Chemical Residuals

Keith Johnson keithdj at
Mon Nov 20 09:09:26 EST 2000

Just a note regarding species of amaranth. Redroot pigweed (A. caudatus?  Sorry my
best weed ID books are still in storage) is a common weed across the United States
that I have eaten as a potherb quite often. It does not have spines. Since my move to
the Southeast I have for the first time encountered  the spiny variety. Now the locals
MAY call it pigweed, too, but the common lambsquarters (chenopodium album et al)  is
also referred to in some parts as pigweed, though it is more distantly related. Even
the spiny amaranth probably has edible leaves and seeds but getting them would be
painful. An additional caution. Both species are very good at taking up excess
nitrogen, to the point where they become hazardous to eat (the nitrates become
carcinogenic nitrites in the digestive tract) so be careful where you pick them.

> > >Is pigweed the same as amaranth?
> >
> > Yes. It is in the amaranthus family;
> > pigweed (with sharp briers), leafy amaranth and grain amaranth
> > (both edible)
> >
> > Then you have lamb's quarters, often found growiing in maure piles
> > with amaranth, chenopodium album. This is good raw or cooked
> > and is very nutritious.

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