1. 1.
    traveling from place to place, especially working or based in various places for relatively short periods.
    "the peripatetic nature of military life"
    synonyms:nomadic, itinerant, traveling, wandering, roving, roaming, migrant,migratory, unsettled
    "I could never get used to her peripatetic lifestyle"
  2. 2.
  1. 1.
    a person who travels from place to place.
  2. 2.
    an Aristotelian philosopher.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Noxious Veggies? 'Peas' Say It's Not So!

TOUCHSTONE: "I remember, when I was in love ... the wooing of a peascod [pod] instead of her, from whom I took two cods [pods] and, giving her them again, said with weeping tears, 'Wear these for my sake.' We that are true lovers run into strange capers; but as all is mortal in nature, so is all nature in love mortal in folly."
ROSALIND: "Thou speak'st wiser than thou are ware of."
TOUCHSTONE: "Nay, I shall ne'er be ware of mine own wit till I break my shins against it."
--from William Shakespeare's As You Like It, Act 2, Scene 4--

Our bounty of snow peas lately has SAM filling his pockets full of them when he goes out to the garden. We have been eating them every day for the past several days and sharing them with son and his family. Since I like to know the "skinny" on living lean (i.e., staying healthy in this sick economy), I thought it best to do some research on the benefits of what's been filling our bellies. If you can believe it (I'm still having a hard time digesting this information), certain veggies may be hazardous to your health! They naturally contain chemicals like toxic alkaloids and oxalic acid which interfere with metabolism and upset adequate absorption of vitamins and minerals also present in the veggies. I can still remember my parents insisting that I eat things like brussel sprouts and broccoli (apparently not noxious at all), but no, I would be obstinate. I didn't mind tomatoes, peas, and potatoes, especially fried. If I'd only known then what I know now! Still, I don't think I'll be tearing down my pea or tomato vines, at least not until they're done bearing fruit, and I've already unearthed some potatoes. We had them steamed and served with parsley butter for lunch today. Delicious! I'm inclined to think those noxious veggies might have some good purpose for us. I've been known to have a darker side, but silver linings have always appealed to me.

Last summer SAM and I were fortunate enough to attend an Insect Awareness and Appreciation Day in Illinois and learn from various bug experts who were kind enough to bring along some "props." Monarch butterfly larvae favor milkweed plants for good reason. Asclepius keep them supplied with cardenolide alkaloids which can sicken most vertebrate herbivores that try to feast on the larvae and butterflies. Yes, even though the butterflies eat nectar from a variety of flowers and not milkweed leaves, the toxins are stored (sequestered) in the bodies of the larvae which metamorphose into those beautiful adult forms. Those youngsters are protecting themselves and their adult selves from most predators. I hope my preference for noxious veggies when I was young has that same effect for me now that I'm more "mature." I like to imagine that pathogens (swine flu?) and other noxious elements don't stand a chance.


  1. Wish I lived closer to you...I'd take some of those "noxious veggies" off your hands. If it doesn't stop raining here, I may never get any vegetables planted! I've always thought that eventually scientists would find something dangerous in everything we eat, including broccoli:)

    Just out of curiosity, do you remember what play Peasblossom is in? Is it "A Midsummer Night's Dream"? I don't remember anything quotable he/she says, though:)

    By the way, please pass on my apology to SAM for not leaving a comment on his last post. I did read it and was debating what to say without appearing a total fool (the fool's gold was the only rock I recognized) but something demanded my attention and I never got back to it. Obviously, I wouldn't have won the contest anyway:)

  2. I hope it protects you too! That swine flu is scary. Those peas look mighty good!

  3. My philosophy is that whole foods are the best. That being said, I just enjoyed the last of a box of Hostess Twinkies!

  4. I wish you lived closer too, Rose. I'd take some of those apples you'll be harvesting this fall. Yeah, I guess we're "sinners" no matter what we eat, so we might as well just enjoy it. Peaseblossom is in MND and apparently has only one line: "Ready." (Act 4, Scene 1) Not very quotable, that one. SAM is surprised he had so many comments. He's just enjoying putting things together and sharing those rocks with everybody.

