Hi, Ben, Raw beets are very earthy roots. From what we've learned, most beet varietes do not have this burning sensation though some types do. Of course, everyone has different food sensitivies (and allergies), too, though you said that both you and your friend had this issue so this probably isn't the case. To avoid the throat burning sensation, try peeling beets before eating them raw. Also, we suggest that you eat them in small amounts--for example, grated on a salad. Another tip is to simply eat them cooked. Steam or roast the beets. Oxalic acid in the beet skin gets neutralized when cooked. Our favorite way to eat beets is to cut them in bite-size pieces, toss them with olive oil, salt, pepper, and rosemary, and roast for an hour or until tender.
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