By Christopher Loomis, Communications Intern
We live in a world where many people are struggling to obtain healthy and nutritious food. While numerous Americans can easily obtain food, many of them only have access to unhealthy food, such as fast food. Yet, there is food which is abundant and all around us. They are known as ‘wild edibles.’ Many wild edibles are labeled as ‘pests,’ or ‘weeds.’ However, I see wild edibles as being important food resources. I believe that these wild edibles can help to not only feed people, but nourish them as well. In addition, many of these wild edibles grow vigorously. In fact, wild edibles such as stinging nettle, purslane, and dandelion can easily outgrow many domesticated plants. An added plus is the fact that these plants grow all over suburban and urban areas. Numerous cultures from around the world have utilized hardy edibles such as dandelion, and purslane.
Sadly, our industrialized food system encourages people to spray these plants with pesticides in order to get rid of them. We need to stop spraying wild edibles, and start utilizing them. Since numerous Americans have trouble accessing affordable health food, it only makes sense for people to start using “weed” plants. Of course, this will not solve all the problems associated with food injustice. However, I see wild edibles as underused resources which could benefit people from all income levels. In the past, people regularly used wild edibles; one could eat stinging nettle soup or cooked mustard greens. I have created this blog in order to inform people about wild edibles, and how they can be utilized. I will also include photographs in order to make identification easy.
I believe wild edibles represent a rebellion against the industrial food system. If more people started to utilize wild edibles, it would be a huge blow to the chemical and pesticide industries. People would no longer see ‘weeds’ like dandelion and mallow as obnoxious pests. Instead, such plants would be seen as delicious and nutritious food. Ultimately, wild edibles could help to feed and nourish many people.