Wild edible plants as a source of mineral elements in the daily diet

What are ‘wild edible plants’? According to Kalle and Sõucand this term could refer to edible plants growing without intentional cultivation by people. Nevertheless, an important and often controversial point is the distinction between ‘wild’ and ‘domesti­cated’ plants, since there could be many intermediate stages between the use of wild plants and true domes­tication. Indeed, many wild species can occasionally be grown and some cultivated plants, that are not com­pletely domesticated, sometimes grow like wild veg­etables. Moreover, Elia and Santamaria defined ‘edible spontaneous plants’ including… «some progeni­tors of cultivated vegetables with which there is a continu­um in the genetic profile». In the context of this note, the term ‘wild edible plants’ (WEP) indicate just the vegetables which grow spontaneous without any external input and/or human action. Therefore, WEP may be considered exclusively as the result of the interaction between vegetable bio­diversity, ecosystem and natural resources.

by Massimiliano Renna

Progr Nutr 2017; Vol. 19, N. 2: 219-222 DOI: 10.23751/pn.v19i2.5662