Eat Something Wild Every Day
Source; Joyful Belly "Eat Something Wild Every Day" by John Immel, Asheville, NC
When I was an herbal student, my teacher, the late Frank Cook, challenged us to "Eat something wild every day." The challenge isn't much of a challenge. It's easier than you think. Wild edibles are everywhere, often within 20 feet of your front door. They include some of the most nutritional plants in the world, like lamb's quarters, purslane, dandelion, and chickweed. Some of the healthiest traditional diets, like the Mediterranean diet, supplement meals with wild foods often.
Frank used to say that the difference between wild food and store bought foods is the difference between a wolf and a dog. There is something incredibly vital about a wolf that is lacking in a dog. Wild food satisfies your hunger unlike store bought foods cultivated in tired soil that is often lacking in nutrients. Wild foods have a richer nutritional profile. Eating wild foods brings the unusual but healthy feeling of satisfaction before fullness.
Despite the astonishing array of food displayed in the grocery store, most of the food in the grocery store comes from a few species / plant families only, such as corn, wheat, and soy. When you eat wild foods, you get a greater diversity of nutrients and tastes.
Wild foods offer more vitality than grocery store foods. They have to defend themselves from competitors and insects without the help of humans. The inability of cultivated plants to survive without pesticide and fertilizer use is a testimony to their lack of vitality. Where farmers breed plants for sweetness, the defense system of plants includes many bitter tasting chemicals. Bitters are revered worldwide for their health benefits. Edible weeds are plentiful, inexpensive, and bring their revitalizing life force to the table. Add these common wild foods to your diet:
- Red bud flowers - Sour taste
- Chickweed - Bitter, lymphatic cleanse
- Creasy greens - Peppery
- Dandelion - Bitter, Diuretic
- Burdock Leaf - Very bitter. Eat in small quantity.
- Violets - Spicey & minty
- Wild onions - Sharp, cleanses GI tract.
SummerThe above list plus
- Stinging Nettles
- Wood Sorrel
- Lamb's Quarters
- Yellow Dock
- Service berries
- wine berries
- Black berries
- Blue berries
- Golden Rod Tea
- Rose Hips