Can humans eat grass?

In this brief article we will address the query, “Can humans eat grass?” We will explain if you can eat grass and if you can die from eating grass. We will discuss if grass has any nutritional value to humans and if there are any edible wild grasses.

Can humans eat grass?

No, humans cannot eat grass because our digestive systems cannot effectively digest the high cellulose that is contained in the grass. Grass is not toxic to humans and is thus edible, the only challenge is that our digestive systems are not designed in a way that they can handle it.

However, animals such as cows have a stomach that is well designed to digest grass. Cows usually have 4 chambers to assist with the digestion of grass in a process known as rumination. This helps them to gain access to the starch and cellulose that is present in the grass, even when it takes long to break the lignin.

Can I cook and eat grass?

No, although cooking veggies is a great way to make them soft enough to consume this does not work for grass. Grass is still inedible even after cooking as the cooking process cannot break down the cellulose in grass and make grass edible.

A lot of veggies usually have low levels of cellulose as compared to grass that is why softening them through the cooking process assists in making them more digestible. Cooking is usually important as it makes veggies become edible. 

Veggies such as raw lettuce, cauliflower and carrots can all be consumed raw but cooking them helps them become more edible. If you cook grass all you would accomplish is just create wet grass if you boil it or charred grass if you roasted it.

What happens If you eat grass?

If you happen to eat grass, it will go through the digestive system and just come out unprocessed and looking similar to how it entered the stomach. This is because as mentioned, the human digestive system does not have the ability of breaking down cellulose rich stems in the grass.

Therefore the grass would most likely be excreted from the body resembling chewed grass covered in stool.

Can I die from eating grass?

No, the chances of dying from eating small amounts of grass are very minimal. Looking at animals when they eat grass, all they do is defecate, urinate and roam around places with plenty of grass to consume more.

This goes to show that if you consume grass it can present a risk of food poisoning because of the pathogenic bacteria that may be present.

Does grass have any nutritional value to humans?

Grass has very negligible nutritional value to humans. Even if humans were capable of digesting it, you would have to consume a very large amount of it to reap any health benefits. It also cannot provide sufficient calories to give the requisite energy that’s required.

Animals like cows have to eat about 30 lbs of grass or hay every day so as to be alive and sustain themselves. That’s a lot of grass and would also require us humans to eat a lot of grass so as to keep alive.

Are there any wild grasses that are edible by humans?

Humans consume grass in the form of grains and cereals. There are also some types of grasses that are edible by humans such as:

Wheatgrass

Wheatgrass comes from the Triticum aestivum plant and is a superfood with tonnes of health benefits. It can help to alleviate and even treat some diseases and is a health tonic. It is mostly found in Northern temperate zones and is safe when consumed raw.

You can learn about the health benefits of wheatgrass by clicking here.

Alfalfa Grass

Alfalfa is also referred to as lucerne and is another grass that is mostly consumed as an herbal supplement or as alfalfa sprouts. It is believed to have originated from South and Central Asia and it is a part of the legume family.

Barley Grass

Barley grass is also referred to as barley greens and it comes from young barley plants that have not yet produced seeds. It is mostly found in the wild in Western Asia and Northern Africa.

Conclusion

In this brief article we have addressed the query, “Can humans eat grass?” We have explained if you can eat grass and if you can die from eating grass. We have discussed if grass has any nutritional value to humans and whether there are any edible wild grasses.

Citations

https://www.livescience.com/32435-why-cant-humans-eat-grass.html

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