Originally written for those following a raw food diet, it is also a useful reference book for everybody interested in eating a wide variety of interesting plant foods. Includes all parts of the plants that can be eaten raw, a short introduction to the raw food diet, information on stockfree organic gardening, plants to avoid, and a resource section containing useful websites and books.
Available for Amazon Kindle - only £2.99.
|Raw Edible Flowers & Leaves eBook|
The following is an excerpt from the book.
Chapter 5: Edible Plants A - C
Alfalfa (Medicago sativa) A perennial plant. Also known as Lucerne, Purple Medic and 'The Father of All Foods'. The leaves, young shoots and sprouted seed are edible raw. The leaves can be dried and used as a supplement or made into a beneficial tea.
Issues: There have been warnings from some quarters against eating sprouted seed, Alfalfa in particular. I will cover a couple of the main issues here which apply to all sprouts. One is centered on the possible microbial contamination. It is important to employ good hygiene precautions for home growing (keep everything thoroughly clean). In addition, purchase seed for home growing from reliable sellers since seed has been known to be infected at source from the medium they are grown in or from inadequate cleaning. While we do have to be careful regarding hygiene and contamination, the following might put the situation a little more into perspective. The most common cause of food poisoning in the UK is Campylobacter bacteria responsible for more than 371,000 estimated cases in England and Wales in 2009 (FSA, 2011). It is found mainly in poultry and a survey on chicken for sale in the UK during 2007-8 found Campylobacter present in 65 percent of fresh chicken sampled. Before it is even purchased it is contaminated. No guidelines say we should not eat poultry. What can I say? Eat the sprouts.
Alfalfa also contains canavanine which is suggested may affect individuals with compromised immune systems although it is likely fine for the rest of the population. Scare stories regarding canavanine stem largely from dubious experiments on primates and involving huge quantities of Alfalfa, certainly more than anyone in their right mind would want to eat. In an article called 'Natural Toxins in Sprouted Seeds: Separating Myth from Reality', journalist Warren Peary and William Peavy PhD say: "These studies are not relevant to the human diet. The minute doses found in the diet are completely irrelevant and harmless ... Just remember that most substances can show some kind of toxic effect at a high enough dose. Vitamin A, selenium, copper, zinc, and iron will all kill you at a high enough dose."