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RE: [pfaf] edible plants

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  • Davidoff, Lorraine
    I have had good luck with the PFAF database, I also have Cornucopia II, a great book with lots of information. When trying something new, I look it up, and if
    Message 1 of 12 , Oct 5, 2007
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      I have had good luck with the PFAF database, I also have Cornucopia II,
      a great book with lots of information. When trying something new, I
      look it up, and if it says edible, I try a little and see if I have any
      adverse reaction. I eat a wide variety of "wild" or nontraditional
      plants and plant parts along with a "normal" American diet. I will say
      that I had a large fibroid tumor encapsulate an ovarian cyst (all
      removed in January) and the doctors were astonished at how healthy and
      young-looking my organs were, even in the face of organ failure due to
      pressure from the tumor. They didn't need to remove anything other than
      the tumor/cyst. Both doctors, individually, came by after the surgery
      and said that was highly unusual and quizzed me at length about my diet.
      The scar across my stomach was no longer visible in 5 weeks, and the
      doctor was again astonished. I do not use supplements. I initially
      started eating this way due to curiosity, but also because everyone on
      one side of my family died young from cancer, but my great-grandfather
      who lived to 100 even though he also had cancer as a young man... when
      diagnosed, he went into the woods and started eating wild foods... and
      lived 30 years after diagnosis... the cancer faded away. I eat much
      less wild food than my grandfather, but am planting more nontraditional
      things all the time... I am over 50 and need the help :)
      My guess? Our bodies are designed to destroy cancer cells; however
      our diets do not provide sufficient nutrition to run the machine (like
      running a car on 2 cylinders). In part due to junk food, but also due
      to the fact that most of our "improved" varieties are "improved" by
      increasing the sugar and/or starch content... lowering the nutritional
      value of most of our crops.
      As for preserving, I have several books, but have found lots of useful
      information on the Internet for free. Check on amazon.com. Your local
      library will get any book through interlibrary loan for you to check out
      before you purchase it.

      ________________________________

      From: pfaf@yahoogroups.com [mailto:pfaf@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
      josephkuno
      Sent: Monday, October 01, 2007 11:38 AM
      To: pfaf@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [pfaf] edible plants



      Hi everybody!
      I want to post questions but I don't know where, so I tried it on this
      space.
      Here are my questions:
      Can humans eat green leaves from fruit trees and even grasses without
      cooking?
      Can we dry or process these leaves to preserve them for later use,
      say, during winter?
      Where can we find proff that we can eat leaves from fruit trees?

      Thank you very much.






      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Dan Culbertson
      Someone once posted somewhere a web page that described how a man fed his family during the U.S. depression in the 1930s on nothing but grass. Can t find that
      Message 2 of 12 , Oct 5, 2007
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        Someone once posted somewhere a web page that described how a man fed his
        family during the U.S. depression in the 1930s on nothing but grass. Can't
        find that reference now but I believe he dried it and ground it up so it
        didn't require chewing (there is silica in grass that wears down teeth very
        quickly). I am pretty sure there isn't anything poisonous in lawn grass.
        How much nutrient (calories and protein) you get is questionable.

        I also saw a survival TV show not long ago. The guy claimed you could stay
        alive eating things like grape leaves raw. Showed him stuffing some in his
        mouth and chewing (and chewing and chewing). I tried some but the ones
        growing all around my house are quite bitter. I'd have to be starving...

        Only common fruit tree I am sure of for green leaves is the avocado - and
        that is just used as a seasoning like bay leaf. Wild strawberry leaves are
        often eaten in spring since they have a lot of vitamin C. But I suspect
        some fruit and nut trees will have leaves that you can eat raw which won't
        actually kill you. But by the time you've eaten a lot of them and decided
        which ones aren't too tough and butter you might wish you were dead. :-)
        Just to be safe I'd avoid members of the cherry family since some species in
        that family have a lot a cyanide in the leaves. Also, the Plants for A
        Future database notes that plums and apples also may have toxic levels of
        hydrogen cyanide in there leaves.

