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Digestion

Debate and discussion of any biological questions not pertaining to a particular topic.

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Digestion

Postby poe007 » Sun Apr 29, 2012 11:56 pm

Hi I had a question I know many plants are not edible because our bodies simply do not have the bacteria necessary for break down. My question is if you took say grass and boiled it for a long time could you drink the water and obtain any nutrients at all. I am thinking of like a worse case scenario in which you are starving and looking for any nutrients.
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Postby JackBean » Tue May 01, 2012 7:58 pm

Yes, I think this should work.
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Re: Digestion

Postby Wallyanna » Wed May 09, 2012 8:51 am

Hi. I know this reply is a bit late, but I just joined the forum. It would be very unwise to experiment with drinking the water from boiled grass, especially lawn grasses. Many people still use pesticides on lawns, also fungicides and weed killer sprays. These chemicals may not all be boiled away, and some may actually be concentrated by the boiling. A local gardening store will probably have a shelf of these kinds of agents, and you could read the cautions and ingredients on a few labels to see what I mean.

Wild grasses might contain some plants that are poisonous, while also containing some that are edible and nutritious. The same goes for anything with leaves! Herbivores usually know what to eat and what not to eat, although grazing animals have been made sick on occasion by eating things that aren't good for them. We, however, aren't grazing herbivores!

If you want to learn about what is safe to eat in the wild, you should checknout sites on survival in the wild, and also culinary herbs. Many so-called weeds are safe to eat and nutritious, but you have to be able to recognize them, and understand that eating too much of some of them may cause diarrhea, which can cause dehydration, loss of essential electrolytes.
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Postby JackBean » Wed May 09, 2012 9:27 pm

OK, let's make it clear. By grass I mean basically all plants. But suggesting that grass is not edible because of low energy content and potential poisons and immediately add that other plants are better is just stupid.
But the question was whether it would be possible to digest grass after boiling, which is technically possible, although questionable, whether boiling on open fire would be sufficient to hydrolyze all the polysaccharides.

Usage of all kinds of -icides may be widespread, but first, it probably won't be used in wildness, where probably someone would need to eat grass broth. Second, all the -icides are not that dangerous, the concentrations used are rather low and would be washed probably thousand times before someone would get to the grass. Which is not recommendation to anybody to drink concentrated weed killer, I'm just saying, that nobody should be afraid to "eat grass" just because of its application to the grass.
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Postby Wallyanna » Thu May 10, 2012 12:47 am

Hi again JackBean.
I never said a word about the energy content of grass. And if you really do "mean basically all plants," sorry but you are wrong because some of "all plants" are potent poisons,even without "icides," and whether in the wild or in the garden should not be eaten at all.

Neither I nor my post in any part thereof is stupid. My pm to you was polite and well intended. Even privately I did not say that what you said was "stupid" as you have done to me above.
But I do believe that the original poster has not returned again...for whatever reason, and I hope he is well...so perhaps it is a all moot now.

On the other hand, I reply to your silly post so that any kids reading here will not take your advice to heart and feel it is safe to eat grasses, boiled or not, nor any plants they do not know are edible.
Truly, some are poisons that make you sick, and some parts of some plants can actually kill and are especially dangerous if you eat enough to make a meal of them. good grief!
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