From Wolffan@21:1/5 to All on Tue Nov 2 18:01:59 2021
XPost: rec.arts.sf.science, rec.arts.sf.written
Mutants walk among us.
I know some people from Jamaica, where the national dish is ackee and
saltfish. Salted cod is getting hard to get nowadays, and ackee is poisonous unless properly prepared (boil the fruit in lots of water, and discard the water. And clean the pot you used to boil it in very thoroughly.) US Customs used to confiscate any ackee they saw, on the grounds that it’s lethal;
ackee was therefore the second most commonly smuggled plant matter from
Jamaica to the US. (Three guesses as to #1.)
So my Jamaican friends, many years ago, smuggled in some ackee seeds (US Customs didn’t know what the seeds look like...) and planted them. And now have four ackee trees, old enough to bear fruit. And were looking forwards to some ackee and saltfish.
But this was not to be. The local squirrels discovered the ackees, and descended in a vast mob. (Okay, about a dozen.) They ate raw ackee, biting through the tough red jackets, eating the fruit, eating the seeds, eating everything... and DIDN’T DIE. Hypogylcin A is highly toxic and is found in the raw fruit; the levels fall by 10-13 as the fruit ripens. (Yes, raw unripe ackee is up to 13 time more poisonous than ripe ackee!) Hypogylcin A. is water-soluable and can be removed by boiling the fruit, so the toxin goes
away. Hypogylcin B is found in the seeds. It is much more poisoinous than Hypogylcin A. It cannot easily be removed. Ackee seeds should never, ever, be eaten, and must be handled with care.
The mutant squirrels ate everything. They ate the seeds. They’re supposed
to have been dead in hous at the most, but it’s been weeks, and not only
are they still alive, they like the taste and come back for more. They really like the seeds, the most poisonous part. There are supposed to be dead squirrels all over. Apparently they are unaffected by Hypogylcin. Beware. The mutant hordes are coming.