The plants you would not think are edible and people eat


I think animals react differently than we do to many things!


i realize that, for example dogs and chocolate. But when you have all of them reacting to avocadoes, it gives you pause. I would be more comfortable if I could see which enzyme we have that they don’t have. They generally have a much richer bacterial flora, which is responsible for deactivating many toxins. One possible solution is that persin is deactivated by cooking. google returns nothing on that search.


replying to my own post. A few years back I noticed a lot of chipmunks around my compost pile. To see if I could reduce the population, I started putting all the avocado seeds in the pile (they were going alone in the trash to protect wildlife). I noticed that the population went down, although there were also cats patrolling my back yard, but i also found many part-eaten seeds, consistent with a critter eating it and then keeling.

So my conclusion from that experiment was that they were poisonous enough and that the method worked. I really do wonder if cooking is all there is to it to make them edible. Red kidney beans are also deadly raw, 5-10 being a lethal dose. We love chili, but before putting the RK beans in the pot they (and every other bean) always spend 20+ mins in the pressure cooker precisely for that.


Are you sure about the red kidney beans being poisonous? Raw green beans are fine to eat, so why would the reds be poisonous?


I read that new hosta shoots are often eaten in Japan. I’m planning to try it come spring! My husband hates hostas, they’re so common here. Maybe he’ll be glad to find a second use for them!


I did some research, and it is true the red beans are poisonous raw or undercooked. Wow.


That advice above, of always passing your beans through the pressure cooker, is gold. They are always lighter on your system. Of course you should also always soak them, discarding the water.


Purslane great in my soup more Omega 3 Than fish. Grows wild most throw away as a weed.


There are actually 5 different species in the common bean group with one of the species having seriously high levels of poisonous lectins. Red Kidney is in that group. This story is complicated because the 5 species can be crossed, but there are incompatibility problems that affect fertility. As an example, you could cross Kentucky Wonder X Red Kidney, but if you did, there would be problems getting the resulting plant to produce much in the way of viable seed. These barriers are not as hard to overcome as for example a cross between the common bean and the tepary bean which requires embryo rescue.


Elephant ear ornamentals are eaten in other places so much they are considered the 14th most popular vegetable in the world
There are also 110 edible bamboo plants but like poke greens make sure you cook bamboo! With bamboo you need to make sure it’s the right type to eat! I would love to have a cold hardy edible bamboo someday.


Purslan is good as a salad with feta and tomatoes also. It has a pleasant tart flavor.

Edit: pickles are also made with the stems.


I see them growing in a number of the community gardens here, including where I have a plot. The gardener next to me is from Bangladesh and has a nice big crop going. It actually seems to do a lot better in this hot humid area than a lot of the things I’m growing. I should probably give them a try.

I’ve also been enjoying the greens from my sweet potatoes, usually sauteed in olive oil with some garlic, and I’ve been trying to find out if I can eat the flowers as well. I know they don’t usually flower, but mine is flowering heavily this year with all the rain we’ve had. I posted in the questions thread, but didn’t get a definitive answer so I haven’t given them a try yet. They would be very pretty in a salad.


But because it is all 18 carbon, the Omega 3 content does not matter much. The body uses mostly Omega 3 with 20 and 22 carbon atoms, and the human body is much less efficient at elongating said chains than, say, a chicken body. that is what millions of years eating mammoth and bison does to your system, you lose that ability because there is plenty in your diet and you want to save energy. Chickens evolved eating insects, which do not elongate, so they had to keep those enzymes.

So the best purslane, fat wise, is the one eaten by chicken, and then you eat the chicken (or the egg). It is still my favorite wild vegetable, good for your gut and full of other nutrients.




is purslane a warm weather weed? never seen it up here.


Also called Portulaca. Some folks plant it for the flowers. Most don’t understand just how badly it seeds/spreads.


yes, it needs thoroughly warm soil. It is available in August and later in Michigan.


That’s for sure. My garden area is mostly wood chips so weeds are not a big problem except for the purslane. It is very drought resistant so if I pull some out and drop it on the ground it usually just reroots if there is some rain.


They are fibrous, but free, organic (in my yard), and able to diversify the gut microbiome.
JohN S


I like purslane too. Crunchy and just a bit tangy. Grows in hot dry places like baseball infields. I am tempted to grab some when I’m playing second base.
John S