        On the other hand, it seems to at least somewhat common practice in
        primitive societies to dry and powder leaves to add to bread flour and such.
        So maybe powdered leaf gruel would be at least survival food. Members of
        the legume tribe would be really good for this since they have a lot of
        protein. I know pigeon pea and other peas can be used this way. See
        Wikipedia for one list of edible leaves
        (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_plants_with_edible_leaves ) Some of
        the ones listed there, like Cassava, are poisonous unless you cook them very
        well. Others. like wild grape leaves, are probably edible raw but just not
        too tasty that way. Also, if you type in "leaves" as a keyword in the
        Plants for A Future on-line database it brings up 2449 plants which are used
        for their leaves. Ought to be some common trees in that list with leaves
        that are edible raw. Probably easier just typing in the tree species that
        you have growing around and see it they have edible leaves. And finally, if
        you can get the book Cornucopia II: A Source Book of Edible Plants from your
        local library it lists pretty much every edible use anyone has ever had for
        any part of any plant (well, it sometimes seems like that when you are
        looking through it!). But it doesn't ave recipes...

        Dan



        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "josephkuno" <josephkuno@...>
        To: <pfaf@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Monday, October 01, 2007 12:37 PM
        Subject: [pfaf] edible plants


        > Hi everybody!
        > I want to post questions but I don't know where, so I tried it on this
        > space.
        > Here are my questions:
        > Can humans eat green leaves from fruit trees and even grasses without
        > cooking?
        > Can we dry or process these leaves to preserve them for later use,
        > say, during winter?
        > Where can we find proff that we can eat leaves from fruit trees?
        >
        > Thank you very much.
      • Davidoff, Lorraine
        one I like is cottonwood leaves... they are nutritious and the young leaves are tasty enough (I didn t like the first taste, but enjoy them now) raw. They are
        Message 3 of 12 , Oct 5, 2007
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          one I like is cottonwood leaves... they are nutritious and the young
          leaves are tasty enough (I didn't like the first taste, but enjoy them
          now) raw. They are supposed to be good in soups/stews. My favorite
          raw are wild violets... the leaves are nutritious and delicious.

          ________________________________

          From: pfaf@yahoogroups.com [mailto:pfaf@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
          Dan Culbertson
          Sent: Friday, October 05, 2007 2:13 PM
          To: pfaf@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: Re: [pfaf] edible plants



          Someone once posted somewhere a web page that described how a man fed
          his
          family during the U.S. depression in the 1930s on nothing but grass.
          Can't
          find that reference now but I believe he dried it and ground it up so it

          didn't require chewing (there is silica in grass that wears down teeth
          very
          quickly). I am pretty sure there isn't anything poisonous in lawn grass.

          How much nutrient (calories and protein) you get is questionable.

          I also saw a survival TV show not long ago. The guy claimed you could
          stay
          alive eating things like grape leaves raw. Showed him stuffing some in
          his
          mouth and chewing (and chewing and chewing). I tried some but the ones
          growing all around my house are quite bitter. I'd have to be starving...

          Only common fruit tree I am sure of for green leaves is the avocado -
          and
          that is just used as a seasoning like bay leaf. Wild strawberry leaves
          are
          often eaten in spring since they have a lot of vitamin C. But I suspect
          some fruit and nut trees will have leaves that you can eat raw which
          won't
          actually kill you. But by the time you've eaten a lot of them and
          decided
          which ones aren't too tough and butter you might wish you were dead. :-)

          Just to be safe I'd avoid members of the cherry family since some
          species in
          that family have a lot a cyanide in the leaves. Also, the Plants for A
          Future database notes that plums and apples also may have toxic levels
          of
          hydrogen cyanide in there leaves.

          On the other hand, it seems to at least somewhat common practice in
          primitive societies to dry and powder leaves to add to bread flour and
          such.
          So maybe powdered leaf gruel would be at least survival food. Members of

          the legume tribe would be really good for this since they have a lot of
          protein. I know pigeon pea and other peas can be used this way. See
          Wikipedia for one list of edible leaves
          (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_plants_with_edible_leaves
          <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_plants_with_edible_leaves> ) Some
          of
          the ones listed there, like Cassava, are poisonous unless you cook them
          very
          well. Others. like wild grape leaves, are probably edible raw but just
          not
          too tasty that way. Also, if you type in "leaves" as a keyword in the
          Plants for A Future on-line database it brings up 2449 plants which are
          used
          for their leaves. Ought to be some common trees in that list with leaves

          that are edible raw. Probably easier just typing in the tree species
          that
          you have growing around and see it they have edible leaves. And finally,
          if
          you can get the book Cornucopia II: A Source Book of Edible Plants from
          your
          local library it lists pretty much every edible use anyone has ever had
          for
          any part of any plant (well, it sometimes seems like that when you are
          looking through it!). But it doesn't ave recipes...

          Dan

          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "josephkuno" <josephkuno@... <mailto:josephkuno%40yahoo.com>
          >
          To: <pfaf@yahoogroups.com <mailto:pfaf%40yahoogroups.com> >
          Sent: Monday, October 01, 2007 12:37 PM
          Subject: [pfaf] edible plants

          > Hi everybody!
          > I want to post questions but I don't know where, so I tried it on this
          > space.
          > Here are my questions:
          > Can humans eat green leaves from fruit trees and even grasses without
          > cooking?
          > Can we dry or process these leaves to preserve them for later use,
          > say, during winter?
          > Where can we find proff that we can eat leaves from fruit trees?
          >
          > Thank you very much.






          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Liz Turner
          of the native British trees you can eat lime, beech, hawthorn - when they are young & tender. Liz ... From: josephkuno To: pfaf@yahoogroups.com Sent: Monday,
          Message 4 of 12 , Oct 8, 2007
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            of the native British trees you can eat lime, beech, hawthorn - when they are young & tender. Liz
            ----- Original Message -----
            From: josephkuno
            To: pfaf@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Monday, October 01, 2007 5:37 PM
            Subject: [pfaf] edible plants


            Hi everybody!
            I want to post questions but I don't know where, so I tried it on this
            space.
            Here are my questions:
            Can humans eat green leaves from fruit trees and even grasses without
            cooking?
            Can we dry or process these leaves to preserve them for later use,
            say, during winter?
            Where can we find proff that we can eat leaves from fruit trees?

            Thank you very much.





            __________ NOD32 2574 (20071005) Information __________

            This message was checked by NOD32 antivirus system.
            http://www.eset.com


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Rick van Rein
            Hello Joseph Kuno, ... You should also consider weeds. Some are well-known to taste good, such as dandelion leaves before the flower comes up, stinging nettle
            Message 5 of 12 , Oct 14, 2007
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              Hello Joseph Kuno,

              > Can humans eat green leaves from fruit trees and even grasses without
              > cooking?

              You should also consider weeds. Some are well-known to taste good,
              such as dandelion leaves before the flower comes up, stinging nettle
              after treatment such as cooking or freezing to remove the sting, and
              chickweed as a raw salad-substitute. You could also look into
              non-standard leaves like those of the root crop Scorzonera hispanica.
              I haven't tried the latter yet, but it is said to taste mild, like
              plain lettuce. And if you leave the root it grows as a perennial.
              I also like the leaves of Fagopyrum dibotrys, or perennial buckwheat.

              > Can we dry or process these leaves to preserve them for later use,
              > say, during winter?

              During winter you could use other leaves, such as Campanula spp.
              This is an article about winter salads:

              http://pfaf.org/leaflets/winsalad.php

              > Where can we find proff that we can eat leaves from fruit trees?

