Eating Flowers

We all eat plants. In some of my classes when we talk about herbivores, carnivores and omnivores, people joke and say they are carnivores (eat only meat). The truth is, no human can live on just meat, but we can live healthy lives with out meat. Some of us grow the plants we eat, indoors. For most people, when you think of eating plants you usually think of eating the fruit, seed or leaf. You can also eat the flowers of many plants. This is not really a new idea of course. Fried squash blossoms, rose petal tea and chamomile tea are common in some cultures/locations. Since WWII there has been a push by corporations to have society eat packaged food which is not nearly as healthy as growing your own, nor is it good for the environment. The truth is most processed food you buy is made to make money, not be healthy.

Edible flowers include nasturtium (spicy/hot) Johnny jump up, (wintergreen), borage (cucumbery), and marigold (citrusy). Other edible flowers include clover, dandelion, lavender, lilac, pansy, and sunflowers to name a few. Sunflowers are best when you harvest and use the unopened bud flower. Some people also enjoy eating the flowers of some common herbs, such as my favorite oregano, or other herb flowers like chives, cilantro, mint, sage, and thyme. You can also eat flowers from vegetables like beans, peas, pumpkin and squash. Moreover, cauliflower, broccoli and artichoke are really flower buds.
NOT ALL FLOWERS ARE EDIBLE. Some are POISONOUS. Examples of poisonous flowers are those on tomato, potato, eggplant and pepper plants. Other POISONOUS flowers are azalea, calla lily, daffodil, foxglove, hyacinth, hydrangea, iris, lantana, lobelia, lupine, morning glory, oleander, poinsettia, Ranunculus, rhododendron, sweet pea, and wisteria. This is not an exhaustive list just because you don’t see a plant here does not mean it is safe to eat. Also, I imagine if I had a lawyer they’d advise me to say that you should not eat any flower unless you are sure you are not allergic to it. Also, never eat a flower or plant unless you know the exact species. Also, never eat a plant that you find unless you are certain that no pesticides or other chemicals have been applied. Many parks and other public areas use chemicals to enhance and protect the plants since the plants are not registered for consumption! This is also true for flowers growing along the road side. Flowers that are not grown specifically for agriculture can legally have applied pesticides on them that are not registered for crops. i.e. are known to be toxic to consume.

If any one has any other flowers that they enjoy eating, I’d like to hear about it.

Good growing,

Dr. E.R. Myers

No comments: