blocks the
> > skin's ability to protect itself from the sun. Depending on the
> > sensitivity of your skin you may not see any reaction from quite
> > prolonged contact on solidly overcast days, but sunlight leads to a
> > remarkable burn -- I tested some wild parsnip on my (inner) arm and it
> > raised blisters 12 hours later. I pity the youngsters who used to use
> > the stems as peashooters!
> >

> Is that a feature of all the Umbellifera?

I don't know, but it's possible, perhaps to a lesser extent. The
compounds involved are psoralens and furanocoumarins. There are records
of contact dermatitis suffered by people working with carrots, angelica,
and dill to name some of the more popular plants; others, such as Giant
Hogweed (_Hieraceum mantegazzianum_, from memory!) are very dangerous. I
tested the Wild Parsnip to judge whether the results were sufficiently
severe to have put two lads in hospital with what were diagnosed as
'chemical burns' on their legs. The answer was most definitely 'Yes',
and I'd add I have *never* itched so much from anything before (but then
I don't think I ever encountered Poison Ivy).


Think of it as evolution in action.