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8 Sustainable Weeds You Can Eat

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Plants_in_SunlightDon’t let that biomass go to waste! Weeds are not good for the garden, but not all of them need to be thrown away. Some can actually be used as a food source.

With all the pesticides and other methods of keeping weeds away, simply eating them seems like a much more sustainable way of looking at these pesky plants. The following list consist of plants that grow almost everywhere, whether you live in the city or the country, and need no care to thrive, unlike most plants.

1. Garlic Mustard

This weed is found all over the Northeastern United States, and tends to prefer shady spots. Eat it after taking off the flowered tops.

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2. Poor Man’s Pepper

Like entry 1, Poor Man’s Pepper is also part of the mustard family. This weed is also common in the Northeast, but can be found elsewhere, too. The leaves taste like horseradish, and it used to be a popular substitute for real pepper throughout history for those who couldn’t afford the real thing.

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3. Field Pennycress

Another mustard, both the flowers and leaves are edible.

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4. Yellow Wood Sorrel

Yellow wood sorrel is commonly found in partially-sunny, woodland areas. It tastes sweet and lemony.


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5. Wild Violet

Wild violets taste a bit like lettuce, making them a good choice for salads.

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6. Cattails

These familiar plants are best before they  grow the fluffy tails in late spring. The stalks are similar to cucumbers in taste, but peel the skin away before eating. The roots and flowers are also edible.

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7. Common Mallow

This is a milder-tasting weed, with leaves that also work well in salad. The seeds are also 20% protein, making this weed seriously nutritional.

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8. Dandelion

While anyone with a lawn may detest the dandelion’s ability to take over a grassy area, they contain high levels of calcium, potassium, iron and manganese. Use the flowers in salads, or blanch whole dandelions to alleviate the bitterness. The roots can also be roasted to make caffeine-free coffee.

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