With his recent finding that dandelion – the common weed that covers most Australian’s lawns especially in the summer time – is edible, Justin decided to give it a try for the first time. There’s one that is growing conveniently through the floor of his back garden patio.
Justin is the creator of the highly popular social media memes page Humans of Eastwood covering the daily chaos of local traffic news and engaging memes from Sydney’s North West area. When he’s not on the socials, Justin is also the newly elected Ryde councillor for West Ward and a corporate lawyer.
With such a busy schedule, Justin was delighted to find edible greens (that he did not plant) right in his backyard. After a wash and a quick blanch, he added it to his favourite seafood noodle stir fry. He commented that it tasted similar to rocket leaves. This has inspired Justin to find other edible weeds in his garden.
Justin is not the first to consume this popular weed. The Romans loved this highly nutritious plant, the Chinese used it in their traditional medicine as a diuretic and liver tonic as early as 7th century CE and in Greek mythology, Theseus ate dandelions for 30 days to fortify himself to fight the Minotaur. A member of the chicory family, dandelion root can be ground, boiled and drunk as a coffee replacement. Some tips on how to harvest this plant, only pick the ones you know that have not been sprayed or treated with pesticides and leave the ones on roadside alone as they would have fuel emissions and dust coat on them.
Justin’s food waste tip
"Make fried rice! To be honest, I don't tend to have a lot of food waste. Maybe it's easier because I don't cook for a whole household. I usually just buy what I need. It does mean multiple trips to the supermarket during the week. But my tip would be for people to just buy and cook what they really need. The supermarket will still be there tomorrow!"