June 14, 2012
We were intrigued when Reddit user hellhound60 posted this interesting tidbit: 20lbs of Eggplant contains as much nicotine as a cigarette.
A little sleuthing revealed that the user derived the information from a 1993 study titled "The Nicotine Content of Common Vegetables" by a trio of doctors with the University of Michigan.
Indeed, the researchers found both through their own work and previous studies that nicotine is present in many human foods. While things like green peppers, black tea and tap water from the city Ann Arbor in Michigan came up negative for any amounts of nicotine, other things like potatoes, tomatoes and eggplant -- all plants in the family Solanaceaeuch -- were revealed to contain measurable amounts.
According to a previous study detailed in the 1993 project, 10 grams of eggplant contains 1 µg (microgram) of nicotine -- roughly the same amount one gets from three hours of exposure to second hand smoke. Cigarettes usually contain 1 mg (milligram) of nicotine, which means that a person would have to eat 10 kilograms, or 22.05 pounds, to reach that amount.