Essay, Pages 6 (1349 words)
Imagine you’re in the middle of a desert and there are two wild plants in front of you, one red and the other green. Which one would you choose to eat? In the story Into the Wild it is suggested that the main character, Chris McCandless, died from wild potato plants. There are many plants in the wild that you can use to survive and many that can end your life very quickly. Some of the edible plants include Amaranth, Asparagus, Burdock, Cattail, Clovers, and Chicory, but there are many that you do not want to eat.
The challenge is knowing the difference between something that can save your life and another which will end it.
This guide will show an individual how to find edible plants, how to prepare it, whether it should be cooked, and lastly if there are any plants that look like it. The first plant that is edible is Amaranth. Although it is not in the Americas, it can be found on most continents; Amaranth is an edible weed and all of its parts are edible on the plant.
However, if there are spines, you want to avoid them; some appear without leaves. It won’t poison or kill you but, it’s an oxalic acid and may contain a decent amount of nitrates if grown in certain soils. It is highly recommended that an individual will first boil the leaves to remove the acid and nitrates.
A person should not drink water that the plant is boiled in, or optionally eat it raw.
The second edible plant is Asparagus; it is a common household vegetable that is eaten on many plates at home. Even though most people are familiar with the Asparagus, it is still considered a wild plant. The stereotype of this plant is that it makes a person’s urine smell funny. I would not be able to validate that stereotype, as it is not something that has interested me.
It Traber 2 grows mostly in Europe and parts of North Africa, West Asia, and North America. Wild asparagus is a lot thinner than the grocery-store variety. Outside of the appearance, it’s a great source of vitamin C, Thymine, potassium and vitamin B6. You can either eat it raw or boil it. It can be consumed the same way as you would eat it at home. Both of these wild wild plants are not naturally in the Americas, but the following ones can be found in the wild in the Americas. The 3rd plant is called the Cattail, which is also known as Typhus.
Known as Cattails or Punks in North America and Bulrush and Reed Mace in England, the Typhus genus of plant is normally found in fresh water wetlands. Cattails were part of a natural diet for many Native American tribes. Most of the Cattail is edible but a key caution fact is that some can be unhealthy for you. To prepare it to eat, you can boil it or eat the raw rootstock, or rhizomes, of the plant. The rootstock of the plant is generally found underground, but it is also very important to wash off every bit of mud possible. It is known that the best part of the Cattail is at the bottom where it is mainly white.
Some people prefer boiling it and some prefer to eat them raw. If I decided to eat it, I would likely boil it like spinach. The reason why they call this plant a Cattail is because it looks and feels almost exactly like a cat’s tail. But the cat’s tail looking part of the plant can be broken off and eaten, like a person would eat corn on the cob. This plant first starts to grow during the early summer and during the first phase of its growing it generally has a corn type of taste to it. So if you’re out in the wild and you see a plant that looks like a cat’s tail it is edible and okay to eat.
The fourth plant that is okay to eat is Clovers. Clovers are a much known plant and comes with the known myth that if you find one that has four leaves on it, that you will find luck in your future. Maybe they can give you luck, but they are also very edible plants to eat. They generally originate from everywhere around the world. Mostly found in open grassy types of areas. The easiest way to spot them is to find their distinctive trefoil leaflets. You can eat them Traber 3 raw but a lot of people would rather boil them because it apparently tastes a lot better.
Generally there is no plant that can be mistaken for these that are poisonous. That is also a plus because there is no 50/50 chance that you can fatally hurt your body by eating the wrong one. This fifth plant is called Cichorium intybus but known more as Chicory. You can find it grown in Europe, North America and parts of Australia. It is a puffier bushy type of plant with a hint of blue, lavender and big decent sized white flowers you can eat the entire plant including branches and all. The ways you would go about eating what some would say is a “delectable treat” is to pluck off the young leaves and eat them.
There are two options of preparation when it comes down to eating them; you can either eat them how they are or as much more people prefer is to boil them, as it helps give it some taste. The Chicory roots are even better than the actual leaves. When you boil the leaves there is as one may describe it a delightful sweet flavor to them which is not too strong and not to light, almost just right. This plant is a great edible plant because of the accessibility of eating them, and you can eat them just like you would a grape; pick it off the stem one by one eat as much of the nutritious snack as you want.
The final last edible plant is Chickweed. You can find this type of herb in more of an Arctic Zone. Some arctic climates are mostly found in very cold climate. This is very important to know because there are not many plants in the arctic climate and the very few that are even edible and Chickweed is one. The leaves can be pretty hefty. You can often find small white flowers on the plant that are also just as edible. They usually appear between May and July. You can also eat these raw or boiled, however most people prefer that this plant be eaten raw rather than boiled.
As an added plus to this particular plant, it is high on vitamins and minerals. Just as these plants are edible however there are some plants that you should avoid. Traber 4 If you can’t clearly identify if a plant may be poisonous or not, there are certain clues to look out for. Some of the visual clues are milky or discolored sap, spines, fine hairs, or thorns, beans, bulb, dill, carrot, parsnip, or parley-like foliage. Just as in the literature Into the Wild, it was strongly believed that he ate some sort of potato plant and that’s how he passed away.
In conclusion, we can see that it is very important to know what edible plants are acceptable to eat and what types of plants are poisonous. With the evidence regarding the questionable death of Into the Wild’s main character, Chris McCandless, that cause of death is mainly suspected on the fact that instead of eating the root or the proper parts of the plant that he ate the seed of it; this is in fact highly poisonous. There are many plants in the wild that you can use to survive and many that can end your life very quickly, but the edible plants are something that would sustain life and something that everyone should know characteristics of to ensure they aren’t poisoned.