WSJ article on "next super berry"

jacqueline9CAJuly 12, 2013

Just for your amusement - did anyone else notice that when the WSJ printed a huge article in the Personal Journal section on Wed, July 10th on obscure edible berries they printed a picture of an arum italicum (a sort of lily) seed pod and labeled it "barberry" ? Arum italicum berries/seeds are poisonous!

I have written the WSJ and suggested that they might want to print a correction, as presumably they did not really intend to encourage the eating of a poisonous berry. It is so odd, because anyone looking at the picture of the arum italicum seed pod should have been able to tell that it was not any sort of berry bush - it clearly has only one vertical stem.

Jackie

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mrsg47(7)

Hi, which issue/date?

    Bookmark   July 12, 2013 at 5:55PM
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bob_z6(6b/7a SW CT)

Here's a link to the article.

Here is a link that might be useful: WSJ Article

    Bookmark   July 13, 2013 at 12:27AM
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mrsg47(7)

Thanks Bob!

    Bookmark   July 13, 2013 at 7:50AM
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jacqueline9CA

In addition to sending my email to the "letters to the editor" page, I also sent an email to a person with a by line on a nearby article (could not find the author of this article). She responded immediately, and said that she was forwarding my email to "all of the right people", and that they take this very seriously. I have not seen a retraction in the paper, however.

Jackie

    Bookmark   July 14, 2013 at 10:49AM
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2ajsmama

Nice save! I looked at that picture (DH saved the article for me, we thought we might have aronia but turned out to be Prunus vir.) and thought, that doesn't look like the Japanese barberry we have all over (guess those are edible but it's really the European one you want).

Byline says Anne Marie Chaker, though the editor would know who put the photos and captions together, it may not have been the author of the article.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2013 at 11:12AM
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jacqueline9CA

It probably was not the author of the article who put the photos and captions together, but the point is that evidently the pictures were not checked by anyone (editor?) who even knows that barberry is not a plant which produces one stemmed seed pods.

Here is the picture in question - arum italicum, definitely, and definitely poisonous!

Jackie

    Bookmark   July 14, 2013 at 12:13PM
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jacqueline9CA

Here is a picture of real barberry berries for comparison -

Jackie

    Bookmark   July 14, 2013 at 12:27PM
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2ajsmama

Now THOSE look like the Japanese barberry I'm used to!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2013 at 7:25PM
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murkwell

The whole idea of a super berry, or super foods in general, is pretty silly.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2013 at 12:58AM
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2ajsmama

Well, I pick pretty thorny wild blackberries for the taste, I don't think I would pick barberries no matter how high in antioxidants they were supposed to be. Never did care much for elderberries either (though I think I still have some in freezer from 2011).

I'll stick to wild blackberries and blueberries - the darker the better (yum!). And black raspberries when I can find them (wild rose is overrunning them, I have to dig some out and transplant to a more convenient, open spot).

    Bookmark   July 15, 2013 at 5:39AM
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