Azetidine-2-carboxylic acid (L-Aze) is a toxic and teratogenic non-protein amino acid. In many species, including man, L-Aze is misincorporated into protein in place of proline, altering collagen, keratin, hemoglobin, and protein folding. In animal models of teratogenesis, it causes a wide range of malformations. The role of L-Aze in human disease has been unexplored, probably because the compound has not been associated with foods consumed by humans. Herein we report the presence of L-Aze in the garden or table beet (Beta vulgaris).