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Treacodactyl

Plant toxicity

Facing a welcome glut of edible flower spikes from our various perennial kales got me wondering about how much we could cope with which then led me to wonder how much might be toxic or cause other problems ...

It might sound daft but something like sorrel is known to cause problems if you consume too much but does anyone know of any research or information on such a topic?

I know PFAF often list possible hazards which I find useful (and suggests we can each as much kale as possible) but other info is always useful.
Falstaff

I should think kale contains oxalic acid, if you insist on going there ! Laughing
dpack

most edible greens are rather good at extracting the local minerals which can be an issue next to Chernobyl or on an old lead factory etc .

a scholar search for ld50 values can be useful when considering monodiet Laughing
Mistress Rose

Sorrel contains oxalic acid, but I don't know that most cabbages do. As Dpack says, they might extract minerals, and do well on salty soil as they are descended from sea kale. Lettuce is the worst one for extracting minerals, so go easy on it if you live near a mine for lead or arsenic.
Hairyloon

most edible greens are rather good at extracting the local minerals...

Aside from seeweed and for potash, has this idea ever been used for this purpose?
dpack

most edible greens are rather good at extracting the local minerals...

Aside from seeweed and for potash, has this idea ever been used for this purpose?

yep for post industrial clean up in quite a few places.( for "ore" has been tried for a few expensive metals but im not sure how successful it was)

iirc some work has been done with algae in aquatic systems as well as soil based stuff.
BahamaMama

Sunflowers are another crop that is very good for clearing toxic soils - that must make a nice change to see a field of sunnies after a dirty industrial plant. gregotyn

I thought that oxalic acid was mainly in the beets, which was why we fed sugar beet tops to sheep, but only after wilting them for 3 days. tahir

I thought that oxalic acid was mainly in the beets

orach and spinach too, never heard of it being an issue in any cabbage relative.
James

most edible greens are rather good at extracting the local minerals...
Aside from seeweed and for potash, has this idea ever been used for this purpose?

yep for post industrial clean up in quite a few places.( for "ore" has been tried for a few expensive metals but im not sure how successful it was)

iirc some work has been done with algae in aquatic systems as well as soil based stuff.

Its called phyto remediation. Some plants with their associated mychoriza are good at getting rid of organics, whilst others are especially good at taking up heavy metals; they're called metalophytes. Grow them on metal waste tips, harvest, compost, dry, incinerate, collect bottom ash as metal oxides.

Tahir- this is probably one of those things where the lethal dose of kale tops is HUGE, but prolonged eating of large (but not un-imaginable) quantities could also be lethal, or at least injureous to health. Doesn't oxalic acid cause gout?
tahir

Should I cut down on the saag? Smile dpack

the crystals in the joints that cause gout are uric acid,the problem is genetic ( causing a missing enzyme that normally pushes uric acid to urea)and not caused by diet although reducing protein intake and taking the correct meds reduces the problems

oxalic tends to do harm when the long sharp crystals poke holes in ones guts.the amounts (and crystal forms)in most edible greens are unlikely to do much harm but some roots (briony is a good example)protect their starch store rather well.

processing can separate the starch from the oxalic with such roots but unless you really need to it aint worth the effort.

an odd gout fact is that there was(is?)a problem in the dalmation dog population(the best kennel club spots and the missing gene seem to be on the same bit of dna iirc)

saag is usually fairly safe
Andrea

My memory is hazy, but I seem to remember that a more worrysome aspect of oxalic acid was that it hindered the take up of iron. It was an issue when creating veggie based baby food.

You'd have to eat a tremendous quantity of veg to poison yourself with it.
Treacodactyl

Yes, PFAF mentions oxalic acid can block the take up of other nutrients and I thought can add to problems like kidney stones.

However, it was just a general example. When I was thinking about the kale glut I wondered if the mustard oils in it could ever cause an overdose? The plant has evolved these oils to be toxic to pests after all.

A different approach might be looking at survival situations. There's various examples of people surviving on single foods and that causing problems. If we had a blueberry glut for example and ate a large bowl everyday would that cause a problem? (Note, no pesticides will be used which is one problem that comes up when searching).
Nick

In response to the current Californian trend of actually eating kale, a Polish immigrant described it as 'after the war food'. I suspect it was a mainstay. If it gave problems, that would be a place to look. sean

Dalmations had kidney stones rather than gout. And because a male dalmation's urethra has a u-bend in it they used to get trapped rather than passed.

Kale is 'the vegetable of the hipster' according to a young person I know.
Mistress Rose

There is more to nutrition than just thinking about one item of diet or one substance. If you ate a huge bowl of blueberries every day for several weeks and nothing else, you would be missing some nutrients, and you may get the runs too. If they were part of a balance diet, then they would provide some essential vitamins. In case of dire need, people will even eat things that are mildly toxic if it fill their stomach. More are likely to die of starvation or lack of nutrients than eating too much kale.

James, phyto remediation is an interesting subject, both to extract and concentrate unwanted pollution and as a good way of extracting the metals from ore.
Nick

Dalmations had kidney stones rather than gout. And because a male dalmation's urethra has a u-bend in it they used to get trapped rather than passed.

Kale is 'the vegetable of the hipster' according to a young person I know.

Hipsters need shooting. Kale is disgusting, and wants stamping out. I mean, it's OK as an odd thing, but shakes? whole meals? gluts? No, he's plain wrong.
dpack

spot the dog

iirc kidney stones can also have a uric acid crystal component so both problems might have a link.
Treacodactyl

There is more to nutrition than just thinking about one item of diet or one substance. If you ate a huge bowl of blueberries every day for several weeks and nothing else, you would be missing some nutrients, and you may get the runs too. If they were part of a balance diet, then they would provide some essential vitamins. In case of dire need, people will even eat things that are mildly toxic if it fill their stomach. More are likely to die of starvation or lack of nutrients than eating too much kale.

They would be part of a balanced diet, at the moment we're just eating kale flowers as extra veg with most meals.

Nick, think of them as broccoli rather than kale, is that better?

Mind you, I could become a fruitarian in the late summer months, well fruit and fish.
Nick

You can think of them as fillet steak, if you like. It's still kale.

However, better kale than fish.
sean

'Uncle Nick's Kalifornian Krab 'n' Kale Shack' sounds like a potentially lucrative franchising operation though. I'll have to find a different Nick to model for the cheery cartoon mascot. Nick

'Uncle Nick's Kalifornian Krab 'n' Kale Shack' sounds like a potentially lucrative franchising operation though. I'll have to find a different Nick to model for the cheery cartoon mascot.


I'll chuck in a tenner to crowdfund it, and allow you to use my smiley face.
Mistress Rose

We tend to eat the buds of the kale at this time of year too. Trouble is, something ate all may kale and purple sprouters last year, so nothing at all at the moment. Andrea

The flower buds and stems from brassicas are a very popular dish in Portugal. dpack

purple kale makes one's green caterpillars a rather unattractive mud colour and ruins the flavour Mistress Rose

Do you mean it ruins the flavour of the kale or the caterpillars? dpack

the latter,horse radish is a much better feed to fatten ones pillars.

yum.
Mistress Rose

Too strong for me I am afraid. I am not that keen on caterpillars anyway. I tend to try to pick them off the greens or they eat the lot, greedy little blighters that they are. Actually I try to net the brassicas so they can't get at them. dpack

i used to pick n kill but having seen how keen the birds were on the fallen i decided to give them a go.

delicious ,horseradish ones are spicy ,young brassica ones are "cabbagey" but purple kale ones are far too "kaley" Wink

net is a good idea but pick n nibble works if you keep at it.
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