are all Allium edible?

Mark McDonough
Fri, 02 Apr 2010 11:53:30 PDT
Rodger Whitlock wrote:
>Be aware that ordinary culinary alliums are toxic to dogs and cats.

One of the chapters in Dr. Eric Block's book is "5.13  Don't feed your dog onion or garlic!"

Rodger Whitlock wrote:
>Mark McDonough, who may be a subscriber to this mailing list, 
>once commented in a lecture that one of the virtues of growing 
>alliums is that if you don't like >them as garden plants, you can 
>always slice them up, fry them, and eat them with steak. I infer 
>that the entire genus is salubrious.

The closing line of my presentation, with accompanying photos of slicing up onion and frying them, was... a JOKE. Judging from the laughs, I believe the audience understood it was a joke. It is a leap to suggest I was inferring that the entire genus is *salubrious* or promoting good health or welfare.

Earlier research that I did at the University of Washington back in the early 1980s prior to my slide presentation indicated that members of the genus allium were edible, but not all are palatable.  It is enlightening indeed seeing the work of Dr. Eric Block, where we can read in considerable detail about regular edible garlic; Allium sativum, how based on quantity eaten, how often ingested, interactions with existing health conditions or with drugs or herbals being taken, how when used topically, can lead to issues of toxicity.

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border, USDA Zone 5

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