I just had an idea to help solve both ecological and socioeconomic problems in America. I’m sure people have thought about this, but I’d like to share. People are starving in America, living on food stamps and our economy and export percentages are shot, we’re importing our foods….all while we’re sitting on a goldmine that is the South…er, covering the south……fucking KUDZU.
Kudzu is an invasive, tenacious vine from Asia that has a wicked growth rate, at times a foot in a few days. It was introduced to the US around the turn of the century as an ornamental and of course, like oriental bittersweet and wisteria, it escaped cultivation, and now has literally since then eaten the south of the US and is now creeping its way across the East Coast as the climate gets milder. It outgrows mowing attempts and climbs over trees and shrubs and grows so rapidly that it kills them by the shade they create. Old homesteads are englufed in the stuff. From wikipedia:
It has been spreading in the southern U.S. at the rate of 150,000 acres (61,000 ha) annually, “easily outpacing the use of herbicide spraying and mowing, as well increasing the costs of these controls by $6 million annually.” Its introduction has produced devastating environmental consequences
We should be taking advantage of this evil vine! It’s entirely edible, the vines can be used for weaving and wicker among other things, I’m sure home building can find a use for them? Floring?
The roots can be used as a starch and thickening agent for food and drink (said to be one of the best in the world and is lauded by the Japanese for its properties) and the plant itself shows great promise in helping aid hangovers and other alcohol related problems when used as a medicine, tincture or tea.
Everyone should just eat Kudzu. Make it from weed into food source.Harvest it. Send the cattle and goats to go at it. Hey, the harvesting of so much kudzu, God knows there’s a lot of it, would mean a lot of jobs. Look at what the U.S. could do with this, we have a surplus of this plant that has multiple uses and yet we just spray it with chemicals. Why not take advantage of it not going anywhere and just harvest it- put it to use and send the products nation-wide. The leaves can be cooked like spinach (I think) and young shoots can also be cooked. I’m astounded there isn’t a national push by the government; we’re destroying forests and parks by letting it be. We should just eat it. How can we be so stupid not to?