Thank a Caterpillar


Interesting, thanks. That “food for thought” section of NPR is really a lot of fun and good info, but I hadn’t seen this particular one before.

Here’s something there that I saw recently (also reported in the popular press, besides on NPR), about two women who resurrected millennia-old date palm trees.

This is just amazing to me. A cache of 2,000 year old seeds and they get them to germinate and grow? Amazing.


Very informative and interesting. Thanks a ton for posting this. Never knew this. I guess the greatest appetites (caterpillars) have helped food evolve our tastes. I would think this is also why milkweed has evolved to poisonous. Don’t know, though.

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Milkweed pods are edible when cooked. Haven’t tried them, but learned about that as a Brownie.

Love it. I think it’s the milky stuff from leaves and stem that might make one ill. Glad to see plenty of it , and the flutterbies that go with them, around here.

I was always told sumac seeds were deadly by elders in my life. Now, I make tea out of them. Poison sumac is not staghorn sumac.

Either way, I adore mustards, and would love to get my hands on real wasabi. All you can find here, it the horseradish kid. I like horseradish plenty; but I’d really like to try real wasabi. I see wasabi powder offered online, but would worry if the difference between fresh and powder the same as ginger. Worlds apart.

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You probably know that a lot of wasabi powder doesn’t have any real wasabi in it, they just approximate the flavor. I just bought some that has actual wasabi in it, but it was the last ingredient, may only have a drop in a bucketful.

Also @DaBadger

Amazon sells several brands they label as 100% real wasabi, in paste form. Close to $100/lb if you gross up the price of the 1.5 oz tubes.

I saw that $8 wasabi. Might take the dive for that. I have a friend who takes pardonable pride in his sushi. Nice gift for him. Hell, I might even buy him 2 or 3.

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I have some Wasabi plants, which can be bought as young starts from various mail order sites. I also have a friend who grows quite a bit. The issue is Wasabia japonica (Eutrema japonica) takes two years to mature a decent stem, and it is not tolerant of freezing. Yet, you have to keep the plants cool and partly shaded in warm weather. They require very wet soil. I have the pots in a tray of water, changing the water every 1-3 days.

Freshly grated wasabi stem is a real treat, sweeter than the fake stuff with less of a sinus burn. A hotness on the tongue goes away faster than a chili burn. Since I can’t get fresh stems in the quantities I’d like, I get Namida freeze dried wasabi powder. Unfortunately, they were moving the company and I don’t know if they still exist. I keep the airtight jars in the freezer. I’ve been known to mix up some when ordering sushi and use that instead of the fake stuff. I think it’s possible to grow decent wasabi in a cool basement, using LEDs. It grows well in the SF Bay area of CA.