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Old 08-06-2017, 07:08 PM
mixdenny mixdenny is offline
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If we can't eat grass (Thai vegetabels)

So we can't eat grass. But my Thai wife is always bringing home some strange leafs to eat, most of which are delicious. Pak Boong, Dom Loong, etc. One type of ivy complete with the curly tendrils.

Check out these photos, especially the bottom of page one and the next pages. If I saw them growing it would never occur to me to try eating them.

http://www.supatra.com/pages/thaiveggies.html

So, are there edible leaves in the US that can sustain people in emergencies? I've seen plenty of the survival shows and no one grabs leaves to eat.

Dennis
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Old 08-06-2017, 09:09 PM
jayjay jayjay is offline
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The leafy parts of plants can add flavor and fiber (and micronutrients like vitamins), but you can't really survive on them, because they're mostly cellulose. Cellulose isn't inedible, it's simply indigestible for humans. And we have plenty of leafy things we eat in the West that are "inedible": lettuce, cabbage, greens, spinach, the outer hulls of peas and corn...all of which generally show up in our stool unchanged except for what our teeth did to it when it went in.

Last edited by jayjay; 08-06-2017 at 09:10 PM.
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Old 08-06-2017, 09:42 PM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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What are you talking about? Of course lettuce, cabbage, spinach, and the like are digestible. They might not give as many useful Calories as grains or potatoes do, but we can get plenty of other nutrients out of them.

And of course there are edible leaves that grow wild in the US, too. There's dandelions, purslane, chickweed, various wild onions, various mints...
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Old 08-07-2017, 01:26 AM
Ike Witt Ike Witt is offline
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And of course there are edible leaves that grow wild in the US, too. There's dandelions, purslane, chickweed, various wild onions, various mints...
And fiddleheads. Kudos to whoever figured out they were edible.
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Old 08-07-2017, 07:51 AM
Broomstick Broomstick is online now
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Pokeweed. Although it does take a couple hours to process to remove the naturally occurring toxins. Gotta wonder how anyone figured out how to make it edible.

My mother-in-law used to make a pretty tasty poke sallet.
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Old 08-09-2017, 03:40 PM
iamthewalrus(:3= iamthewalrus(:3= is offline
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Originally Posted by mixdenny View Post
So, are there edible leaves in the US that can sustain people in emergencies? I've seen plenty of the survival shows and no one grabs leaves to eat.
I mean, you can eat leaves, but they're not going to sustain you.

A head of Romaine lettuce has about 100 calories so to get to a fairly basic 2000 calories a day, you'd have to eat 20 heads a day.

Unless you're standing in the middle of a commercial lettuce farm, the amount of exertion required to gather enough edible leaves to eat in some kind of emergency would almost certainly leave you net-negative from a caloric perspective.

You need nuts, beans, starches, and grains to survive on plants. Leaves aren't going to cut it.

Last edited by iamthewalrus(:3=; 08-09-2017 at 03:42 PM.
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Old 08-09-2017, 06:27 PM
Arkcon Arkcon is offline
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And fiddleheads. Kudos to whoever figured out they were edible.
Yeah, but they weren't very through 'tho. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiddle...Health_effects
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Old 08-09-2017, 06:56 PM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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Lettuce won't sustain you, but there are a lot of leaves that have a lot more nutrition than lettuce does.
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Old 08-11-2017, 05:58 AM
Elemenopy Elemenopy is offline
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I rented a house some years back that had virtually no "grass," but we discovered most of the weeds were edible. Two of the biggest crops were lambsquarter and garlic mustard, both of which are easily distinguishable (e.g., you don't have to worry that you are eating something poisonous) and they were plentiful enough to pick daily for a vegetable all summer. Others were purslane and lemon sorrel (looks kinds like clover), and were enough for accents a few times per week. I went out out with my kitchen shears almost every day for "yard salad." It was fun and tasty. We also had poke and wild plantain (not bananas) but I was too wary to eat those, and a decrepit mulberry tree that still produced off a few branches, plus innumerable things of the cat's-ear/dandelion family that I occasionally played with.

You couldn't live off of them, but certainly would keep scurvy at bay for 6 months of the year from a small 1/4 acre yard. Frankly, I thought it was a lot nicer than grass (we did mow the front for the neighbors' sake) overall.
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Old 08-11-2017, 06:28 AM
jz78817 jz78817 is offline
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who said we can't eat grass?

you most certainly can, you just don't derive much if any nutrition from it.

we can, however, eat (and get calories from) grass seeds, which is what e.g. wheat and rice are.

leafy greens are valuable because many of them are rich in micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) and some (herbs) for the aromatic compounds they contain.
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Old 08-11-2017, 06:33 AM
jz78817 jz78817 is offline
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Others were purslane and lemon sorrel (looks kinds like clover), and were enough for accents a few times per week.
huh. in spring and early summer I've got purslane all over my patio, growing in between the paver stones. I'd heard it was edible, but read elsewhere it contains oxalic acid which I thought was bad.
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Old 08-11-2017, 06:47 AM
Elemenopy Elemenopy is offline
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huh. in spring and early summer I've got purslane all over my patio, growing in between the paver stones. I'd heard it was edible, but read elsewhere it contains oxalic acid which I thought was bad.
I found purslane very tasty, but it had a certain, uh, laxative effect on me.

Oxalic acid isn't "bad" per se, though it can contribute to kidney stones and strip your tooth enamel a bit. Spinach, chard, kale, etc are chock full of it. You can mitigate the bad effects by cooking them with a bit of acid and fat, or so I've heard...like most people do anyway (lemon juice or vinegar sauce plus some pork fat, for example), and not drinking the "pot likker." But don't quote me on that one; I'm not seeing any clear evidence proving it one way or another, now that I look.
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Old 08-11-2017, 06:50 AM
Filbert Filbert is online now
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Originally Posted by jz78817 View Post
huh. in spring and early summer I've got purslane all over my patio, growing in between the paver stones. I'd heard it was edible, but read elsewhere it contains oxalic acid which I thought was bad.
Lots of commonly consumed plants contain oxalic acid at various concentrations; it's fine in small quantities. It'd be pretty hard to eat enough purslane for it to be an issue.
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Old 08-11-2017, 07:27 AM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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Oh, yeah, I forgot about garlic mustard. My mom makes a delicious pesto out of that stuff.

I think I know of a weed called "lambsquarter" around here, but I doubt it's the same one you're referring to: The one I'm thinking of would be far too tough for humans.
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Old 08-11-2017, 09:15 AM
carnivorousplant carnivorousplant is online now
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Oh, yeah, I forgot about garlic mustard. My mom makes a delicious pesto out of that stuff.
Cool.

I stuffed grape leaves for Mrs. Plant (v.2.0). She liked them so much that unbeknownst to her, I substituted mustard and various other greens eaten in the South.
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Old 08-11-2017, 10:38 AM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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Grape leaves are another one I know of, but they're not really a thing in my family (we stuff cabbage, instead), and so I don't know how much (if any) processing they need to be edible.
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Old 08-11-2017, 10:56 AM
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Grape leaves are another one I know of, but they're not really a thing in my family (we stuff cabbage, instead), and so I don't know how much (if any) processing they need to be edible.
I bought a jar once, pickled.
Fresh mustard or collard is less expensive, and being from NH, I doubt she could tell the difference after they were stuffed with spicy ground beef and cooked.
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Old 08-11-2017, 04:36 PM
iamthewalrus(:3= iamthewalrus(:3= is offline
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Lettuce won't sustain you, but there are a lot of leaves that have a lot more nutrition than lettuce does.
To make sure we're on the same page, by "nutrition", do you mean "calories"? It's true that there's lots of good stuff in leafy greens, but is there any functional human diet that gets a majority of its calories from leaves?

By contrast, you can eat almost nothing but potatoes, or beans+corn, and survive for quite a long time.

Last edited by iamthewalrus(:3=; 08-11-2017 at 04:37 PM.
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Old 08-11-2017, 09:05 PM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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Potatoes will leave you low on some essential amino acids, and both of those diets will be missing some vitamins. Beans, corn, and cabbage, though, will between them cover all of the bases except for relief of boredom.
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Old 08-11-2017, 09:42 PM
Hector_St_Clare Hector_St_Clare is offline
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Oh, yeah, I forgot about garlic mustard. My mom makes a delicious pesto out of that stuff.

I think I know of a weed called "lambsquarter" around here, but I doubt it's the same one you're referring to: The one I'm thinking of would be far too tough for humans.
Lambsquarter (Chenopodium album, IIRC) is edible, but really only in its young stages. I've eaten it before.
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Old 08-22-2017, 09:37 AM
MacLir MacLir is offline
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Originally Posted by mixdenny View Post
So we can't eat grass. But my Thai wife is always bringing home some strange leafs to eat, most of which are delicious. Pak Boong, Dom Loong, etc. One type of ivy complete with the curly tendrils.

Check out these photos, especially the bottom of page one and the next pages. If I saw them growing it would never occur to me to try eating them.

http://www.supatra.com/pages/thaiveggies.html

So, are there edible leaves in the US that can sustain people in emergencies? I've seen plenty of the survival shows and no one grabs leaves to eat.

Dennis
Off at somewhat of a tangent, I am allergic or something to the kaffir lime leaves.

Not a swell up and die without emergency care allergic, but if I eat something seasoned with them

Visualize each section of your GI tract, from the mouth to the -er- aboral end. Now imagine each of them protesting in their own way. Simultaneously.

That's why I ask about ingredients VERY carefully in Thai restaurants.
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Old 08-23-2017, 01:15 PM
Chronos Chronos is offline
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Since my last post in this thread, I double-checked, and the plant I thought was lambsquarter is actually sow-ear. Which my mom says is also edible, but it's got fiber strands through it worse than celery.
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