This is going to apply largely to the US, because in Europe and other places, humans actually eat a lot more sensibly. I am anticipating Spring, and the bounty that will explode in my yard. I will practically graze after this hard Winter. Plantain, dandelions, purslane, chickweed.... an abundance of healthy stuff provided by Nature. For free. Healthier than some of the stuff we pay big bucks for in supplement form. Every one of them is either ignored or cursed by the majority of those with yards or gardens.
I only mention the four most common in my yard. Other "weeds" are maligned in other places, healthy things like burdock and nettle, but I'll focus on these. Especially dandelions. As a child, I was completely delighted by every aspect of these happy bright beauties. They provided hours of entertainment on the playground. We wished upon the seeds. We made chain necklaces out of the stems. We picked giant bouquets of sunny yellow happiness. I can practically still feel the consternation of our neighbor, as our dandies grew freely, and he had his lawn visited by the ChemLawn truck every year. (I shudder to realize that I played on that lawn, too. Ick.)
We spend millions and pour tons of herbicides into the Earth to destroy this little piece of sunshine. And still it grows. And it may be one of the most beneficial plants on the planet. I had received news that my cholesterol is a tad high. As I refuse to take drugs for this, I turned to my herbal remedy books to look up what Nature recommends. First on the list? Dandelions. What do we do to manage our cholesterol? Get prescriptions for something created in a lab. What am I going to do? Turn to Nature.
Purslane is crazy high in Omega-3 fatty acids. And it grows like crazy. The more you try to pull it out, the more it grows. Like crazy. And it's actually delicious. Raw, cooked, sauteed, steamed, tossed in with almost anything. And yet where do we go to get our Omega-3, which are highly recommended? FISH OIL. Because no one is making money if you get your supplements FROM YOUR YARD. Money would be lost all the way down the line, right to Big Oil who is responsible for those plastic bottles. (Thanks, Roger!) And if we knew we could munch on free stuff from our lawn, we might not spend money on herbicides (Monsanto) and we might be more healthy and we would not need Big Pharma. Follow the money.
It gets worse. Grape seeds - insanely healthy on multiple levels. What do we buy in stores? Seedless grapes. I have actually looked for black grapes with seeds still in them. They are very hard to find. Hmmm....
The list goes on and on of things we can easily get in Nature that would keep us much more reasonably healthy, but we ignore them completely, avoid them, or worst of all actively kill them with poison. Poison that harms us too. So we need more Big Pharma. Can you blame me for thinking it's a conspiracy? Do you see it now, or just think I go too far? I'd love to hear. When did it start? This turning away? Have we been turned away on purpose... slowly... slowly... am I going to disappear?
Pink Floyd has an awesome song that comes to mind for this:
"Don't accept that what's happening
Is just a case of others' suffering
Or you'll find that you're joining in
The turning away"