I was doing some reading on wild foods recently (not just wild greens, but wild fruits, roots, etc.), and I was really surprised to discover how superior wild food is to the kind of fruit and veg that is available in supermarkets. In one scientific study, domesticated fruit was found to have 3 times more simple sugars and only one-third the fibre content of wild fruit. (i. e. wild food has lower glycemic values). I also found out that wild fruit contains more protein than domesticated fruit, and wild food in general has a lot more vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
I have diabetes, so I'm thinking about growing some wild edibles in my backyard and adding them to my diet.
Here's some more info you might find interesting. It's an excerpt from the book "Why Some Like It Hot" by Gary Paul Nabhan:
"we elucidated four factors that could explain why individuals of European descent appear to be less vulnerable to Syndrome X maladiesâ€” including diabetesâ€”than do ethnic populations that have adopted agricultural and industrial economies more recently. With colleagues from four countries, including Australian Aborigines and Native Americans, we identified that the incidence of diabetes rapidly increases under the following four circumstances.
First, when an ethnic population shifts to an agricultural diet and abandons a diverse cornucopia of wild foods, its members lose many secondary plant compounds that formerly protected them from impaired glucose tolerance. This is particularly true for populations that have convolved with a certain set of wild foods over millennia, ones that are rich in antioxidants.
Second, when the remaining beneficial compounds in traditional crops and free-ranging livestock are selected out of a people's diet through breeding and restricted livestock management practices, their diet is further depleted of protective factors. For instance, modern bean cultivars have been bred to contain less soluble fiber, and livestock raised on cereal grains under feedlot conditions lack omega-3 fatty acids.
Third, the industrial revolution that began in Europe in the seventeenth century changed the quality of carbohydrates in staple foods by milling away most of the fiber in them. High-speed roller mills now grind grains into easily digested and rapidly absorbed cereals and flours, which results in blood-sugar and insulin responses two to three times higher than those reported from whole groins or coarse-milied products like bulgur wheat.
Fourth, the last fifty years of highly industrialized foods has introduced additives such as trans-fatty adds, filler-depleted gelatinous starches, and sugary syrups, which ensure that most fast foods are truly fast-release foods."