From Pine View Farm

Ricin Beans 3

George Smith harpoons the hysteria over castor beans and ricin.

Contrary to American war on terror mythology, castor seeds don’t make a good weapon. They contain ricin and it’s easy to grind them to powder but, In fact, it is harder than one might think to achieve simple poisoning.

Science (gasp!) at the link.


It’s been within that last several weeks that I saw a major network’s TV detective show (can’t remember which one) that propagated the ricin myth.



  1. George Smith

    November 1, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    Breaking Bad featured it in the finale. I liked the show a lot, the ricin bit was mostly rubbish but there’s no arguing with what people see on tv, particularly their favorite shows. Paradoxically, the woman’s ignorance about may probably have been what saved her. She boiled her beans.  

  2. Frank

    November 1, 2013 at 11:09 pm

    I did not watch Breaking Bad.  We don’t do premium channels.


    It was most likely The Mentalist or Castle or, possibly, Bones.  That’s what we’ve been watching lately.  We like them because they are quirky, not twerky, but we know they are more fantasy than detective fiction.

  3. George Smith

    November 2, 2013 at 9:40 am

    Ricin is the new cyanide. Ricin old Lace.