• Outdoors Outdoors

Foraging expert shares list of invasive plants you can eat: 'Here's what's growing in your neighborhood'

"If you had uploaded this video at the start of [the coronavirus] pandemic, I wouldn't have to line up at stores for veggies."

"If you had uploaded this video at the start of [the coronavirus] pandemic, I wouldn't have to line up at stores for veggies."

Photo Credit: Instagram

With food prices on the rise, more and more people are turning to foraging to cut the cost of a weekly shop. 

While this activity can keep some dollars in your wallet, it can also lead to a healthier diet and even help reduce the spread of invasive plants.

On Instagram, Jason Wise (@jasonjourneyman) has been demonstrating just what you can find in your neighborhood that can be added to your recipes.

"Here's what's growing in your neighborhood produce aisle," he began.

While out on a stroll with his dogs, Jason found cheeseweed mallow, nasturtium, oxalis, dandelion, and black mustard. After collecting them, he took them back to his home to use while cooking. 

Jason noted that you should look out for bugs on these plants, and it's best to avoid picking any that are at dog level. 

"I know me eating a few invasive plants isn't going to save our native plant ecosystem alone," Jason captioned the video. "I do, however, believe in the power of the collective. If we ALL went out and foraged mustard greens for every meal in the spring, that would definitely have an impact."

Invasive plants, while sometimes delicious, can be a nightmare for ecosystems. They can spread quickly and abundantly, and they will outcompete native species for nutrients, water, space, and sunlight. 

🗣️ Which sustainable cooking change are you most interested in trying?

🔘 Reducing my food waste 🗑️

🔘 Eating more plant-based foods 🥕

🔘 Using high-tech kitchen tools 🍳

🔘 Not interested 🚫

🗳️ Click your choice to see results and speak your mind

It serves as a reminder of why it's so important to research what plants are native to your area before sowing seeds in your garden. Plants like nasturtiums certainly look pretty and have additional benefits — they can act as trap crops to keep bugs away from more prized garden items — but left unchecked, they can take over your whole garden. 

What's more, native plants are suited to your local soil types and weather conditions, and they require much less attention than standard monoculture lawns, helping to save you money on water bills and fertilizers. 

Instagrammers were grateful for the advice, with some amazed at just what treasures could be found that may otherwise go unnoticed.

"If you had [uploaded] this video at the start of [the coronavirus] pandemic, I wouldn't have to line up at stores for veggies," one user said. 

"Brilliant, thank you!!" added another. "I've always been interested in foraging edibles."

It's worth remembering, though, that foraging in areas of high traffic is not advised, as toxins from vehicle exhaust fumes might settle on plants. Also, be sure to avoid any area that is typically subject to chemical pesticide or herbicide spraying by local authorities. 

The Institute of Culinary Education has even more advice to keep the experience safe and enjoyable, such as finding a mentor or expert to consult with if you're a beginner. Otherwise, happy foraging!

Join our free newsletter for cool news and cool tips that make it easy to help yourself while helping the planet.

Cool Divider