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Gardener demonstrates how to turn invasive thorny weed into delicious meal: 'I snacked on so many of these today'

"Thank you for sharing your knowledge!"

"Thank you for sharing your knowledge!"

Photo Credit: TikTok

Next time you pass by a field of weeds, look twice — your next meal may be hiding there. TikTok forager, farmer, and educator Amelia from Black Sun Farm (@theoriginalmealchan) posted a video showing how she cooked up a particularly thorny weed for dinner.

The scoop

"There's an awful lot of greenbriar here," she says at the start of the video, showing the waxy green leaves. "[They have] horrible thorns that everybody hates. It's like barbed wire, but the tips are edible. So I'm filling up a little baggie of these because they taste like green beans and they're gonna be my dinner tonight!"

She demonstrates how she prepares them, which is simple and delicious — sauteeing them in a pan with ground beef, purple sweet potatoes, onions, garlic salt, and foraged dandelion and red clover. 

"I snacked on so many of these today!" she wrote in the caption. "And I taught some random guy that walked by what they were and then he started foraging them!"

How it's working

Choosing to eat weeds instead of tossing them may seem unconventional, but foraging is increasing in popularity by the day as people learn of its many benefits.

Firstly, foraging is incredibly low cost compared to grocery shopping. In fact, it's often free, particularly because many foraged foods are ones that people don't look to cultivate (like this thorny weed).

It's also excellent for both physical and mental health. The simple act of spending time in nature, particularly by gardening and foraging, has been shown to reduce stress and improve mental health. Foraged food also generally contains more nutrients than grocery produce, which tend to  lose an alarming percentage of their nutrients, vitamins, and minerals while in transit. 

For all of these reasons, foraging and food gardening are growing in the United States and in Europe, with over 33% of U.K. adults growing at least a percentage of their own food, per Cladco Decking. Civil Eats also reported that several foraging blogs and influencers saw a 500% increase in website traffic during the pandemic, a trend that they hope will persist.

Foraging is also surprisingly easy to do. From looking in your yard to searching on public lands, working a plot in a community garden, and even exploring the slivers of land in cities, foraging is possible anywhere plants can be found. (If you've ever seen dandelions, you could be looking at a delicious salad instead.)

What people are saying

Commenters were inspired and excited by the healthy foraged recipe. 

"Looks great!" one person enthused. "I've been wanting to try those since I have them growing."

"Thank you for sharing your knowledge!" another echoed.

For more tips on how to start growing your own food, check out TCD's step-by-step guide.

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