Grass as Human Food


    IN NATURE of July 19, p. 90, this problem was discussed briefly with special reference to an interesting pamphlet “Eating for Victory” by Mr. J. R. B. Branson,, and it was pointed out that the main objection to the inclusion of grass in the human diet lies in its high content of cellulose. Mr. Branson has suggested to us that the danger from this source has been unduly emphasized. He recalls that in a paper read before the British Association in 1937, Dr. R. E. Slade stated that the dry matter in the leaf of the grass plant consists largely of soluble carbohydrates and proteins, together with minerals and vitamins, and that it is not until the plant begins to ripen that the carbohydrates change to cellulose and the protein moves from the leaf into the flower and seed. Moreover, according to data provided by Dr. H. E. Woodman, the dry matter of newly grown grass–leaf such as one gets in lawn–mowings, contains as much as 26.5 per cent of protein, 44.5 per cent of carbohydrate and 5.5 per cent of oil, making a total of 76.5 per cent of digestible matter.

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    Grass as Human Food. Nature 148, 368 (1941).

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