Here’s a strange one for you today.
It has to do with trusting your own taste buds… watching out for something a little off… and then TOSSING it if it’s getting a little funky.
Today’s wacky warning concerns squash, like that summer squash showing up in supermarkets right around now.
It doesn’t just turn bad.
It can practically rob a bank… or at least steal your hair.
Yeah, you read that right. Your hair – because researchers have documented two cases of people who ate squash that was so bad, they went bald because of it.
Not just losing a little hair off the top. They lost the hair off their heads… their eyebrows… the armpits… and the “down there” hairs, too.
I told you it was wacky. Did I deliver or what?
It’s a condition called alopecia, where just about every type of hair you have can fall out and stay out.
I’ve got nothing against hair loss and going bald. But when it happens all at once… across your entire body… and stays gone… well, that can be a little jarring.
Especially for women, which was the case in these incidents.
They each followed the same pattern.
Both were first sick with classic food poisoning symptoms, then both got better… and it was on with life.
Or so they thought.
A few weeks later, the lost their hair. All of it.
Scientists think that it’s because of a toxin called cucurbitacin that can be found in some squashes (named because squash are part of a family called cucurbits, in case you’re ever on Jeopardy!).
The overall risk is pretty low. Most modern squashes have had the cucurbitacin bred right out of them.
But nothing’s perfect. They can show up anyway (maybe from some unwanted cross-pollination), and next thing you know, you’ve got a hair-robbing squash sitting on your dinner table.
Don’t worry — there’s an easy way to spot the bad squash, and in both cases, the women ignored this warning sign.
Cucurbitacin is BITTER as heck. It’s so bitter that in one of the two cases, no one in the house would even touch the squash except for the victim who ate it. She knew it was bitter, too, but she ate it anyway.
In both cases, the squash in question was pumpkin. That said, bitterness in any squash is a sign of cucurbitacin, so from zucchini in summer to pumpkin in autumn, take a pass if your buds pick up on anything off.