Invasive plants – safe to eat?

Flowers and fruits Credit: Jill Burrow

A young entrepreneur, Allie Botold, encourages people to eat invasive plants: “There are a lot of natural treats here,” she shared when presenting her cookbook to the Press. 

Invasive plants are non-native species which spread out of control and can cause environmental, economic and human harm, yet Allie Botold, from Sweden, argues that eating invasive plants can be absolutely safe: “How many know that several of the invasive plants are edible – and actually considered good?

In collaboration with five classmates at Hitachigymnasiet in Västerås, Allie began selling her cookbook, which presents recipes based on invasive plants and has sold more than 100 copies so far: “We have found four invasive plants that can be eaten and have developed twenty recipes for them.”

The cookbook includes dishes made with parkslide, park lettuce, Canadian goldenrod, and ragwort, all of which are considered to be invasive plants. 

These plants are difficult to control and can out-compete other species. Is adding them to the human diet a way to combat this issue?

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Written by

Anna Akopyan

Originally from Moscow, with Russian and Armenian origins, Anna has lived in Costa Blanca for over ten years. She is passionate about singing, acting and traveling.