              Compare a number of reliable sources; try Richard Maybe's Food for Free,
              try Plants For A Future and similar books. It's up to you how much
              printed evidence you need before going for it. I find that PFAF is
              often quite good: http://www.pfaf.org/


              Bon apetit :)
              -Rick
            • Michael Porter
              I eat Chaya [my variety] and Moringa raw, -and Peach leaves to help with parasites, --Michael Porter Rick van Rein wrote: Hello
              Message 6 of 12 , Oct 14, 2007
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                I eat Chaya [my variety] and Moringa raw, -and Peach leaves to help with parasites, --Michael Porter

                Rick van Rein <rick@...> wrote: Hello Joseph Kuno,

                > Can humans eat green leaves from fruit trees and even grasses without
                > cooking?

                You should also consider weeds. Some are well-known to taste good,
                such as dandelion leaves before the flower comes up, stinging nettle
                after treatment such as cooking or freezing to remove the sting, and
                chickweed as a raw salad-substitute. You could also look into
                non-standard leaves like those of the root crop Scorzonera hispanica.
                I haven't tried the latter yet, but it is said to taste mild, like
                plain lettuce. And if you leave the root it grows as a perennial.
                I also like the leaves of Fagopyrum dibotrys, or perennial buckwheat.

                > Can we dry or process these leaves to preserve them for later use,
                > say, during winter?

                During winter you could use other leaves, such as Campanula spp.
                This is an article about winter salads:

                http://pfaf.org/leaflets/winsalad.php

                > Where can we find proff that we can eat leaves from fruit trees?

                Compare a number of reliable sources; try Richard Maybe's Food for Free,
                try Plants For A Future and similar books. It's up to you how much
                printed evidence you need before going for it. I find that PFAF is
                often quite good: http://www.pfaf.org/

                Bon apetit :)
                -Rick





                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • joseph kuno
                Thank you very very much for your unformation. Michael Porter wrote: I eat Chaya [my variety] and Moringa raw, -and Peach
                Message 7 of 12 , Oct 16, 2007
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                  Thank you very very much for your unformation.

                  Michael Porter <michaels4gardens@...> wrote: I eat Chaya [my variety] and Moringa raw, -and Peach leaves to help with parasites, --Michael Porter

                  Rick van Rein <rick@...> wrote: Hello Joseph Kuno,

                  > Can humans eat green leaves from fruit trees and even grasses without
                  > cooking?

                  You should also consider weeds. Some are well-known to taste good,
                  such as dandelion leaves before the flower comes up, stinging nettle
                  after treatment such as cooking or freezing to remove the sting, and
                  chickweed as a raw salad-substitute. You could also look into
                  non-standard leaves like those of the root crop Scorzonera hispanica.
                  I haven't tried the latter yet, but it is said to taste mild, like
                  plain lettuce. And if you leave the root it grows as a perennial.
                  I also like the leaves of Fagopyrum dibotrys, or perennial buckwheat.

                  > Can we dry or process these leaves to preserve them for later use,
                  > say, during winter?

                  During winter you could use other leaves, such as Campanula spp.
                  This is an article about winter salads:

                  http://pfaf.org/leaflets/winsalad.php

                  > Where can we find proff that we can eat leaves from fruit trees?

                  Compare a number of reliable sources; try Richard Maybe's Food for Free,
                  try Plants For A Future and similar books. It's up to you how much
                  printed evidence you need before going for it. I find that PFAF is
                  often quite good: http://www.pfaf.org/

                  Bon apetit :)
                  -Rick

                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]






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                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Rick van Rein
                  Wow! ... Be careful with that. If you digest Chaya, you re supposed to release HCN in your intestines, which is poissonous. The cells of Chaya must be broken
                  Message 8 of 12 , Oct 16, 2007
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                    Wow!

                    > Michael Porter <michaels4gardens@...> wrote:
                    > I eat Chaya [my variety] and Moringa raw [...]

                    Be careful with that. If you digest Chaya, you're supposed to release
                    HCN in your intestines, which is poissonous. The cells of Chaya must be
                    broken before consumption, so the HCN forms and evaporates in the air.

