Re: Edible Wild Plants
Susan Ganther (susan@EMAIL.UNC.EDU)
Sat, 29 Jul 1995 19:51:12 -0400
On Fri, 28 Jul 1995, Bob Myers wrote:
> Our troop is interested in information (on the net or in books) on edible wild
> plants, specifically, those prevalent in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park,
> where we will be backpacking next month for 4 days.
Bob, I would strongly caution you about experimenting with wild edibles
while backpacking. If you absolutely must eat something wild, stick with
plants that you can positively identify because of their familiarity such
as acorns, NOT plants you have identified from a book.
A few years ago I "identified" a wild edible plant from a book that I
found while backpacking. The book made no mention of poisonous
look-alikes. I became very very ill after ingesting this plant, BTW the
bitter taste that is a sure sign of an alkaloid poison was not apparrent
until about 5 minutes after I had eaten it. I had a very bad experience,
I nearly died, but what is worse I involved others in my experience. We were
only 1/2 mile from a forest road but it was a steep and rocky trail. If my
companions had needed to carry me out they could have injured themselves
on my account.
If you must experiment with wild edibles, do it in town where you can get
help if you make a mistake. The last thing you need is a backwoods
emergency that could have been avoided.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City