Prof. Dr. Willem VAN COTTHEM (Ghent University, Belgium)
In many nature documentaries about the tropics, I see that apes feed on leaves from various tree species. Therefore, there must be some nutritional value associated with those leaves.
And since some ape species are genetically quite close to humans, it may be that if leaves from some tree species in our own regions are also edible, they have a certain nutritional value.
Shouldn’t there be some more scientific research into this?
We already eat many different types of leaves (in delicious salads!!!). Who is to say that some tree species here in our regions don’t have edible leaves? If that were the case, we could certainly plan our reforestation projects in the fight against global warming with those tree species.
It would be an interesting aspect of the fight against malnutrition and hunger, perhaps not directly in richer countries, but in regions where food security is a problem. And it would be much easier to grow perennial edible trees than to do agriculture or horticulture to eat some leaves and fruits.
Today, I found the following text on the internet:
There are several trees with edible leaves that occur in both Europe and America. Here are some examples:
Linden (Tilia spp.): The leaves of the linden tree are edible and can be used to make tea, as well as added to salads and other dishes.
Birch (Betula spp.): The young leaves of the birch are edible and can be used in salads or as herbs.
Elderberry (Sambucus spp.): The leaves of the elderberry tree are edible and can be added to salads or cooked as a vegetable.
Maple (Acer spp.): The young leaves of the maple tree are edible and can be used in salads or as herbs.
Oak (Quercus spp.): The young leaves of some oak species are edible and can be used in salads or cooked as a vegetable.
It is important to note that while these trees have edible leaves, not all parts of the tree are edible and some species may have toxic substances in their leaves or other parts.
Anyway, I feel like we are not using these “food sources” enough, especially in countries where malnutrition of children and hunger are regular occurrences.
Edible trees: the noble unknowns!”
See also : “https://news.mongabay.com/2023/02/trees-with-edible-leaves-can-boost-human-nutrition-new-book-free-download/“
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