A crucial addendum to a wild edibles issue...

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To All:

In my comments on wild edibles in other threads, I included the Bittersweet (Celastrus scandens) as an edible. More specifically, I had mentioned that the Chippewas had used the branches and the bark as food. This is true, but I had inadvertently omitted the fact that these have to be boiled in order to rid them of saponin, a poison. I do not know how long they have to be boiled, nor whether some other type of leaching process would work. Perhaps someone else can help with this. In any case, I sincerely apologize for my omission.

This is a good opportunity for me to reiterate the crucial points that you should not use wild edibles until you really know them, know which parts to eat when, how to prepare them, and their poisonous lookalikes. Get the books; do a word search on Amazon.com. A good book on poisonous plants is "Common Poisonous Plants and Mushrooms of North America" by Turner and Szczawinski.

-- eve (123@4567.com), December 02, 1999


I have been a wild crafter and taught wilderness
survival for 35 years. My software demo has info
on the medicinal, edible and poisonous properties
of the plants of the PNW.

Some tribes ate plants with saponin with no problem
others considered it poisonous. There are so many
edible plants that it makes little sense to try to
make poisonous plants edible.

Here's a link to eve's earlier thread.

A wild edible most have nearby, but few know about...

-- spider (spider0@usa.net), December 02, 1999.

My favorite is SPINACH!! It grows in cans in me armpits areas somehow, ands its always there when I needs it. ackackackackack!!

-- Popeye (Always@the.helm), December 02, 1999.


I appreciate your input. And thank you for providing a link to your materials in my other thread, although I haven't looked at them yet. But I intend to!

It's important to note that the reason I give information on trees and grasses as wild edibles is that this knowledge could be critical in an emergency situation, when little or nothing else is available.

By the way, I don't think I directly mentioned the Bittersweet in my thread that you've linked above, but within that thread I refer to a thread by "Familyman" where I did mention it. I also brought it up in one of zog's recent threads that may have just dropped off into the archives. I don't recall the title of that thread, though.

-- eve (123@4567.com), December 02, 1999.


Give Lamb's Quarters a shot. It's very much like spinach, it's free, and you won't have to pop any cans.

Let me know how it works out the next time you meet up with Bluto...

-- eve (123@4567.com), December 02, 1999.

T'anks, Eve! I'll gives it a try! ackackackackackack! Hmmm, wonder if I asks her out if Olive would find out? ackackackack.....

-- Jay Urban (Jayho99@aol.com), December 02, 1999.


Careful -- we've got to be discreet! Olive could be reading this thread right now, and settin' out to get you!

And you'd better hope she doesn't find some Lamb's Quarters on the way...

-- eve (123@4567.com), December 02, 1999.

"Lamb's Quarters" -- AKS "Pigweed" AKA "Chenopodium Album" isn't just *like* spinach -- it *is* spinach. Moreso, in fact, than the "spinach" you buy in the store.

New Zealand Spinach, the vegetable you're usually buying when you buy "spinach" -- is *not* really a *spinach*! But C. Album *is* a true spinach.

It *is* one of the commonest weeds around, and *very* hardy -- we had some in our barnyard that grew about 8' tall, and literally had *wooden* trunks well over an inch thick, that required me to put the buzz saw blade on the weed cutter to saw down. And it wasn't easy!

Besides being very easy to find, hardy -- and quite delicious -- it's loaded with nutrients. IIRC, it has significantly higher iron and vitamin A content than cultivated spinach.

-- Ron Schwarz (rs@clubvb.com.delete.this), December 02, 1999.

Eve, I better not goes around Olive with no lambs' whattayacallit stuck in my teef! ackackackack! Hows about a good oibal toofbrush....in India, we used In'ian weed, or sump'n like dat! Gots all the green specks out! ackackackackackack!

-- Popeye/Jay (cant remember@this.time), December 02, 1999.


Thanks for your input; interesting points.

I'm not much of a spinach eater, but I was surprised to hear you say that store spinach was New Zealand Spinach. But you're right, NZS is from an entirely different family. To clarify for the readers, the Chenopodiaceae family includes Lamb's Quarters (Chenopodium album), spinach (Spinacia oleracia), beets, orach, and other things.

New Zealand Spinach (Tetragonia tetragonioides) is the only vegetable species that I'm aware of that is in the Tetragoniaceae family.

I might add that LQ is also a very good source of virtamin C. Calcium, too; however, I'm uncomfortable talking about the calcium content because I'm unsure of its oxalate content, which would render the calcium benefits problematic. Do you know the answer to this?

-- eve (123@4567.com), December 03, 1999.


Thanks for the info. And love your accent ("oibal"). Are you from Jersey?

-- eve (123@4567.com), December 03, 1999.

Hi eve!

I read a thread of yours somewhere yesterday that discussed how to eat quack grass. I can't find it now (maybe by 1/1/00 I'll have learned how to negotiate this chatroom?) At any rate, I'd sure appreciate it if you'd give this ol' gal a hand.

-- Laura (Ladylogic46@aol.com), December 03, 1999.

Sheesh, never mind eve. I just noticed Spidey has it up top. If I can't even learn how to work a thread, how am I ever going to learn how to navigate this entire chatroom? Doesn't matter,... chances are my machine will be toast in 29 days anyhow.

But I'll be feasting on grass, weeds, and shrubs! Thanks for the information.

-- Laura (Ladylogic46@aol.com), December 03, 1999.

Hi, Laura,

I even did a thread on wood bread that's in the prep archives somewhere. I posted the recipe. Really! The title is something like "Wood Bread -- No Joke!"

Through a series of pounding, boiling, drying, etc. and finally baking, you can actually get something that tastes a little like corn bread!

Bon Apetit!

-- eve (123@4567.com), December 03, 1999.

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