Field guide to local Wild Edible Plants (WEP): practical conclusions from the latest research: healthy food from local nature

Research output: Book/ReportBookGeneral public


Professional Forager Educator Emeritus Professor Mauri K. Åhlberg (Biology and Sustainability Education, University of Helsinki) has written this b00k on wild edible plants based on the latest research (mainly 2016 – 2020).
(1) The author has photographed over 90 species during their life cycle phases when they are ready for foragers to eat. In his photos, the author has focused on the plant parts which you can sustainably forage. When the author had not good enough pictures for publishing, the author has obtained the best available photos from a professional plant photographer.
(2) The author bases the text mainly on the latest research (2016 – 2020).
(2) The author focuses on species that grow both temperate and subtropical vegetation zones and which have a) mostly a long documented history of use, b) globally an extensive distribution, and c) phytochemical, pharmacological, and often also toxicological research to assure their safe use.
(3) The book has all central claims carefully documented. Readers can check all knowledge claims. The author gives the pages to find accurate new knowledge with references to scientific sources like research papers and books.
(4) The author defines all critical terms in pedagogically sound ways with references.
(5) The author lists all health-promoting phytochemicals and other compounds like minerals, vitamins, and fatty acids for each species as far as there is published research on them.
(6) The author links all health-promoting compounds to the latest empirical research that shows how they promote health and longevity.
(7) The author presents new research results that show plant nitrates promote health and longevity. This news lessens unnecessary fears of eating many common edible plants.
(8) The author presents new research warnings of some commonly used wild edible plants. These include research-based suggestions on how to deal with plants that contain harmful oxalates. Some oxalate crystals are relatively harmless. Some plants have sharp oxalate crystals. The author presents advice on how to manage these situations.
(9) The author’s careful reading of research papers revealed interesting new details in even many commonly known wild edible plants. All readers will undoubtedly find many new rewarding research results. Readers will be more confident in foraging after reading this unique book.
10) Some of the presented species are globally invasive. The latest research has found them as valuable sources of raw materials for food and beverages like Japanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica), Himalayan balsam (Impatiens glandulifera), and rugosa rose (Rosa rugosa). Some invasive species in North America like garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) and purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria). There is convincing new research that they are valuable sources of food and beverages.

Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationHelsinki
PublisherOy Wild Edibles Ab
Number of pages306
Publication statusPublished - 2020
MoE publication typeNot Eligible

Bibliographical note

Fields of Science

  • 416 Food Science
  • wild edible plants
  • WEP
  • foraging
  • promoting health
  • preventing Alzheimer's disease
  • promoting longevity
  • Mediterranean diet
  • natural functional food

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