Everything's Coming Up Spinach

I might actually be losing my mind, despite adequate vitamin D intake. Having recently found myself omnipotent in the virtual world of my beard, I now look upon the garden, too, as a matrix of calcium and carboxylic acids. Last year, I let the wild spinach grow, well, wild, so that I would have a good supply of the ideal pizza topping. As weeds go, I figured I'd rather have that than the usual duck grass, and I let it go to seed... unfortunately, I now have both coming up in spades. Or rather, coming up under my garden hoe. But before yesterday's futile scraping between the rows, I plucked almost a gallon-bag full of whole, young plants.

Previously aware of "oxalic acid" because of a kidney stone, coincidental to my recovery from alcoholism, years ago, I looked it up... to find a surprise.

Not only is it a carboxylic acid, it is "dicarboxylic," and as pure an expression of the functional group as one could imagine, consisting of two "COOH" forks attached back-to-back -- and nothing else! This concentration of chemical power is obviously dangerous to kidneys, when calcium oxalate crystalizes there... but it is a natural food substance, and can usually be metabolized by humans without difficulty, especially in the company of dairy (thus, the pizza). Free oxalate can be extracted by boiling water -- "blanching" -- and the leaves consumed as pizza. It doesn't get any more socially responsible than that! So I expect to have a new popsicle in my shave soon... stay tuned.

(If I lived in the southwest... I'd look for amaranth. Also allowed to grow freely in my garden, and good on pizza.)

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