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Pigweed (Amaranthus) - Nutritious? Poison? Both?

17 years ago

I'm getting a lot of seemingly conflicting info about pigweed's edibility or toxicity. One common variety is amaranthus retroflexus, which is prolific in my garden (though I usually pull it up). I read in another thread that it is edible and good to eat, and I am pretty sure I've come across several other references to it as a nutritious edible weed. I ate a couple of the young leaves today and they tasted kind of like corn silk.

But I've also seen many references to this plant as being toxic, even sometimes fatal to cattle. (I'm sure they ate more of it than I did, though.)

Apparently, in nutrient-rich soil, such as in cultivated lawns and gardens, this plant can accumulate toxic levels of nitrates.

Is anyone familiar with pigweed/amaranthus such that you can shed more light on this subject. This is so easy to find or grow and palatable enough that it would be a shame not to be able to use it as a salad ingredient, etc., if it's actually a good source of fiber or vitamins. On the other hand, I'm just a tad concerned about consuming something that's widely classified as poisonous. (I'm funny that way.)

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