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Why Are We Not Eating The Weeds?


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#18 Turtle

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Posted 25 March 2017 - 07:18 PM

Who remembers Euell Gibbons? "Ever eat a pine tree?" :lol:

Anyway, I have been using the following site for the last 10 years or so to check edibility and other uses of the plants I photograph and/or collect for the herbarium. Most entries are native to N America, but a few early introductions were used by Native Americans and are in the database. Database is sponsored by University of Minnesota - Dearborn. Best results are obtained using binomials, but common names also return results.

Native American Ethnobotany: A Database of Foods, Drugs, Dyes and Fibers of Native American Peoples, Derived from Plants.

Genus Taraxacum, i.e. dandelions, returns 81 records: > Taraxacum

And speaking of Dandelions, did you know they produce latex?
Taraxacum@ Wiki

... As source of natural rubber
Dandelions secrete latex when the tissues are cut or broken, yet in the wild type, the latex content is low and varies greatly. Using modern cultivation methods and optimization techniques, scientists in the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology (IME) in Germany developed a cultivar that is suitable for commercial production of natural rubber. The latex produced exhibits the same quality as the natural rubber from rubber trees. In collaboration with Continental Tires, IME is building a pilot facility. As of May 2014, the first prototype test tires made with blends from dandelion-rubber are scheduled to be tested on public roads over the next few years.



#19 Farming guy

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Posted 28 March 2017 - 04:09 PM

Who remembers Euell Gibbons? "Ever eat a pine tree?" :lol:

Anyway, I have been using the following site for the last 10 years or so to check edibility and other uses of the plants I photograph and/or collect for the herbarium. Most entries are native to N America, but a few early introductions were used by Native Americans and are in the database. Database is sponsored by University of Minnesota - Dearborn. Best results are obtained using binomials, but common names also return results.

Native American Ethnobotany: A Database of Foods, Drugs, Dyes and Fibers of Native American Peoples, Derived from Plants.

Genus Taraxacum, i.e. dandelions, returns 81 records: > Taraxacum

And speaking of Dandelions, did you know they produce latex?
Taraxacum@ Wiki

I had heard about the latex in dandelions.  Milkweed also produces latex, and also has edible parts. http://wildblessings...lants/milkweed/    We have some areas of some fields that got overtaken by milkweed when we had a wet year and couldn't get to all of the fields soon enough to keep the plants from producing a whole lot of seeds.  If we could make money from milkweed, it would be easy money.



#20 Turtle

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Posted 28 March 2017 - 05:21 PM

I had heard about the latex in dandelions.  Milkweed also produces latex, and also has edible parts. http://wildblessings...lants/milkweed/    We have some areas of some fields that got overtaken by milkweed when we had a wet year and couldn't get to all of the fields soon enough to keep the plants from producing a whole lot of seeds.  If we could make money from milkweed, it would be easy money.


Another edible introduced weed we have that produces latex is Prickly Lettuce - Lactuca serriola, the closest wild relative of cultivated lettuce. There are 2 varieties, L. serriola var. serriola & L. serriola var. integrata which differ in the former having lobed leaves and the later having lobeless leaves. As with many edible weeds, it is also used medicinally.

Lactuca serriola

... Culinary and medicinal uses
Lactuca serriola can be eaten as a salad, although it has something of a bitter taste. Young leaves can be eaten raw or cooked.[11] However, its presence in some ancient deposits has been linked more to its soporific properties which might suggest ritual use. The Ancient Greeks also believed its pungent juice to be a remedy against eye ulcers and Pythagoreans called the lettuce eunuch because it caused urination and relaxed sexual desire. The Navajo used the plant as a ceremonial emetic.[12] In the island of Crete in Greece the leaves and the tender shoots of a variety called maroula or agriomaroulo are eaten boiled. ...


