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Author Topic: can humans eat grass ?  (Read 86588 times)

neilep

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can humans eat grass ?
« on: 08/01/2006 21:06:05 »
Y'know...sometimes I wish I was a cow ! (well..ok a bull then !)...so that I could enjoy four stomach happiness !!...but what I really want to know is that, like a bovine friend , If I wanted to...could I quite happily eat the contents of my lawnmower after a fresh mowing ?

Lay down the lawn...I'm ready for a salad !

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Corbeille

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Re: can humans eat grass ?
« Reply #1 on: 08/01/2006 22:27:03 »
The Irish were eating grass as a last resort during the potato famine. Many of them were found dead with green stains around their mouths.
It lacks enough nutrition for humans to survive on and therefore is an unsuitable diet.

So don't bother, just put it on your compost heap and eventually use it as a soil enricher. Then grow some lovely potatoes in your garden, much better than those you get from a supermarket!




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daveshorts

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Re: can humans eat grass ?
« Reply #2 on: 08/01/2006 22:46:33 »
I think you can eat grass, and especially on a sunny day there will be some sugars in it that you can absorb, but you can't absorb the cellulose which makes up most of the calories, so you would have to eat a hell of a lot of it.

Most grass eating animals have a complex gut that involves a fermentation stage where they grow bacteria which can break down the cellulose into sugars which can be absorbed. This is a long process and is why cows have 5 stomachs, and bring the grass back up to chew it a second time (chewing the cud) and rabbits eat their own droppings.

neilep

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Re: can humans eat grass ?
« Reply #3 on: 09/01/2006 00:35:07 »
Thank you both for your wonderful comments. So, I've sold cows short by thinking they had just four stomachs...and rabbits eat their own poo poo.....pooooooo!!!

So, If one can eat grass, (though not to sustain a healthy diet on it)..I wonder why you don't see it on menus etc.


Actually, I was expecting answers like it would make you sick etc, so, I'm pleasently surprised.

Anyway...many thanks again.


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Andrew K Fletcher

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Re: can humans eat grass ?
« Reply #4 on: 09/01/2006 09:29:35 »
In The Ethiopian Somalian Drought way back, the people were eating anything they could get their teeth into, including soil just to fill their bellies. Some of these walking skeletons of former beautiful peoples walked incredible distances with the most appalling diet and inherent lack of water. The grass they ate was moisture free, which could have released more sugars than fresh grass and aided in the digestion.

On arrival at the feeding stations, many of these people filled their bellies and literally laid down and died within the first day of eating.

RE: The Irish Potato famine, I suspect many of the deaths occurred from eating green potatoes, which are poisonous and would indeed cause already starving people to collapse and die. I doubt that grass was responsible for any of the deaths.

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neilep

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Re: can humans eat grass ?
« Reply #5 on: 09/01/2006 15:43:04 »
Andrew, thanks for that...why did those poor people lay down and die after receiving proper nourishment ?...was it the effect of a shock to the system or something like that ?

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Andrew K Fletcher

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Re: can humans eat grass ?
« Reply #6 on: 09/01/2006 16:55:27 »
I believe it was the sudden influx of food which caused their circulatory system to crash, inducing as you suggested a form of circulatory shock.

During the second world war, when prisoners were being rescued from the concentration camps, they quickly realised that these unfortunate people could not cope with the sudden influx of food, following many months, even years of restricted / starvation diet. They were finally introduced to food gradually to overcome the additional fatalities.

I was working with a man on a long distance house removal in a very hot summer one year. This man lived on fizzy drinks and crisps, refusing to eat more sensible food.

After we had arrived at the new home and begun unloading in the heat, he ate some chocolate, more crisps and more fizzy drink. He collapsed on the floor going into convulsions and was carted off by the paramedics, again suggesting that the body adapts to a somewhat poor diet, but can go into shock when richer food is suddenly introduced. I doubt he learned anything from that experience, but I did watching him fighting for his life.

