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I'm not a chemist or scientist, however i am interested in figuring out if the plants around me:

can provide any nutritional value Can be eaten in salads or poisonous

I don't have any idea of the path to take to get my answers. Going back to school isnt an option.

Please advise on the path to take to know these things.

Thank you

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    $\begingroup$ Library: there are pocket books and bigger references that help you identify a plant, then you can search literature if it is edible or not. Just for the record: many edible wild plant is mildly toxic. $\endgroup$ – Greg Mar 24 '17 at 14:48
  • $\begingroup$ i would advise you to not risk taking random plants, and eating it based on others opinion of what it looks like, rather, ask someone who knows such stuff, like a botanist. Or try giving pictures and asking for help at the cooking stack exchange $\endgroup$ – Supernova Mar 24 '17 at 14:56
  • $\begingroup$ Ironically, the best answer is that the local elders and medicine men/women are the best sources. If you live in an advanced civilization, then you're probably out of luck unless that lore has been written down. Now, there's no guarantee that it's correct or complete--we don't just go around testing random plants on people. $\endgroup$ – Zhe Mar 24 '17 at 14:57
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    $\begingroup$ I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because this is about botany and not chemistry. $\endgroup$ – ringo Mar 24 '17 at 15:12
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There are a few books on this topic available on Amazon. They might be useful, depending on where you live.

A Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants: Eastern and central North America (Peterson Field Guides) Sep 1, 1999 by Lee Allen Peterson and Roger Tory Peterson https://www.amazon.com/Field-Guide-Edible-Wild-Plants/dp/039592622X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1490368083&sr=8-1&keywords=edible+plants

Edible Wild Plants: A North American Field Guide to Over 200 Natural Foods Apr 7, 2009 by Thomas Elias and Peter Dykeman https://www.amazon.com/Edible-Wild-Plants-American-Natural/dp/1402767153/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1490368083&sr=8-2&keywords=edible+plants

Edible Wild Plants: A Folding Pocket Guide to Familiar North American Species Dec 26, 2014 by James Kavanagh and Waterford Press https://www.amazon.com/Edible-Wild-Plants-Familiar-Naturalist-ebook/dp/B00USBMCE8/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1490368083&sr=8-3&keywords=edible+plants

Bushcraft 101: A Field Guide to the Art of Wilderness Survival Sep 1, 2014 by Dave Canterbury https://www.amazon.com/Bushcraft-101-Field-Wilderness-Survival/dp/1440579776/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1490368083&sr=8-4&keywords=edible+plants

Identifying and Harvesting Edible and Medicinal Plants in Wild (and Not So Wild) Places May 20, 1994 by Steve Brill and Evelyn Dean https://www.amazon.com/Identifying-Harvesting-Edible-Medicinal-Plants/dp/0688114253/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1490368083&sr=8-5&keywords=edible+plants

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I don't think there is a scientific approach that would be useful here.

I advise you to buy a book on wild plants that can be eaten, maybe look for a book specific to your region.

Identifying every plant, then checking if you can eat it would take a long time, so the faster approach would be to see what is edible, and then look for the plant.

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  • $\begingroup$ Ok, thanks guys for all your responses. I thought I needed a scientist to help me with this issue so that's why I posted here. But your responses have helped to steer me in a more accurate direction. $\endgroup$ – Maren Mar 25 '17 at 17:36

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