This Plant Could Save the World

August 22, 2008 | By | Comments (3)

There’s a good side to everything in life. Take tornadoes and trailer parks, for example. Why, if it weren’t for the sight of trailers sailing through the clouds every spring, jumbo jets may never have been invented.

The same can be said for a true Southern icon, the kudzu vine. Oh sure, it swallows houses, engulfs junked cars, smothers forest, enshrouds telephone poles, and blankets some of our countryside’s prettiest propane tanks. But kudzu has a kinder side. Just ask the Harvard hamsters.

According to sources, researchers at Harvard looking for a drug to treat alcoholism discovered that golden hamsters given a kudzu extract showed a stunning reduction in their craving for alcohol – a result made even more remarkable by the fact that the study took place during the Super Bowl. Unfortunately, human trials proved less successful, because while the subjects drank less, they also became obsessed with running on exercise wheels.

But that doesn’t diminish my admiration for this oft-maligned plant one bit. Did you know that every part of kudzu is edible? It’s true.

• You can cook the enormous tubers just like potatoes or grind them into a powder to thicken sauces and gravies.

• Bees produce a delicious honey from the fragrant, maroon flowers that appear in August and look like lupines. You can also add the blooms to salads or use them to make jelly, syrup, or tea.

• Deep fried leaves are absolutely delicious and boast high levels of vitamins A and C.

Why, if more people just ate rampaging kudzu instead of complaining about it, we could significantly reduce would hunger. We might also uncover many things we thought had disappeared, like truth in government and Whitney Houston’s career.

Ethanol – Shmethanol
And don’t even get me started about kudzu versus corn. (Too late!) Solving our country’s energy crisis my turning corn into ethanol is the biggest fraud since the U.S. scammed Russia out of Alaska in 1867 for a measly $7 million. It takes nearly as much energy to make ethanol from corn as the resulting ethanol provides. Then you have to truck it around the country using trucks burning – guess what? – diesel, because ethanol can’t be pumped through pipelines.

Wonder why the price of just about everything you eat and drink is skyrocketing? Start with turning corn into ethanol.

I say turn kudzu into biofuel. It grows faster than John Edwards’s nose, doesn’t need water or fertilizer, thrives on just about any soil, and you don’t have to weed it, since it’s the baddest weed in town. And should the world ever need more natural gas, you can feed it to cows, who will then happily supply the gas.

Grumpians, I urge you to contact your Congressional representatives immediately and demand we plant more kudzu. It’s tasty, nutritious, and full of energy. Plus, kudzu tonic has been used for centuries in China and India as an aphrodisiac. Considering that those two countries contain about 40% of the world’s people, I’d say it works.

Looking for delicious kudzu recipes? Use this link to find a highly recommended kudzu cookbook by Carol Marsh:


  1. Greenie

    I have long thought we should be turning invasive plants into biofuels. This is the first time I’ve seen someone write same.

    October 22, 2010 at 6:26 pm
  2. Grumpy

    And I bet you could use tomato compost to grow a ton of kudzu!
    Hey, Grumpians, has kudzu swallowed a house, a billboard, or an old school bus near you? Send me a photo and I’ll post it. There’s nothing more Southern than the green wave of kudzu! Grumpy

    August 23, 2008 at 8:38 am
  3. deb

    I read an article a few years ago about a gardener who used kudzu compost to grow tons of tomatoes.

    August 22, 2008 at 10:58 pm

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