But I suspect one of the main problems the peoples of Ethiopia and Somalia faced was the shift from being upright and walking to laying flat on the ground and motionless, due to sheer exhaustion. together with the rich food in their stomachs, did indeed introduce circulatory shock. Indeed we had a discussion on here a while back about eating a heavy meal makes people sleepy. Many people doze off shortly after they have eaten too much, I doubt that this is down to coincidence.

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MooseHole

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Re: can humans eat grass ?
« Reply #7 on: 09/01/2006 17:49:21 »
I think they put wheat grass in some smoothies, but I don't know why.

Corbeille

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Re: can humans eat grass ?
« Reply #8 on: 09/01/2006 23:33:25 »
AK, they were eating grass in Ireland. I read it in "the Great Hunger" by Cecil Woodham Smith. A book I can thouroughly recommend.





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Andrew K Fletcher

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Re: can humans eat grass ?
« Reply #9 on: 10/01/2006 09:24:39 »
Corbeille

I accept that the Irish people were forced by starvation to eat anything, including grass. I never doubted you on this.

But I think that attributing deaths to eating grass is incorrect. The deaths were caused by starvation, unless the grass triggered off a fermentation process in the gut which somehow provided the final "cudd  de grass"

"The explanation requiring the fewest assumptions is most likely to be correct."
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nilmot

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Re: can humans eat grass ?
« Reply #10 on: 10/01/2006 14:36:31 »
The bacteria living inside cow's stomach is in symbioses with the cow. Another example is wood-eating termite.

You might wonder cow is an animal isn't it, so it must have some souce of protein and not just carbohydrate, but their diet is strictly herbaceous. Cows obtain their protein by releasing proteolytic enzyme to digest the micro-organism living inside its stomach. But there are an immense amount of bacteria in the stomach that it will not run out.

Tom

Corbeille

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Re: can humans eat grass ?
« Reply #11 on: 10/01/2006 15:59:11 »
Indeed AK, grass did not kill them, starvation did. Grass just wasn't nutritious enough to sustain them. They knew that but ate it anyway out of desperation.




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neilep

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Re: can humans eat grass ?
« Reply #12 on: 10/01/2006 16:31:05 »
quote:
Originally posted by Andrew K Fletcher

somehow provided the final "cudd  de grass"

"The explanation requiring the fewest assumptions is most likely to be correct."
K.I.S. "Keep it simple!"




...that in itself is enough to finish anyone off !!:D

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MooseHole

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Re: can humans eat grass ?
« Reply #13 on: 12/01/2006 17:12:53 »
I've heard that dogs and cats eat grass when they're sick.  Is that because they need vitamins or something?

neilep

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Re: can humans eat grass ?
« Reply #14 on: 12/01/2006 18:31:14 »
quote:
Originally posted by MooseHole

I've heard that dogs and cats eat grass when they're sick.  Is that because they need vitamins or something?



You're right there about cats ..they love it...you can even buy special kitty grass for them to enjoy....I remember my cat used to quite happily munch away on grassy goodness...made him salivate a lot though...

...as far as doggies are concerned..DR BEAVER is the one who can anser that...he has about 100 dogs !;)

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Andrew K Fletcher

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Re: can humans eat grass ?
« Reply #15 on: 12/01/2006 21:26:21 »
Hang on a minute Neil, had some cereals for breakfast recently? We are eating grass after all, every time we slam in some toast, scoff a cake, toss a pancake, munch a biscuit or thicken some gravy or soup, bake a pie, believe it or not we are slaves to the grass, cultivating it, modifying it, nurturing it, brewing it and guzzling down the fermented beer.

Grass has enslaved us all into thinking we can't live off it, when all the time, we have sacrificed huge forests to grow the stuff and fill our belly's. In fact most of the deserts today are the sacrificial remains of early attempts to develop the humble grasses.

I Did like the Cudd De Grass, but I'm not so sure it was the final death blow as we thought earlier. My guess is the grass is an alien invasion designed to turn us all into its slaves, causing us all to become hell bent on a one way ticket to the end of the world, we are all doomed.

