“And what is a weed? A plants whose virtues have not yet been discovered.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson
How’s your summer going? If, like many people, you take pride in a well-kept lawn or garden, you’ve probably spent a fair bit of time battling weeds. These invasive plants have a knack for showing up–and taking over–where they’re least wanted.
Between commercial farmers and residential growers, we dump millions of gallons of herbicide into our soil each year in hopes of eradicating these pesky plants. It rarely works, and in the process, we’re poisoning ourselves and our precious water supplies.
What if our fight against weeds was a totally pointless one? What if these weeds could actually be a source of cheap, fresh food for those who might otherwise have trouble securing it? It might surprise you to learn that many plants we consider weeds are quite edible, and available for free right outside our door.
Why Would I Eat A Weed?
As more people realize the broken and corrupt nature of our commercial food system, both home gardening and foraging have enjoyed renewed interest. Both deliver enormous benefits in the way of food independence, as they are cheaper and often more healthy than conventionally-grown alternatives. Here are some more reasons you might want to eat a weed:
1. Save money – Weeds are generally free. In fact, someone might actually pay you to harvest them from their lawn or garden.
2. Gain access to fresh food in food deserts, urban areas typically devoid of farmers markets or even grocery stores.
3. It teaches you survival skills. Lost in the woods with no food? Knowing something about edible wild plants could go a long way toward keeping you alive.
4. Exercise. Rather than strolling through the grocery store or ordering food online (yes, people do that), foraging for edible weeds forces you to be outside, in the sunshine and rain, walking and hiking in the hidden corners where wild things grow.
5. Connection with the community. Foraging is becoming increasingly popular in urban areas. As an activity best done in small groups, it can be a great way to meet like-minded people in your neighborhood!
>>Keep Reading For 5 Backyard Weeds You Can Eat!
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