The point of the article is to destroy the lies of passed down talk and banter. I love Samuel Thayer who in all truth hits people right in the face with reality as he states saying, "There is no dichotomy between toxic and edible. All vegetables, wild or domestic, contain toxins, and every day, you ingest many different chemicals that your body must process and remove. Potatoes contain solanine and many allied toxic alkaloids, and have caused fatal poisonings."
Indeed all plants have something that is has which is not edible so the question I ask are pokeberries edible? Thayers says in his book page 276 "Most sources list them as toxic. There are reports of people vomiting or feeling ill after eating them. There are even a few claims in the literature of children being fatally poisoned by them, but I have been unable to substantiate this. In one documented case, a Scout group made pancakes with pokeberries in the batter, and the worst symptom was a mild diarrhea. (Edward and Rogers 1982). Some sources claim that the toxin has little effect on adults or older children, but is extremely toxic to infants and toddlers (Frohne and Pfander 2005). This claim, too, I have been unabler to trace to any meaningful source. It is often stated that the berries are toxic raw but not cooked. There are people alive today who make and consume pie, jelly, or juice from pokeberries. I personally know some of these people. They emphasized to me that the seeds are the toxic part, and should be removed and not broken in the processing."
Even the Audubon Society quotes saying in page 678 "The berry sap was used as a dye by the early colonists and has also been used to color cheap wine." So indeed the berries are not diabolically toxic if used properly so in truth what has happened over the years? Well we have gone from knowing and passing down that knowledge to becoming ignorant and speaking our lack of knowledge all over. Think about it? honey is toxic to infants and toddlers but not adults and older children but then again knowledge is indeed very powerful if you know what your doing and do what is right and safe.
Avi Ben Shalom: