Spring in the Ozarks wouldn’t be the same without gathering and preparing at least one pot of poke. At our house, this leafy perennial ranks right up there with other spring edibles such as asparagus. This week I was planning on writing an article on how to prepare poke for consumption, when a colleague pointed out an article written by Dr. Jean Weese, a Food Scientist with the Alabama Cooperative Extension Service entitled, Don’t Eat Poke Salad. As the title suggests, Dr. Weese attempts to dissuade people from eating poke in any form, noting that it contains “at least three different types of poison”. The controversy over whether poke’s is toxic or edible has been going on for a very long time, but who is right? Is poke poisonous or is it safe to eat? Fodder for this week’s Show Me Oz.
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