Edible Wild Plants: Wild Foods from Dirt to Plate

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Wild spinach about 7 feet tall and fully mature. Well-fed wild spinach is well-branched and produces a huge quantity of seeds when mature. The leaves are still edible at this stage but are reduced in quality, taking on a somewhat off-flavor. According to research on other mature plants, the leaves on these older plants retain most of their nutrients and phytochemicals as long as they are still green. (Left: The author stands in for perspective, 2006.)

Imagine what you could do with eighteen delicious new greens in your dining arsenal including purslane, chickweed, curly dock, wild spinach, sorrel, and wild mustard.

John Kallas makes it fun and easy to learn about foods you've unknowingly passed by all your life. Through gorgeous photographs, playful, but authoritative text, and ground-breaking design he gives you the knowledge and confidence to finally begin eating and enjoying edible wild plants.

Edible Wild Plants divides plants into four flavor categories -- foundation, tart, pungent, and bitter. Categorizing by flavor helps readers use these greens in pleasing and predictable ways. According to the author, combining elements from these different categories makes the best salads.

This field guide is essential for anyone wanting to incorporate more natural and whole foods into their diet. First ever nutrient tables that directly compare wild foods to domesticated greens are included. Whether looking to enhance a diet or identify which plants can be eaten for survival, the extensive information on wild foods will help readers determine the appropriate stage of growth and how to properly prepare these highly nutritious greens.

John Kallas is one of the foremost authorities on North American edible wild plants and other foragables. He's learned about wild foods through formal academic training and over 35 years of hands-on field research. John has a doctorate in nutrition, a master's in education, and degrees in biology and zoology.

He's a trained botanist, nature photgrapher, writer, researched, and teacher. In 1993 he founded the Institute for the Study of Edible Wild Plants and Other Foragables along with its educational branch, Wild Food Adventures.

John's company is based in Portland, Oregon, where he offers regional workshops, and multi-day intensives on wild foods.

For more information, see www.wildfoodadventures.com


Table of Contents:

7 Acknowledgments

9 About the Author

12 Disclaimer? Yeah, Right!

14 Preface

17 Welcome to My World

23 Part I: Understanding Wild Foods

25 1 Identifying and Enjoying Wild Foods

35 2 What Is Edible?

43 3 When Plant Parts Morph into Food

53 4 Foraging Tools

65 Part II: Th e Plants

66 Foundation Greens

67 5 Wild Spinach

85 6 Chickweed

101 7 Mallow

129 8 Purslane

141 Tart Greens

143 9 Curly Dock

165 10 Sheep Sorrel

177 11 Wood Sorrel

191 Pungent Greens

195 12 Field Mustard

217 13 Wintercress

231 14 Garlic Mustard

249 15 Shepherd's Purse

261 Bitter Greens

269 16 Dandelion

297 17 Cat's Ear

313 18 Sow Thistle

329 19 Nipplewort

343 Part III: The Potential of Wild Foods

345 20 Why Eat Wild Foods?

351 21 The Nutrition of Wild Foods

373 22 Oxalates

383 23 Agriotrophytology

387 24 Crafting a Wild Paradise

395 25 Feeding Yourself and Society

401 References

407 Index


Dr. John Kallas has investigated and taught about edible wild plants since 1970. He founded Wild Food Adventures (www.wildfoodadventures.com) in 1993 and is the publisher and editor of Wild Food Adventurer. He lives in Portland, Oregon.

Gibbs Smith 

Pub Date: June 11, 2010

1.03" H x 9.0" L x 6.26" W

416 pages