The earliest humans had a specialized organ whose chief purpose was to help digest cellulose (among other things): the appendix. Now that it’s vestigial, certain foods that are very high in cellulose, like kale spines, need to be removed and aren’t edible at all. But there are a host of reasons why some foods need to be cooked before eating, and the fact that they can’t be digested is just one of them.
The most obvious food that needs to be cooked is meat. Aside from it being difficult for our stomachs to process a big slab of raw meat, it can also be full of parasites and bacteria that can kill, like salmonella. Other foods contain poisons that need to be cooked off. Also, don’t forget that these foods tend to taste pretty bad.
Some of these foods might surprise you: yucca, also known as cassava, doesn’t just taste bad raw; it can also send you to the hospital if eaten uncooked. Others, like chicken, aren’t that surprising at all, but still good to know about. So read on to learn about foods that you shouldn’t eat raw, and why.