In this image that I took last summer, the variety integrata is in the foreground, but var. serriola was growing just a few feet away. All the white flowers in the image are another edible introduced weed, Wild Carrot - Daucus carota, aka Queen Anne's Lace, Bird's Nest, and Bishop's Lace. Domesticated carrots are cultivars of the subspecies, Daucus carota subsp. sativus.

32434612116_787d7ab036_z.jpg

#21 Speedjohn

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Posted 30 March 2017 - 01:11 AM

Weeds can also cause human health problems.Many common weeds such as Parthenium Weed,cause asthma and other respiratory problems. Some weeds can also cause skin irritation 

Water weeds such as Water Hyacinth  can affect the quality of our drinking water.



#22 Turtle

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Posted 04 June 2017 - 01:10 PM

Chicory, aka Blue Sailors, is touted as a salad green though I have never tried it. The roots can also be dried, roasted, and used as a coffee substitute. I did sorta try the root thing, but over-roasted (OK; charcoaled) and never got to the brewing.
 
What I actually came to post on is not really a weed, but a tasty & rather unknown use of a common garden veggie. To whit, radish pods. Don't pull or discard those radishes that bolt, rather leave them go to flower. The bright green young seed pods are crunchy and tender with a mild radish taste and great in a salad. Bon appétit! :chef:

Here's a batch from a couple years ago:
14667715027_b9935e5caa.jpg

Edited by Turtle, 04 June 2017 - 01:45 PM.


#23 Moontanman

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Posted 04 June 2017 - 06:51 PM

Weeds can also cause human health problems.Many common weeds such as Parthenium Weed,cause asthma and other respiratory problems. Some weeds can also cause skin irritation 

Water weeds such as Water Hyacinth  can affect the quality of our drinking water.

 

 

In what way do Water Hyacinths affect water quality?  



#24 Moontanman

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Posted 04 June 2017 - 06:52 PM

Pigweed, is said to be edible, we often picked large amount to feed to pigs. I'm not sure what the plant really was. 



#25 Turtle

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Posted 04 June 2017 - 07:16 PM

In what way do Water Hyacinths affect water quality?

According to Wiki, they deplete the Oxygen.

... When not controlled, water hyacinth will cover lakes and ponds entirely; this dramatically affects water flow, blocks sunlight from reaching native aquatic plants, and starves the water of oxygen, often killing fish (or turtles). ...



#26 Turtle

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Posted 04 June 2017 - 07:19 PM

Pigweed, is said to be edible, we often picked large amount to feed to pigs. I'm not sure what the plant really was.


Check photo at this Wiki to see if it's your plant. They say it's quite nutricious, but can contain excess nitrates and so be toxic for livestock. Pigs beware! >> Amaranthus palmeri

220px-Amaranthus_palmeri.jpg



#27 Turtle

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Posted 04 June 2017 - 07:20 PM

PS Hi Mootanman! :hi: Good to hear from you. How's tricks? :juggle:

#28 Farming guy

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Posted 13 June 2017 - 05:08 PM

Chicory, aka Blue Sailors, is touted as a salad green though I have never tried it. The roots can also be dried, roasted, and used as a coffee substitute. I did sorta try the root thing, but over-roasted (OK; charcoaled) and never got to the brewing.
 
What I actually came to post on is not really a weed, but a tasty & rather unknown use of a common garden veggie. To whit, radish pods. Don't pull or discard those radishes that bolt, rather leave them go to flower. The bright green young seed pods are crunchy and tender with a mild radish taste and great in a salad. Bon appétit! :chef:

Here's a batch from a couple years ago:
14667715027_b9935e5caa.jpg

I recently identified a patch of wild radishes next to our bunker silo, and this post inspired me to have a taste of the seed pods yesterday.  I still have that horribly bitter taste lingering.  I suppose I should have boiled them and soaked them in butter first?



#29 Turtle

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Posted 13 June 2017 - 06:25 PM

I recently identified a patch of wild radishes next to our bunker silo, and this post inspired me to have a taste of the seed pods yesterday.  I still have that horribly bitter taste lingering.  I suppose I should have boiled them and soaked them in butter first?

