The plants you would not think are edible and people eat


I’m in Michigan and I get purslane from late June right through fall. I did wipe it out as a weed a number of years back in my yard and had to procure seeds online (a French culinary variety with larger leaves/pads) which seems to have crossed with what nature has reintroduced and it does well.

Its great in salads, almost a cucumber-ish flavor, but with a lemony hint as well.



When I lived in a semi arid area I grew a lot of purslane as living mulch under corn. When irrigated it grew to 1/2 a foot tall and was so thick no light hit the soil. It made a big difference to yield.

Purslane survives when it is far too dry/hot for grass to survive, so served as free poultry feed over summer.

@glib that is fascinating about the omega 3. I am not convinced that eating mammoths and bison being the reason for us losing that ability though. Humans have eaten insects since the dawn of time and in many countries still do, it is only in western nations that eating insects is not common. Regardless of the reason why we are not good at elongating, it is still fascinating.


i have also noted that purslane can increase yields due to its mulching capability. A friend in sandy soil had two non-irrigated corn plots (he is a vegan), in a dry year only the one “infested” with purslane gave a crop. and all domestic animals love it.

It is true that we have always eaten insects, but if your diet gives you enough of a nutrient, eventually you lose the ability to manufacture it. it is the same with vitamin C. Although we have been eating insects far longer than we have eaten megafauna, insects were never a dominant part of the diet. But homo sapiens was often subsisting entirely on megafauna.

The other thing I did not mention: to elongate, say from 18 to 20 or 22, you need a high concentration of 2 and 4 fat molecules available for the reaction. That is acetic acid and butyric acid. Where do they come from? all from fermentable fiber, fermenting in the gut (for you and me, beans, potatoes, and the like). We have about ten times less by concentration, and therefore a smaller chance of doing the conversion, because we have a smaller gut compared to wild and domestic animals.