                    One way of breaking the cells is cooking, another way is grinding the
                    leaves and drying them.

                    Source:
                    http://echotech.org/technical/az/aztext/azch2veg.htm#Chay

                    If your variety of Chaya has no such problems, let ECHO know!
                    Does your variety lack the stinging underside?

                    Cheers,

                    Rick van Rein
                  • Mat Coward
                    Hello - can anyone tell me how to tell when the fruits of Chaenomeles japonica are ready for harvest? Thanks, Mat (in Somerset, UK) [Non-text portions of this
                    Message 9 of 12 , Oct 16, 2007
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                      Hello - can anyone tell me how to tell when the fruits of Chaenomeles japonica are ready for harvest?
                      Thanks,
                      Mat (in Somerset, UK)

                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • Dan Culbertson
                      If you *know* a leaf type is not toxic (check the PFAF database) but it is too tough or bitter to eat raw try this: Collect a bunch of leaves from a bunch of
                      Message 10 of 12 , Oct 16, 2007
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                        If you *know* a leaf type is not toxic (check the PFAF database) but it is
                        too tough or bitter to eat raw try this:
                        Collect a bunch of leaves from a bunch of plants, chop them up a bit, and
                        boil them slowly for about a half hour in a crock pot or rice cooker. If you
                        have any vegetable parings around from making salads (onion skins, celery
                        tops, carrot peels, etc.) add them too. Strain off the boiling water and
                        use it as a soup base. Can be frozen in an ice cube tray for latter use or,
                        possibly, boiled down into a thick base or powder to save for winter (I
                        haven't tried that). If you taste the leaves in the field and they are
                        really bitter you might want to boil them separately and see how they taste
                        boiled before dumping them in the mix. Make sure they are edible first (the
                        PFAF database or any good field guide for edible plants).

                        Yesterday I made a nice soup base out of the following leaves and stems and
                        such: wild Florida Betony leaves, wild celery stems and leaves (going to
                        seed), garden strawberry leaves, wild blackberry leaves, papaya tree leaves,
                        avocado tree leaves, squash vine leaves, bean vine leaves, wild grape vine
                        leaves, canna plant leaves, wild Bidens alba (Spanish Needle) leaves,
                        cockscomb flower (for color), pine needles (green), lemon grass leaves,
                        kaffir lime tree leaves, sweet potato leaves, and a handful of lawn grass
                        (and probably a few more things I can't remember). Only used a little of
                        each one and the overall flavor was generic green and slightly lemony (from
                        the lemon grass and lime leaves). With a bit of vegan "no-beef" base and
                        garlic along with barley and dried veggies added it was a good soup today.
                        Made the dried veggie soup taste much fresher than normal and I suspect it
                        had more vitamins and other good stuff. Hopefully none of those things are
                        going to kill me - but they are listed as "edible" one place or another.

                        Of course that all isn't "without cooking" but some of those things would
                        take a goat's gut to digest raw. Or a shredder/grinder and a compost heap.
                        Might have been able to dry them and powder them and turn them into munchie
                        kibbles - but cooking them is probably much more tasty. Anyhow, I agree
                        with the person who said we don't eat enough leaves. Eat more greens! They
                        won't kill you (usually).

                        Dan

                        ----- Original Message -----
                        From: "josephkuno" <josephkuno@...>
                        To: <pfaf@yahoogroups.com>
                        Sent: Monday, October 01, 2007 12:37 PM
                        Subject: [pfaf] edible plants


                        > Hi everybody!
                        > I want to post questions but I don't know where, so I tried it on this
                        > space.
                        > Here are my questions:
                        > Can humans eat green leaves from fruit trees and even grasses without
                        > cooking?
                        > Can we dry or process these leaves to preserve them for later use,
                        > say, during winter?
                        > Where can we find proff that we can eat leaves from fruit trees?
                        >
                        > Thank you very much.
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