    Tina, we'll have a mess of beans soon. (SAM's mom's expression). I picked two of them yesterday. You'll have to visit and share the "mess."

    Mr. S., I'm with you on both sides. Keep the philosophy but don't ditch the Twinkies!

  5. I don't think we're supposed to eat parts of some veggie plants, especially tomatoes, and then there are lots of plants all around us. I used to be well versed in all of this, keep us up to date on anything you think isn't salad worthy. I'll put just about anything leftover in a salad.

    As for local bloggers, we should all meet up one day for a pot luck supper. Wouldn't that be fun?

  6. I've been thinking about planting some common milkweed in the garden. It has a pretty flower. I know it has a tap root but it isn't hard to control.

    Those peas look good;)

  7. PJ, I'm certainly no expert on nutrition, but I'm willing to learn more about it. I know my mom always fixed us nutritious meals, and I've tried to follow in her footsteps. I think the key to proper nutrition is moderation and balance, and I'm sure that must also apply to vegetables. As for getting together sometime, I'm all for it. Let's keep in touch by e-mail and set it in motion!

    Marnie, I love the milkweed flower, common thing that it is. I think it has lovely flowers, and it's fragrant too. Wish I could share the peas with you! The vines won't be producing much longer now that the temps are warming up. It's such a short season for peas!

  8. Yeah, like I'm gonna avoid eatin tomatoes!

    I'm getting a bug presentation readied for a June 14 showing. Audience will be varied, from novice to beginning gardeners. Should I discuss bed bugs?? ;~P

  9. I feel the same way too...I hope I get the protection against certain ailments because of resistance stored away in me like a Monarch:) I did have a whole lot of veggies growing up. We had a severe case of bird flu not very long ago. And now the swine flu. It's scary!

  10. Snow peas as part of a wok concoction is one of my favorites. As well as "new" potatoes.Not to worry. Garden food is the best.

  11. TC, my instincts tell me that your audience will be primarily female. Why not ladybugs? Give up tomatoes? Never!

    Kanak, if not the veggies to protect us, then the care and love that go into growing them!

    Troutbirder, stir frying vegetables is one of my favorite methods of preparing them for eating (besides just eating them freshly picked and washed). Add a few Gulf shrimp, and the meal is complete. And I'm not really worried. My ancestors were all gardeners, and most of them lived long, relatively healthy lives.

  12. You should come to our Garden Tour on Saturday if you don't have plans. It would be about an hour or so drive for you

  13. Thanks for the invitation, DP. We're getting ready for company coming next week, so I probably won't be able to do the tour. Sorry! I'll be looking for your post about it, though.

  14. I thought peas were the dark green mush-balls in aluminum cans until I was old enough to know better. Such peas were second only to canned spinach on the "That makes my head wiggle" scale.

    I'd prefer to go with the Language of Flowers than 30-year-old macrobotic advice.

    To the Victorians, sweet pea means lasting pleasure, and plain old pea means means happy marriage and fertility OR lasting pleasure (which, to some is an oxymoron of happy marriage). Of course, their advice is over 100 years old, so possibly suspect.

    Neither sources will ever convince me your delicious garden fresh snow peas are bad for me.

  15. just stay away from the leaves of some of those mentioned plants. I mentioned that potato leaves were best not eaten to my students one day and one overly cautious student refused to help harvest the tubers.

  16. by the way, I love how you combine literature with your garden thoughts.

  17. WS, I do remember those mushy green peas from childhood days. Mom did the best she could with a limited budget, and those peas did find their way onto our plates from time to time. That Victorian book you mentioned sounds fascinating. Guess my marriage is oxymoronic--long-lasting, still happy, and pleasurable. Yes, indeed! The peascod wooing must have paid off for me.

    Wayne, I'm so glad you like the lit. It's a major part of my philosophy. I'm convinced that reading can be therapeutic if the material is of good quality. If only the medical community would look into it.

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  19. Interesting post. Now you're giving me reasons not to eat my veggies. :0) Why didn't someone inform me of this when I was a kid?