Image: Garlic Mustard. Source: Bay County, Michigan website
June 2021, Christine Muller
Eating a wide variety of food provides the body with different vitamins and valuable trace elements. So, adding some wild edible plants to your diet can contribute much to your good health! They are nutritionally denser than cultivated food varieties, so you get more nutrition with each bite.
Let’s focus on one plant – Garlic Mustard. Its leaves “just prior to flowering have higher vitamin C content than oranges and more vitamin A than spinach.”* You can chop up Garlic Mustard leaves and flowers and add them to any salad, or stir-fry them with other vegetables. They will add a delicious mild garlic-mustard flavor to your dishes.
That’s not the whole story, though. In addition to the fact that the plants are healthy and free, there is an even more important benefit when eating Garlic Mustard: In North America, it is an extremely invasive species and displaces native vegetation. We can help reduce its spread by pulling it out by its roots—which is easy to do—and eating it. Bon appétit!
For more information about Garlic Mustard, visit this Rural Sprout website page. For tips about safe and responsible foraging, I recommend this Rural Sprout article: 25 Edible Wild Plants To Forage For In Early Spring.