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The "poison apple"

In the late 1700s, Europeans thought tomatoes were poisonous. Aristocrats got sick and died after eating them. It was later discovered that the pewter plates used by wealthy Europeans were high in lead content. The high acidity of tomatoes would leach lead from the plate, resulting in death from lead poisoning.

In 1597, the tomato was classified as deadly nightshade where the whole plant was toxic. This view prevailed in Britain and the British North American colonies for over 200 years.

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