Food Fail: Parsnip Leaves

Searching for natural alternatives to “crack in a bowl” (soup made with Ukrainian vegetable stock powder), I set about to find parsnips.  They’re one of the ingredients listed on the packet, and responsible for the unique flavor.

Excited to find some at my local shouk, I peeled them, chopped the root up with the leaves, and put it in single serving bags in the freezer.  I’d heard such good things about what parsnips add to soups, and that they’re good roasted on their own.

Having learned my lesson from the buckwheat experience though, whenever I try a new food, I look around to see if there might be allergy issues.  I found out that parsnip leaves are actually toxic.  You might not get sick from eating them, but after handling or eating them, but when you go out in the sun, you’ll get a rash.

So, the roots are safe, but the leaves are very bad for you.  Next time I’ll know better, but it’s a shame that my current batch is wasted.

Big Industrially Refined Vegetable Oil

In one cup (about 154 grams) of sweet white corn, there is .9 grams of fat.  In order to eat a teaspoon of corn oil by natural means, you would have to eat more than five cups of corn.

In a normal serving of chips (french fries), there are between 25-30 grams, or five or six teaspoons of vegetable oil.  That’s 25-32 cans of corn, goodness knows how many engineered low acid rapeseeds, a huge bag of sunflowers, well…you get the point.

Humans were not built to digest and metabolize that much of various types of vegetable oils at once.  If you’ve been using canola, corn, or any other vegetable oil that comes from a plant from which the oil can’t be extracted by primitive means, get your liver checked and soon.  You might have a fatty liver.


Unsaturated fats taken in excess (and it doesn’t take much to be excess) are known to cause fatty liver and other problems in mammals.  Humans are not exempt.  What makes it worse is when oils are rancid, which also doesn’t take as long as people think.  Oils that are kept more than a couple of days should be refrigerated, but very few people do this.  They’ll use month or more old cooking oil, thinking that they’ll be able to smell if it’s rancid.  You can’t smell the rancidity when it first starts to turn.

So if you’re going to use vegetable oils, use them sparingly.  Try to stick to those like cold pressed olive oil, or at least oils that are based on naturally fatty nuts that don’t take much to extract, like sunflower seed oil, if you don’t have a nut allergy.  Either way, store them in the refrigerator, and for no longer than six months.  Your palate and your liver will thank you.