People across social media platforms have recently discovered that consuming dandelions is a completely acceptable and healthy thing to do.
Fighting quarantine boredom is an essential skillset in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. While some are learning to cook or crochet to pass time, a select few have begun eating weeds in their backyard.
Though this trend is just starting to emerge among Gen Z, eating dandelions has been around far longer than people realize.
Christine Buckley from the popular cooking website ‘bonappetite’ relays the history of the dandelion and says that eating this backyard treasure may even help with sugar cravings.
“The botanical name for dandelion is Taxacum officinale, and it is a member of the daisy family. In its name, we get a glimpse of this mighty plant’s importance. “Officinale” essentially means used in medicine: plants bearing the designation “officinale" could be found in ancient pharmacies,” said Buckley.
Buckley continued, “Bitter flavors are great for digestion and curbing sugar cravings. Eating more dandelion can be as simple as sprinkling a handful of chopped leaves into your next salad. It will get your digestive system pumping and primed for a summer diet of mostly raw vegetables... and hot dogs and ice cream.”
Though the dandelion is often thought of as ‘just a weed’, Emily Rice from The Bluefield Daily Telegraph explains why this isn’t true.
“The root of the dandelion is full of carbohydrate inulin, a type of soluble fiber that supports the growth and maintenance of healthy bacterial flora in the intestinal tract. The root of the dandelion is often dried and consumed as a tea, but it can also be eaten in its raw form,” Rice said.
Even in Terre Haute, this wave has been beginning to emerge and Sycamores are feeling unsure about it.
ISU student Tonya Dinkins began doing research on this trend and concluded that even with the health benefits, it just wasn’t for her.
“I was surprised to learn that dandelions are a super food packed with vitamin C, A, and K. Every part of the flower down to the root is edible! Eating dandelions has many health benefits such as improved circulatory and lymph systems. While eating dandelions is a source of healthy nutrients, I think there are many other appetizing ways to get your fill of vitamins and nutrients,” said Dinkins.
When ISU student Nicole Babcock heard that people were serving up dandelions she wasn’t impressed, to say the least.
“So we’ve gone from tide pods to dandelions? Huh, at least it’s natural and won’t hurt anyone. Just the thought of the fluffy seeds being stuck in my throat is already frustrating, I hate it enough when they start blowing everywhere,” said Babcock.