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neilep

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Re: can humans eat grass ?
« Reply #16 on: 12/01/2006 22:16:55 »
You're right of course Andrew. when you consider the grass family, there is indeed great variety and scope to the number of grasses available and indeed , as it seems.... it's intent on Earthly despotic authority.

I bow down in admiration and respect......Oh My !!..according to Wikipedia..there could well be in the region of ten thousand species of grass !!.....It's not War of the Worlds we should be concerned about ..but..War of The Wheat !!

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Andrew K Fletcher

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Re: can humans eat grass ?
« Reply #17 on: 14/01/2006 18:00:10 »
This gets increasingly more concerning Neil.

Crop circles springs to mind, maybe this was the landing craft that brought the seeds to Earth, and where did the saying I'm gonna grass you up come from one wonders?

But on a serious note, History does tell us that depending on these grasses for sustaining us has impoverished the soils, leading to diminished rainfall and diminished harvests increasingly poorer plants and seeds. The evidence for this can be found in the bones of the people that farmed the grasses. The San Fernando Valley, the ancient Mayan Indians, The Mesopotamian Indians and the ancient Egyptians all suffered from dietary deficiencies according to the analysis of the bones.

"The explanation requiring the fewest assumptions is most likely to be correct."
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jesusmania

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can humans eat grass ?
« Reply #18 on: 08/05/2008 19:13:30 »
Concerning edible grass. :o
I have read that bluegrass is edible. The lower stems have a sweet taste which means sugar.  Which edible grass would be the most nutritious to humans?  I realize that humans are unable to digest most grasses.  Could we blend grass in a blender and then eat grass with no problems? I'm not talking about grass like wheat or rice that we eat, but grass like one would find in the yard or clover etc.

Karen W.

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can humans eat grass ?
« Reply #19 on: 08/05/2008 19:34:07 »
Welcome to the forum.. what a good question.. I like what we call sour grass but I do not know the technical name..  Wait it is sorrel, also mountain sorrel, in that it is like clover like shape and also a long slender leaf.  Sour to taste and great in a salad I like it stems and all!
« Last Edit: 08/05/2008 21:12:13 by Karen W. »

jesusmania

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can humans eat grass ?
« Reply #20 on: 08/05/2008 20:17:39 »
 :o
Here is an excellent web site that I just found on the internet that tells the various grasses that can be eaten by humans.

http://www.pfaf.org/leaflets/ediblawn.php

Karen W.

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can humans eat grass ?
« Reply #21 on: 08/05/2008 21:16:11 »
here is one of them that I was brought up eating in salads etc. There is a smaller leaf one more slender and also big clover like sorrel! YUMMMMMMMMMY!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sorrel

Here is a mountain sorrell! Yummmy!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxyria_digyna

This is my favorite it grows here .. we always ate tons of it , grew up with it added it to many dishes ... this link says we ate it in small amounts, but my family ate it in large amounts its wonderful stuff. ! LOL.. Maybe thats whats wrong with me!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Redwood_sorrel
« Last Edit: 08/05/2008 21:24:44 by Karen W. »

SquarishTriangle

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can humans eat grass ?
« Reply #22 on: 09/05/2008 03:49:43 »
Thank you both for your wonderful comments. So, I've sold cows short by thinking they had just four stomachs...and rabbits eat their own poo poo.....pooooooo!!!

They do have four stomachs: reticulum, rumen, omasum, abomasum ('true stomach').

Madidus_Scientia

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can humans eat grass ?
« Reply #23 on: 09/05/2008 12:07:26 »
I think they put wheat grass in some smoothies, but I don't know why.
I saw on a sign at a juice stand place something like "one shot of wheatgrass is equivalent to eating 4kg of vegetables!" does anyone know if that's anywhere near truthful or just marketing?

my favourite grass is probably sugarcane :) i grew up on a sugar cane farm and my house was surrounded by fields of it, fun to munch on :P

jesusmania

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can humans eat grass ?
« Reply #24 on: 09/05/2008 14:30:18 »
I was interested in this and found information on wikipedia encyclopedia that explains it very well.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wheatgrass :o

 

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