AltitoMarch 14, 2013

Alright, I know some of you will cringe at this, but I'm asking anyways. Has anyone heard if aphids are poisonous to humans in quantity? I ask because I'm a year into eating insects (from what I've had, I really enjoy) and I figure why not eat one of the most problematic insects in the garden?

Unless someone here can give me a good reason not to, I'll get down to my plants and lick em' all up.

Any thoughts?

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What many people use to control Aphids is more harmful then the Aphids are. Since this is not something most people are interested in there is very little information out there, but I would imagine you would need to consume several hundred thousand to know whether they were not good for you. Birds and numerous other insect species have consumed Aphids for eons with no harm.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 7:15AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

how many billion would it take.. to get a mouthful

it would seem to me.. you would burn more energy bending over to get them .. than it would be worth ...

i am glad you are not my neighbor.. i would probably have to call someone.. if i saw you out there.. licking your plants... and then you would get mad at me.. etc..

based on your year long practice.. which have you come to find.. to be the tastiest???? .. is it plant dependent??? ... e.g. do aphids on tomato.. have a hint of tomato flavor????

so many questions.. so little time.. like .. if you licked them off mums ... would you be poisoning yourself with pyrethrum????


    Bookmark   March 14, 2013 at 8:00AM
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Hahah, I knew someone would find this unsettling. I'm not doing this for the meal. its almost entirely to solve the pest problem. I suspect that the bugs would slightly taste like whatever they're eating; sort of like how honey tastes different depending on what flowers the bees got the pollen from. By far, ants and termites are my favorites (and most peoples). they come in abundance and have a citrusish flavor and tonnes of nutrients, and usually come in large numbers. Good point about the birds, but we don't have the same tolerances for each food so I need to be weary when experimenting. some birds eat yew and mistletoe berries; we should not. If nobody can give me a reason not to, by the time the aphids arrive (which will still be a few months) I will try it for sure and report back here with my findings.

And hey! There's no reason to report me ;). in some countries, they'd report you for NOT eating insects! North Americans tend to have lost their roots. Insects are a PRIME and ancient human food.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 12:18AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

No one finds it unsettling. Good luck to you and bon appetit.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 6:34AM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

Hahah, I knew someone would find this unsettling.

==>> not in the least.. knock yourself out..

its just a rich vein of humor ... couldnt help myself.. i am glad you did not take offense ...


    Bookmark   March 15, 2013 at 7:52AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

I don't find it unsettling, just question the effectiveness as sheer pest control vs. rinsing with water.

The possible toxicity of licking the actual plants might be a concern. For example, the leaves of many veggie plants are toxic while the fruit is edible. That may not be an issue from simple topical exposure, but I'd want to investigate that too before I stuck out my tongue - is it OK to lick this plant?

We're told to wash anything, even home-grown, that we're going to eat because bacteria can be present. As far as I understand, that's much more of a concern for material that was in contact with the ground, but it would be terrible to contract something along those lines (one of the 'erias or 'isms) for this reason. I'd educate myself about that as well, if you haven't already.

If you feel like snacking on some grasshoppers, you're welcome to satisfy your epicuriousity in my yard!

...and don't forget the weeds!

I totally agree with your attitude. It's more than a little bit ironic that people go hungry while there's edible stuff all around. The mass producers of food items (and grass seed, pesticides, herbicides) have done a good job of convincing people that anything not mainstream is not food, and that the growing of food is an ugly practice to be hidden away from public view. If they don't have machinery to deal with it, it's a weed to be killed. We spend countless tax dollars mowing grass (or even a large percentage of edible "weeds") in public and municipal areas that could be used to grow food, actually doubling the cost of such practice. My son's new elementary school is a good example. Many acres of mowed lawn all around the building that could be used to grow & harvest a good portion of all of those lunches, and the knowledge would be so valuable for the kids. Yep, I've definitely gone off on a tangent...

    Bookmark   March 16, 2013 at 10:30AM
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don't worry about it; I agree completely. I'm not worried about plant toxins because they only seem to attack my brassicas (100% edible) and my aunts beans (again, edible). Even tomato leaves are debatingly edible. I eat all the snails, so I don't have problems with them, as well as I carve soapstone and have lots of its dust lying around. I sprinkle that in a ring around the plants and it keeps all slugs away as well as nourishes the soil with minerals. I don't weed because i have all edible cover crops (chickweed, clover, purselane,borage, dandelion etc). They retain the moisture and aerate the soil so my veggies actually grow larger and I water WAY less than I used to when the soil was bare. if the cover crops start to choke out any plants, I simply pick them for my next meal (and wild foods are way more nutritious than any "designer" vegies we grow, anyways). I've noticed larger yields this way. I owe this credit to masanobu fukuoka. last year I read his book, a one straw revolution, and it changed my whole outlook on gardening. I recommend it to everyone. There is no waste, and no such thing as a bad weed, or even bug. consider it a good thing to have so many diverse creatures in the garden; it's a sign of health.

I thought I'd ramble for a bit to make you feel better about your rant ;).

long story short; if somethings bothering your garden, eat it. whether its a snail or deer that's invading your veggie patch, you can always fix the problem by eating it. all this means is more food for us, and isn't that the reason we grow gardens to begin with?

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 3:56PM
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"We spend countless tax dollars mowing grass (or even a large percentage of edible "weeds") in public and municipal areas that could be used to grow food, actually doubling the cost of such practice."

Imagine a world where city planners thought like this and planted almost exclusively fruit trees in parks, along the roads and highways, as well as veggies scattered all over the place to become feral, hardy, and self seed. the population could gorge on fresh figs, apples, cherries, carrots, beats and whatever the season provides! People would enjoy outdoor walks more, get better nutrition, and work less at their slave jobs because the food expense would go WAY down.

I like your thinking purpleinopp, and I vote YOU for mayor!

This post was edited by Altito on Sun, Mar 17, 13 at 16:06

    Bookmark   March 17, 2013 at 4:05PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

LOL, Thanks, but I'm too busy with my plants for mayor'ing. I enjoyed your rant as well. I've imagined that world and don't know why there are so few people with these thoughts.

You might enjoy some of the books I've read along these lines...

The Lawn: A History of an American Obsession by Virginia Scott Jenkins is interesting to get the back story on why in the heck is there grass being mowed everywhere.

Redesigning the American Lawn: A Search for Environmental Harmony by Bormann, Balmori, Geballe. This is about permaculture, wiser use of resources, and using one's land for their optimal enjoyment and productivity with the least amount of maintenance effort.

I was also fascinated by 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus by Charles Mann. This one goes into the landscape of north and south America before 1492.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 10:00AM
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to the library!

    Bookmark   March 20, 2013 at 3:17AM
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Altito, aphids should not do you any harm but look out for the cockroaches!

    Bookmark   March 23, 2013 at 8:16PM
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