Most people lead normal lives, expecting little change, and preparing for even less without expecting to run out of food. However, disasters occur and store shelves are often cleared in a short period of time.
Most don’t know there are weeds to eat, however, and they are often found right in or around the average garden.
Many of the weeds you can eat can be found right in your yard, in your driveway, next to roads, etc. In this article, we’re going to talk about 5 common weeds that are edible.
Please keep in mind, however, that you must clearly identify wild plants before consuming them, as in some cases there are wild plants that are similar or very similar to the weeds we cover but can be potentially dangerous to ingest.
Plant identification is beyond the scope of this article, so I encourage you to do your due diligence and research before consuming any wild plants or fruit.
There are many field guides available for plant identification, complete with color photos and descriptions of the identifiers for weeds you can eat.
The information in this article is provided for educational purposes only, to draw your attention to the idea of foraging for further research. Now let’s take a look at 5 Common Weeds You Can Eat.
RELATED: 20 Edible Wild Plants You Can Look For For Survival
5 common weeds to eat as emergency food
Dandelions are the lawn eater’s archenemy. In fact, however, these “plague” plants are edible. The vitamin A-rich leaves can be prepared in a similar way to kale or mustard.
Dandelion roots resemble a carrot in appearance and can be baked at a low temperature to dry, grind, and then infiltrate into a coffee or tea-like beverage.
The second weed you can eat is almost as common in gardens as dandelions, and it’s clover. Clover takes about 10 minutes to cook to make the leaves and flowers easier to digest, but it is a good source of protein.
A hand mill can also be used to grind the dried flower heads and seeds to make flour, which is likely a lot healthier than the bleached white flour we usually use.
Wild lettuce is actually a plant that a friend of mine and I mistakenly called “milkgrass” as children because the milky white sap exudes when the stems of these plants are broken.
The leaves of the wild lettuce, a tall and leaved plant, resemble the leaves of the dandelion. You can eat the young leaves of these weeds. Similar to clover, you should let these cook for about 5 minutes.
Remove and replace the water and boil another 5 minutes. If the leaves are still too bitter, they can be mixed with other vegetables to reduce the bitterness.
I remember that one of the houses we lived in when I was a kid had a back yard that had onion tips sprouting almost evenly throughout the spring and summer.
And of course I didn’t know at the time that they were edible, but yes, they are weeds that you can eat. The leaves can be chopped and added to salads or cooked dishes. The bulb of onions can be pulled or dug out of the ground and used to flavor food, similar to onions bought in a store.
While it is likely not right in your garden, thistle is another weed to eat that can be found where your garden meets a field or on nearby roadsides.
The new or young leaves can be eaten after removing the spines, be it in salads or similar to cabbage or mustard. Thistle is a biennial plant that does not have a stem for the first year.
During this first year of growth, the roots can be eaten either raw or cooked. Early stems of the plant in the second year can be eaten raw or cooked after the outer skin has been peeled off.
We live in a society that has relied on cultivated plants and fruits to fill our plates for generations. Long ago, however, foraging was much more common than it is today.
Fortunately, in times of need, you can also find forage when needed and use the many edible plants we commonly refer to as weeds right in our gardens to help weather tough times and avoid food lines.
Whether natural disaster, virus pandemic, or economic disaster, those prepared for the worst will always do best. Once considered “paranoid,” preppers are now considered wise. Join them in their wisdom. Start marking your own prepper checklist … before the next event that clears store shelves begins!
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