How do people learn to cook a poisonous plant safely?

Jimerson Posts: 291 admin

I just read an very interesting piece about toxic plants that I wanted to share.

Obligatory disclaimer: Please do not try this at home. People die from improperly preparing some types of plants!

"But like nardoo, cassava is highly toxic. It also requires a tedious and complex preparation ritual to make it safe. The cassava root will otherwise release hydrogen cyanide."

Link to article:

"Whether it is constructing an igloo, hunting an antelope, lighting a fire, making a longbow or processing cassava, we learn not by understanding from first principles, but by imitating."

I'm curious if any of you have had processes passed down to you from previous generations, in regards to preparing poisonous plants, that you would like to share with us! : ) For informational purposes only, of course...

Bonus video! Two boys generate electrical energy from waste created by cassava processing


  • pamelamackenzie
    pamelamackenzie Posts: 143 ✭✭✭

    Thanks for sharing. It is interesting to think about how people decided to eat / drink various things.

  • Jimerson
    Jimerson Posts: 291 admin

    @pamelahoward55 Oh I know! I remember when I was a kid laying around wondering "How did people first find out which food was ok to eat and which wasn't?" this sort of helped answer that question.

    Like, who was the first person to look at an oyster and think "Yeah, that looks like something I want to put in my mouth!" haha

  • shllnzl
    shllnzl Posts: 1,820 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I am thinking starvation pushed a lot of the experimentation.

  • Jimerson
    Jimerson Posts: 291 admin
    edited September 2019

    @shllnzl That definitely makes sense, especially in that story about the men in the article above.

  • Jimerson
    Jimerson Posts: 291 admin

    To be a fly on the cave wall when the first person decided to eat Psilocybe cubensis.. 😯

  • merlin44
    merlin44 Posts: 426 ✭✭✭✭
    edited September 2019

    Perhaps living so close to the natural world and observing animals had something to do with the knowledge of our forebearers. I have found the fact healing herbs used for one purpose in one location were used for the same purpose on the other side of the planet fascinating. Native American teachings say Shamans' learned the healing arts from the Spirit world, from observing animals and from the plants themselves. Maybe the plants told them what was safe to eat.

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