There are various benefits that you can get by returning to wild plants as the source of your food. Wild plants could give really unique flavours. As an example, watercress could be eaten with pancake syrup and peanut butter. You can make pesto from dandelion greens and mix it with spaghetti sauce. You may immediately discover that wild edible plants have significantly different taste compared to cultivated produce. In many cases, it’s an acquired taste, because the distinct flavour can be quite strong. Initially, you may introduce smaller amount of wild food into your daily diet.
When vegetables are domesticated, they are breed and selected for looks, taste, production quantity, shelf life and others. These vegetables are fertilized chemically, while being exposed to fungicides, pesticides and herbicides. Others are modified genetically through irradiation and other methods. When choosing wild plants, you can avoid these concerns. However, you should be aware of where you get wild plants. Any plant near the pavement, town ditch and lawn may not be good for you, because they can be exposed to various chemicals as well. You should look for wild plants that grow in areas untouched by people.
Produce in supermarkets could also be easily contaminated by pathogens. It could be handled by a dozen of people before you put it inside the shopping cart. If you can find a wild area, you can be sure that the plant is never touched by people. You can prepare wild plants using many different ways. With blender or food processor, you can make pesto using wild greens. Just use olive oil to ensure smooth process. You can mix wild greens pesto with tomato sauce, peanut butter and others. Wild greens like purslane, chickweed and lambsquarter can be cooked and served like spinach.
Wild greens may have bitter or strong taste, but you can reduce it by boiling them once or twice. As an example, dandelion leaves can taste quite bitter if it’s boiled only once. Burdock roots and cattail tuber shoots need to be boiled as well to reduce strong flavours and increase tenderness. When dealing with wild plants, you need to do enough research to make sure that they are edible. Consult reference books, online sources and actual experts to make sure that you get the right plants. Many photographs are not detailed enough, so it may be hard to identify a wild plant positively.
Things can be quite tricky; if you consider that there are poisonous lookalikes of edible plants. Also, some parts of the plants are safe to consume only if has been prepared in a specific way. A small quantity of a plant could be consumed at a small quantity. Dealing with the nature is risky and there are a few potential disaster scenarios that you should know. However, if you use common sense and be prudent, this situation can be avoided. Even if you are not preparing for major disaster situations like asteroid strike or riot, gathering wild food is enjoyable and interesting.