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We are washing away the foundations of our existence on every front. It is high time we move from crashing about on the planet like a bull in china shop and find a way to go forward with intent. We must find systems of living based on sustainability. The systems and tools exist, it is up to each of us to adopt them.

Blog Archive

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Wild food #1 - Yew Berries


I've recently gotten into foraging for wild foods. From time to time I will show you and discuss some of the things I've been eating.

Yew berries have a mildly slimy consistency but are quite tasty. Do NOT eat the seeds or any other part of the tree. I've seen posts on the web that 3 berries will make you vomit and give you other ill effects. I've eaten handfulls of the berries with no ill effects but as always try one or two and wait 24 hours before eating more.

Here is the quote on yew berries from Wild Food School website

"YEW [Taxus baccata] Regarded as one of THE most poisonous and deadly plant materials around the scarlet berries of yew contain a slightly sugary gloop surrounding the seed and which can be extracted by VERY GENTLY squeezing the berry. The inner brown-black seed is deadly poisonous and must not be eaten.

If you wish to try the yew berry sap it is ESSENTIAL to check your personal tolerance before trying. In any event only try the sap of one or two berries as a larger quantity might well contain a sufficient build up of toxins which could cause harm. One best left to foraging professionals."

My technique is to pop the whole berry in my mouth and spit out the seed. If you wait to long it starts to get very astringent, a good sign of poison, so don't hesitate.

1 comment:

Wild Food Guide said...

I personally find the yew berry jelly that surrounds the seed extremely tasty.

But like Robb says make sure you don't swallow the seed. Best to just scrape off the jelly with your fingers, throw away the seed and then enjoy the lovely sweet fruit nectar.

Robin