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Scientist Issues Warning About Latest “Toxic” Food Trend On Instagram

Instagram has played host to countless trends - the majority of which have positively impacted social change. A good example of this is the body positivity movement, which has encouraged people around the world to love the skin that they are in, and not conform to social pressures.

However, the latest food trend to make waves on the app sadly doesn't fall into the category. Created by clean eating bloggers, on the surface, it appears to be harmless (unlike the Tide Pod challenge), but horrifyingly it is potentially poisonous.

So what exactly does it involve? Oh, y'know, decorating goji berry and chia seed smoothies with deadly plants.

And I'm not going to lie, I don't exactly fancy from suffering from convulsions as a result of drinking a smoothie.

While many of the bloggers themselves point out in their descriptions that the flowers are purely for decoration, people could easily miss the small print and unknowingly put themselves into dangerous situations when they recreate them.

The dangerous trend has been slammed by botanist James Wong.

One of the plants used by the bloggers is a cultivated Narcissus variety, which contains a toxic substance called lycorine that exists to "repel attacks  from herbivores."

According to Wong, this could result in "nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea and in higher doses even convulsions, liver damage and cardiac arrhythmia."

As if that wasn't horrifying enough already, Wong explained that it actually gets worse.

"They also contain oxalates which are microscopic, needle-like crystals which can cause severe irritation and burning, in particular around the lips, lining of the mouth and throat.

Daffodil pickers often experience painful skin lesions from coming into contact with the sap, and this is on the much thicker skin of the hands and arms.

It's excruciating."

In the United Kingdom, Narcissus plants are the most common cause of accidental poisoning and that's why "erring on the side of caution is absolutely crucial" according to Wong.

He said that decorating your smoothies with these plants is "akin to putting dishwasher tablets or mothballs as a food garnish and claiming they are just decoration."

Wong added that another popular type of plant used in the trend is the "extremely dangerous" lantana flowers:

"Eating these is a frequent cause of livestock death in some parts of the world from acute liver failure.

As cows are significantly larger than people, the likely lethal dose isn't very high at all."

As a result, following in the steps of your favorite clean eating bloggers is now like playing "game of Russian roulette."

So, if you don't fancy spending your summer in hospital, or worse, six feet under, it's a good idea to steer clear of the most picture perfect smoothies on Instagram.

But if you do decide to recreate anything, make sure you know exactly what the ingredients you're using contain!