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Old 03-20-2009, 03:31 PM   #11
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While I hesitate to mention this because it's bound to start an argument, from what I understand, the only parts of Pokeweed that should be eaten - if at all - are the young (as in no taller than 6"-8" high) shoots as they come up in the spring. All other parts of the plant as it matures are poisonous.

The few reliable people who do insist on eating older Pokeweed freely admit that they only do so after boiling it virtually to death with several changes of water inbetween to remove as many of the toxic properties as possible.
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Old 03-20-2009, 04:03 PM   #12
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No argument from me Breezy - you eat the leaves, not the stalks. And, as you said - older "weed" needs to be detoxified by boiling, changing water, boiling again, drain and boil again (depends on the age of the poke as to how many times).

Harvesting poke stalks would be like harvesting spinach stalks ... just not as safe.
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Old 03-20-2009, 04:03 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BreezyCooking View Post
While I hesitate to mention this because it's bound to start an argument, from what I understand, the only parts of Pokeweed that should be eaten - if at all - are the young (as in no taller than 6"-8" high) shoots as they come up in the spring. All other parts of the plant as it matures are poisonous.

The few reliable people who do insist on eating older Pokeweed freely admit that they only do so after boiling it virtually to death with several changes of water inbetween to remove as many of the toxic properties as possible.
You are absolutely right Breezy. Pokeweed contains phytolaccatoxin and phytolaccigenin, which are poisonous to mammals.
But according to Wikipedia the leaves are edible if they are boiled 3 times,
discarding the water after each boil.
I have heard of this same technique which makes skunk cabbage edible.
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Old 03-21-2009, 01:36 AM   #14
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While I have heard the poisonous warnings, all I can tell you is that it was a treat for us all through my childhood. Worst thing that happened to me was the 5,000 mosquito bites I got picking the stuff.

Now, if Poke stalks make one a cranky old lady....that I'd buy.

There's a plethora of information for and against.

I think if one were to make it a major part of one's diet, eat the older parts or heaven forbid the berries, one would be in trouble.

However, moderation in everything, including moderation, are words to live by.
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Old 07-21-2010, 12:34 PM   #15
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I have read and heard the warning about poke too. However my father loved fried poke stalks. As a kid I tried them and didn't like them. I am not sure if I would like them now or not but due the all the warnings I have been afraid to try it. Plus I don't remember how my mother fixed them and both my parents have passed away so I can't ask them how it was done. I will say that it was not something fixed very often and I heard that the poison in them is one that builds up so maybe that is why it seemed to be fine for him to eat the amount that he did.
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Old 07-22-2010, 09:45 AM   #16
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Even the tender young leaves that you pick in the spring, when they first shoot up out of the ground, will give you "the trots." (AKA diarrhea) Consider.
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