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Sorry, Foodies: We're About to Ruin Kale


Stashed in: Nutrition, Vegetables!, Kale

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Hubbard began to find detectable levels of a toxic heavy metal called thallium in patients' blood samples—at higher-than-normal leves—as well as in kale leaves from the region. Meanwhile, "over and over," he found that patients complaining ofsymptoms associated with low-level thallium poisoning—fatigue, brain fog, etc.—would also be heavy eaters of kale and related vegetables, like cabbage.

And he found, in the form of this 2006 peer-reviewed paper by Czech researchers, evidence that kale is really good at taking up thallium from soil. The paper concluded that kale's ability to accumulate soil-borne thallium is "very high and can be a serious danger for food chains." And here's a peer-reviewed 2013 paperfrom Chinese researchers finding similar results with green cabbage; a 2015Chinese study finding green cabbage is so good at extracting thallium from soil that it can be used for "phytoremediation"—i.e., purifying soil of a toxin—and a2001 one from a New Zealand team finding formidible thallium-scrounging powers in three other members of the brassica family: watercress, radishes, and turnips.

So... kale is toxic?

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