The Wild Foodies of Philly
   In search of the food beneath our feet!

 



 

WELCOME! COMMENTS, CAUTIONS, & TIPS!


“Re-wilding” is about learning to live with nature, again.

 

Our wild world contains fantastic natural resources for food, fiber, medicine and crafts that have been cherished by many cultures for thousands of years. It is our aim to educate ourselves about the uses of wild plants, both native and non-native, in our region. During this process, it is important to keep an open mind because there are always new things to learn. It is also a good habit to refer to multiple sources of information and to keep a notebook. No one source contains all the information on wild edibles, and some information can be incorrect. Certain plants have been called 'poisonous' when only specific parts are, or they need special preparation in order to become edible, or they are for medicinal use only. Rather than rely solely on foraging, we also encourage you to grow wild plants yourself so they can be close at hand. Many wild edibles can grow anywhere - in yards, planters, and pots!  So, welcome to our community and enjoy learning about our WILD WORLD OF PLANTS!

 

WHY WILD FOODS?
 

 


BEST PRACTICES:



"KNOW AND GO SLOW!"  GENERAL TIPS ON FORAGING, PRESERVATION, PREPARATION, ETC:


ADDITIONAL CAUTIONS:


CHILDREN
- Take particular care with young children and teach them not to consume any plant without a knowledgeable adult present, as children are far less likely to understand which plants or plant parts may be toxic.


CONTAMINATED AREAS
- Avoid certain areas, such as next to roads, train tracks, former industrial areas, vacant lots, etc.. Lead contamination from cars and house paint (used in houses built prior to 1970) can make plants taste sweeter. If you want to grow plants for food, have the soil tested.  Visit: http://www.wildfoodies.org/MISC.htm.  If soil is contaminated, there are plants that can remediate the soil over time. Otherwise, purchase organic soil with as few additives as possible.


NATURAL LATEX
- If a plant (dandelions, milkweed, wild lettuce, sow thistle, etc.) leeches a milky substance, latex, then take additional precautions because some people are highly allergic to latex and this can result in anaphylactic shock. 


FINE STINGING HAIRS
– Wear gloves for plants that have fine stinging hairs, such as stinging nettle and prickly pear, and prepare properly.


OXALIC ACID
- Too much oxalic acid, such as in cultivated spinach, is said to interfere with the processing of calcium in the body and can contribute to kidney stones for those that are prone.  However, the U.S. National Institutes of Health have determined that the negative effects of oxalic acid are generally of little or no nutritional consequence in persons who eat a variety of foods.


GASSY ROOTS
- Any root plant that contains inulin (Jerusalem artichoke/sunchoke, sunflower, burdock root, dandelion root, chicory root, and thistle root) can give you flatulence. Therefore, it is strongly advised to soak the roots for 24 hours, replacing the water after the first 12 hours.


MOLD
- Avoid plants whose green parts have turned color -- dark or white, particularly if conditions have turned very humid or wet.


POISONOUS PLANTS
- There is a difference between non-edible and poisonous.  Non-edible usually means that a food or plant is too bitter, tart, etc. to be used for food. Poisonous means that the plant could make a person ill, sometimes fatally. Many poisonous plants still have edible parts, or some of the poisonous parts can be used medicinally. Learn about poisonous plants on the following page or at http://www.wildfoodies.org/PoisonousPlants.docx


These Comments, Cautions, and Tips are to assist you in learning about our Wild World of Plants. Forage On, With Care!