Are Asparagus Berries Edible?
Asparagus goes well with so many dishes. It’s used in pasta, along side your salmon and even on pizza. Besides ordering it in your favorite restaurant or purchasing it at the supermarket, you might enjoy growing your own asparagus. If so, you’ll need to answer, are asparagus berries edible?
Asparagus berries are not edible. They are toxic because they contain a toxic steroid compound called sapogenins. If eaten, asparagus berries can cause digestive issues, abdominal pain or vomiting. In addition to humans, they can cause similar issues with your dog or cat.
This blog post will go into complete detail about asparagus berries. What they are and what you can do if they were eaten. How about your pets, are they affected by them in the same way? In addition, you may have heard the same about the stalks. I’ll cover that crucial topic too.
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What Are Asparagus Berries?
Most of the time, people purchase their asparagus ready to be cooked and eaten with little to no preparation. Therefore, not many people know exactly what asparagus berries are and that’s why we’re going to take a look at it in this section. Let’s get into it, what are asparagus berries?
Asparagus berries are seed pods that sprout off from the asparagus plant to grow more plants. They can be found at the stem of the asparagus beginning in late summer and early fall. The asparagus berry starts as a green pea-sized berry and turn bright red as autumn progresses.
While they are often referred to as “asparagus berries”, this is a rather inaccurate description of what they are because they aren’t actually even berries. They are seed pods that, when in nature, sprout off from the asparagus plant to grow more plants 1.
Can You Eat Asparagus Berries?
Most people have been warned not to eat any Berry they come across. This has been engrained into our subconscious from when we were kids. It has been this way for ages. However, in this section, we’re discussing whether or not you can eat asparagus berries.
Asparagus berries should not be eaten because they are unfit for human consumption. They can cause diarrhia, nausea and an upset stomach.
It’s important to store asparagus a certain way in the fridge. Read how to make it last as long as possible in my blog post by clicking here, A Guide to Storing Asparagus The Right Way.
Why You Should Not Eat Asparagus Berries
Now we’ve discussed the fact you should never eat asparagus berries, you may be wondering why. In this section we’re talking about why you should not eat asparagus berries.
Asparagus berries should be uneaten because they contain certain toxins. One of these toxins is known as Sapogenins. This is a steroid compound that is toxic to humans and animals.
Consuming these toxins in certain quantities, depending on you, can cause some mild to serious side effects. What these side effects are will be discussed in the next section.
What Happens When You Eat Asparagus Berries?
After reading the first portion of this article you might be slightly worried or just curious what happens if you consume asparagus berries. The following are side effects that may occur from eating asparagus berries.
- In serious cases, food poisoning
What To Do If You Have Eaten Asparagus Berries
If you have eaten asparagus berries, the first thing you should do is to go to the doctor. This is whether you have subtle, mild or more serious symptoms.
If you cannot make it to the doctor, they may give you some suggestions over the phone for mild symptoms. This may include typical medication targeted towards fighting nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. However, if you’re showing serious symptoms then you’ll have to seek medical attention immediately.
If you didn’t get a list of medications over the phone, you could phone your local pharmacy. Ask them what is the best over-the-counter medication for your symptoms.
What Can You Do With Asparagus Berries
Asparagus berries grow on the female plants. If you’re a gardener or just have your own vegetable garden, you’ll want to remove the female plants as soon as possible. Although do not throw those berries away just yet.
The best thing to do with asparagus berries is to replant them, so you can keep a good constant supply of asparagus. If you’re not a gardener and you happen to stumble across asparagus berries, why not try and grow your own asparagus garden?
Is Asparagus Poisonous?
Asparagus is not poisonous and can be eaten like any other food. However, as we have mentioned in this article, the asparagus seed pods or berries are toxic and should not be eaten.
Can You Eat Asparagus Raw?
Raw asparagus should be uneaten. The texture of the stalk can make the taste uncomfortable, and it can be hard to chew. In addition, it’s difficult to digest raw asparagus 2.
Can Your Dogs Eat Asparagus Or Asparagus Berries?
We’ve all been there. When you’re giving your dog some dinner leftovers and you find out later it’s something that may not be good for them. Therefore, can your dog eat asparagus or asparagus berries?
A dog or cat should not eat raw asparagus or asparagus berries. Raw asparagus or berries can cause digestive issues for pets the same way as humans. It can cause diarrhea, vomiting or abdominal discomfort 3.
The stalk or raw asparagus is very hard and may make a dog feel uncomfortable when he/she is trying to digest it.
What Parts Of Asparagus Is Edible?
I think the better way of phrasing this question is to say, which part of the asparagus is not edible?
The entire stalk of asparagus is edible including the stem all the way to the top. The part of asparagus you should not eat is the asparagus berry. In addition, it is not advised to eat asparagus before it has matured into an adult vegetable 4.
Wrapping Up The Asparagus Berry
Your health is very important and avoiding toxic foods is very important when it comes to maintaining good health. Asparagus berries are one of those foods. This is true for you and your pets.
Be careful with raw asparagus because it can taste hard, unpleasant and cause some uncomfortable digestive issues.
Asparagus berries should be seen as a terrible thing. Instead, when you come across them why not try and start your own asparagus garden? This way, you’ll always have asparagus on hand when you want to cook some. In addition, gardening is a healthy hobby and gives many people a sense of calmness.
Asparagus is only one healthy food option for you. I include many nutritional tips and more in my free e-book. It’s free and and an instant PDF download. Check it out by clicking right here, Top Tips Health Guide.
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- Wikipedia: Asparagus[↩]
- FDS: Rarely Consumed Raw Produce[↩]
- SFGATE: Are Asparagus Plants Poisonous or Not?[↩]
- North Carolina State University: Asparagus officials[↩]