Eeeeek! Presuming you found Raphanus raphanistrum, I can find no reference suggesting it is edible. To the contrary, while WebMD says Wild Radish is used by some as a medicine, they also say "There isn't enough information available to know if wild radish is safe. Large amounts can irritate the mouth and the intestines." I suggest not eating it at all.

The Wiki article only says "It is sometimes claimed to be the ancestor of the edible radish, Raphanus sativus", so it sounds like no definitive proof.

The cultivated radish pods I suggested eating, I have only washed and eaten raw and while radish-y tasting, they are not bitter. Perhaps this year I'll try cooking some and report back.

#30 sanctus

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 01:42 AM

Disagree on nettles having no taste, you can make nettle-pesto and it has a distinctive taste. My son loves it, but I think mainly because we eat the plant which burns :D



#31 Farming guy

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 06:50 AM

Eeeeek! Presuming you found Raphanus raphanistrum, I can find no reference suggesting it is edible. To the contrary, while WebMD says Wild Radish is used by some as a medicine, they also say "There isn't enough information available to know if wild radish is safe. Large amounts can irritate the mouth and the intestines." I suggest not eating it at all.

The Wiki article only says "It is sometimes claimed to be the ancestor of the edible radish, Raphanus sativus", so it sounds like no definitive proof.

The cultivated radish pods I suggested eating, I have only washed and eaten raw and while radish-y tasting, they are not bitter. Perhaps this year I'll try cooking some and report back.

I found a few websites indicating the wild radish was entirely edible.  http://www.thekitchn...ild-radi-151614 was just one.

 

I didn't find the seed pod to be irritating, other than the taste.  I wonder if it could have something in it that not everyone can taste.  I remember in seventh grade learning about genetics, and the teacher had us taste something that not everyone could taste.  To those of us who could taste it, because we had the gene for it, it was incredibly bitter.  I'm kind of surprised that lesson was allowed!



#32 Turtle

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 11:08 AM

I found a few websites indicating the wild radish was entirely edible.  http://www.thekitchn...ild-radi-151614 was just one.
 
I didn't find the seed pod to be irritating, other than the taste.  I wonder if it could have something in it that not everyone can taste.  I remember in seventh grade learning about genetics, and the teacher had us taste something that not everyone could taste.  To those of us who could taste it, because we had the gene for it, it was incredibly bitter.  I'm kind of surprised that lesson was allowed!

 
Interesting! I bow to your search skills. :bow: More interesting that the medical page is contradictory to your references. Let us know if you try other preparations of Wild Radish.
 
Here's something on bitter taste genetics: >> PTC The Genetics of Bitter Taste

Isn't it alum we tasted in school? I have to run so will have to look into it more a bit later. Happy weeding! :hi:

#33 Deepwater6

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Posted 14 June 2017 - 11:49 AM

From my experience It is fairly defined what people can smell and taste from person to person. In the summer time we get many of the same customers who smell the MIB and Geosmin in our water system. When they shower or wash their hands, if it is present it is very noticeable to them.

 

Even our lab technicians who smell samples every 2hrs are separated on different natural odors. All can smell petroleum, but some cannot detect a hint of Geosmin and for some it's completely irritating.

 

https://www.hunterwa...in-and-MIB.aspx

 

We also spend a lot of money trying to remove it from the system. Tons and tons of Carbon, huge UV systems, coupled with Peroxide to name a few.

 

Getting back to the original post, IMHO, I would liken the reason we don't get excited about eating weeds is the negative connotations that go along with it. Just as not many people are usually in no hurry to eat ants and locusts even though some may taste good and be a good source of protein. It just doesn't sit right with them. :warped: ......yeah I guess it was intended.



#34 Farming guy

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Posted 20 June 2017 - 03:56 PM

 Perhaps this year I'll try cooking some and report back.

I don't have the scientific research to back this up, but I'm sure everything tastes better with butter!  I'm sure someone must have studied that, and I will look it up when the silos are full.