What plants are safe to consume according to the GRAS list from the US FDA?

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In summary, the GRAS list of plants from the US FDA is a helpful resource for people who are looking for plants that are safe to consume. Some of the plants on the list may not be familiar to people from other parts of the world, and the list may need to be updated.
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jim mcnamara
I found a useful resource. The GRAS list of plants from the US FDA.

Before you have a 'Well duh' response, please consider:
If your culinary roots are from Europe or North America then: what is clary? :biggrin:

It is one of many species of sage, Salvia spp. Most sage species grown for oil extraction or use as herbs. Some places use them for medicinal purposes

We could play the same game with 'What is long pepper?' If you are from India you know the answer. (Piper longum is the Latin name, and is very like black pepper, P. nigrum, just looks different.)

So, people need a localized reference to plant products that are safe to consume. There all kinds of marginal suggestions out on the internet, hopefully those folks doing that sort of thing take their own advice, and thus stop littering the net by their absence.

Example: Some forms of bitter almond may have prussic acid (HCN) in them which could ruin your day. The BP of HCN is ~25.6°C. So using bitter almond oil with clandestine HCN in a vaporizer may not be great idea. AFAIK, you cannot tell from the product label.

Plus. In our time of allergens galore:
Hungarian camomile is not the same plant but the same name as some more Western plants. This could be important to some folks. Laurel and bay are all kinds of plants. So when you buy bay leaves what are you using? * see "explanatory" comic link below ...or maybe it is just one of many Laurus spp.

The list probably needs updating I think. Lippia graveolans, Mexican oregano, is not in the list. Where I live in the US Southwest, one can buy it easily. People here use it all the time. It works better with hot (as in burning ring of fire) foods.

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In Northern California before urban sprawl various oak tree species proliferated. Careful grinding and soaking of the abundant acorns produced an edible, though bitter, flour. Pine nuts pignoli from pine cones are also a seasonal delight.

I understand local Ohlone tribes brewed tea from the ubiquitous poison oak and ate the berries for nutrition but also to reduce skin rash reaction to the urushiol later in the season. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urushiol
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One can learn to identify after noticing and doing some information search, of edible plants often found growing on their own in your garden. Some "weeds" when they are young have leafs which are much like lettuce - but best if no spiky spines on them. Nasturtium leafs and flowers, very nice flavor but spicy, otherwise a bit like spinach. Italian parsley has a pleasant flavor and much better than that "parsley" stuff you get on your hamburger plate at a restaurant. One might be able to find Nasturtium and Italian Parsley in someones garden, having found their way there on their own, and these plants grow very very easily and abundantly.

Related to What plants are safe to consume according to the GRAS list from the US FDA?

1. What are edible plants and extracts?

Edible plants and extracts are plants or parts of plants that are safe for human consumption. This can include fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices that are commonly used in cooking and food preparation.

2. What are some common examples of edible plants and extracts?

Some common examples of edible plants and extracts include fruits such as apples, berries, and bananas, vegetables like broccoli, spinach, and carrots, herbs and spices like basil, cinnamon, and ginger, and extracts such as vanilla, almond, and peppermint.

3. Are all parts of a plant edible?

No, not all parts of a plant are edible. Some plants may have toxic or inedible parts, such as the leaves, roots, or seeds. It is important to properly identify and research a plant before consuming it.

4. Are there any health benefits to consuming edible plants and extracts?

Yes, many edible plants and extracts contain essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that are beneficial for overall health. They can also provide various nutrients that may be lacking in one's diet.

5. How can I incorporate more edible plants and extracts into my diet?

You can incorporate more edible plants and extracts into your diet by including a variety of fruits and vegetables in your meals, using herbs and spices to add flavor to dishes, and trying out different types of extracts in your cooking and baking. You can also research and experiment with different recipes that incorporate these ingredients.