WHY STUDY WILD EDIBLE PLANTS
- SURVIVAL If you were lost in the wilderness for a long time would you survive? With the current enthusiasm for backpacking and wilderness living, there is an increased probability of people getting lost. If you were lost in the wilderness would you starve? People have starved to death while tramping on hundreds of wild edible plants. This could happen to anyone if they had no knowledge of what to eat in the wilds. Don't let this happen to you!
- DISASTER If you were cut off by a natural disaster or civil unrest from getting food from the market, would you go hungry? During war many people have survived from lack of their normal food because they knew about wild edible plants. I know a German lady who ate many dandelions during World War II, and the Finnish used cambium of trees to stretch their flour supply.
- BACKPACKING and WILDERNESS OUTINGS One way to cut down weight on that backpack trip is to depend on wild edibles for a portion of your food. After days of dehydrated food--a fresh wild salad is a real treat! Do you really like MREs (meals ready to eat) anyway? I find that looking for plant friends as I walk along keeps my mind active and makes the walk even more enjoyable. While you are out there exploring, why not explore with your taste buds too. (note: some wilderness areas and parks have strict restrictions on picking any plant. Check with the proper people before picking plants.)
- ECONOMY With supermarket prices so high, wild edible plants can be a great budget stretcher, and who doesn't like something free.
- NUTRITION Wild edible plants are so rich in vitamins and minerals that they have been called a tonic rather than a food. Some of these plants are richer sources of nutrients than domestic plants.
- ECOLOGY You will become more aware of ecology which is discovering how the life cycle of plants relates to the life cycles of other plants and animals. Hopefully, you will also become a conservationist and perhaps even a gardener.
- HISTORY You will have more appreciation for the Native American's old ways and want to help keep some of these ways alive through the study of ethnobotany.
- MEDICINAL With herbal medicine gaining in popularity it is beneficial to learn not only the edible properties of a plant but also its medicinal value. You might also find yourself in a situation where no doctor is available. Not only is your health benefited but also your pocketbook!
- VARIETY So if you are tired of eating the same foods week after week wild edible plants can add a pleasant change to your menu. You will have fun discovering a greater depth of food flavors as you eat more and more wild edible plants.
- GOURMET Wild edible plants can be made into exotic gourmet dishes. If you want to do something different have a "wild" party and invite your neighbors in. They will be amazed at how delicious your wild edibles can be.
- HOBBY Studying wild edible plants is a very fascinating hobby. With 300,000 plants in the world and 120,000 considered edible you won't run out of something to do for a long time. You will become attuned to the wild plants that are edible and will look upon them as friends.
- SPIRITUAL Nature study is an excellent way to learn about the Creator and is very restful to the soul who will take the time to listen to Him through the things He made.
Copyright © 1996, 2008 John Goude