Wondering about wild grapes

Monday, July 28, 2014

Wondering About the Dangers of Wild Food.

I used to be a Euell Gibbons fan.  I read two of his books and I would go out and find lots of things to eat in the wild.  The two books I read were "Stalking the Wild Asparagus" and "Stalking the Blue-Eyed Scallop".  You would be surprised what all I ate.  Some was pretty good, but some others. . . not so good.

There are a lot of wild plants that look similar, but one is edible and one is poisonous.  For example, the Wild Carrot or Queen Ann's Lace, is very similar to Poison-Hemlock.  Poison-Hemlock is not related to the Hemlock tree. I have eaten the wild carrot.  Here is a picture of the Queen Ann's Lace (wild carrot):

And this next picture is poison hemlock, the one containing a potent poison:

You may recall your history that Socrates, back in 399 BC took poison hemlock to commit suicide.  It worked!!  So, be real careful if you want to try eating wild plants.  Some will kill you.

This is the first book that I read by Euell Gibbons:

And this is the second of his books that I read:

I used to spend vacations on the Outer Banks of N.C.  Both those books came in handy and the search for the wild foods was the most enjoyable.  This all took place many years ago when I was living in Pennsylvania.  PA was a great place to forage for wild food.  There was a lot of varieties available.  Now, you all be careful what you eat because I want you to have a great day, you hear?


  1. My , what i thot was, Queen Annes Lace, doesnt look like that, but ive seen those. Guess im gonna look up the beautiful vines i have blooming in pink clusters and see what they are.

  2. Looked mine up, commonly called Coral Vine...has other names too, but NOT Queen Annes Lace...

  3. I don't think I have ever seen Coral Vine. I looked it up on the Internet and it shows some pretty pink flowers.

  4. oh wow... loved when Euell Gibbons came on Carson .... he also did a Grape Nuts commercial. hilarious! and that's what got him on Carson... haven't thought of that in eons!

  5. I don't know how I missed this one until today, but I did. I studied a day with Euell in the late 60's. Thoroughly enjoyed his down home manner and quiet humor -- much as I imagine you'd be, in person.

    By the way, read an interesting article on The New Yorker website by the author of "Into The Wild" about the cause(s) of death for Chris McCanless (How Chris McCandless Died

    that indicates death was the direct result of starvation due to an amino acid in the seeds of the wild potato, endemic to the area he was in, complicated by an already stressed, low calorie diet with next to no fat on his body. Says eating the wild potato seeds, in moderation, provided you have a balanced diet, will NOT produce that result in a healthy adult ...

    Interesting. Certainly gave me food for thought.

    1. One has to be careful. Not only too avoid poisonous plants but there are combinations that when ingested together cause severe problems.