7

I used to pick up carob bean pods off the sidewalk.

My mother told me to drop the carob immediatly, and my mother told me that the carob beans were poisonous.

I looked up the latin name for carob beans.

The latin name is Ceratonia siliqua.

Is Ceratonia siliqua poisonous?

I saw a youtube video saying that dog treats can be made from carob.

6
  • 10
    Its possible your mother just didn't want you picking random seedpods off the ground and eating them. Dec 10, 2023 at 9:24
  • 1
    I sure hope not. I eat them in energy bars. They taste like chocolate.
    – DKNguyen
    Dec 11, 2023 at 0:51
  • @DKNguyen I regularly eat kidney beans in food products. That doesn't mean they aren't poisonous to eat from the pod. Dec 11, 2023 at 17:22
  • I find carob chips taste like... chocolate-dipped raisins. Both of which, unlike carob, are poisonous to dogs. Go figure. 🙂 Carob is often used in dog treats as a canine-safe chocolate replacement, but it doesn't taste exactly the same.
    – Matthew
    Dec 11, 2023 at 19:56
  • @PeteKirkham You can say the same thing about potatoes. But you don't tell a child to immediately drop a potato because it's poisonous.
    – DKNguyen
    Dec 12, 2023 at 20:32

2 Answers 2

22

No, they’re not poisonous. Carob beans are edible and widely eaten, in particular as a disappointing chocolate substitute as well as a thickener (locust bean gum) derived from the seeds. Of course, some carob beans - particularly ones not intended for consumption - may have had pesticides sprayed on them.

Your mother may have been thinking of castor beans, which are quite poisonous.

1
  • 7
    Another consideration: often the same everyday name gets used for different plants in different places. E.g. “chestnut” is used for a lot of different trees and their nuts, including some edible species and some poisonous ones. So the trees that OP knows as “carob” may not necessarily be the same species Ceratonia siliqua that commercial carob beans come from.
    – PLL
    Dec 11, 2023 at 1:36
6

No, they are not poisonous. Allow me to assume that your mother was trying to say that they could be poisonous because they grow near a road and therefore can contain lead and other toxic chemicals that can do long-term damage, but could not explain. Or maybe she really thought they were poisonous.

1
  • 1
    It could also be that she said something along the lines of, "You shouldn't eat random things off of plants; they could be poisonous," which a young mind could easily interpret as "Those are poisonous." Dec 11, 2023 at 18:29

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.