Whats really in some spring mix

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Crazy1

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I got curious so I decided to do a little light research on some spring mix ingredients. Since so many people use it to supplement their tortoises diets. This is what the one I looked up had in it (I think it is called the Italian style)-- so No spinach in it.); Red and Green Romaine, Red & Green Oak leaf, Red Leaf, Lollo Rosa, Tango, Organic Red & Green Chard, Organic Mizuna, Organic Arugula, Organic Mache, Organic Frisee, Organic Radicchio.

So we have two types of lettuce Romaine (cos) and looseleaf, totaling 6 varieties of lettuce ( low nutritional values).
We have swiss chard in two colors (Red and Green) which contain oxalic acid.
Two from the Brassicaceae Family (arugala and Mizuna) both contain glucosinolates (goiter causing substances).
And two from the Common Chicory family (Frisée and Radicchio) which have glycosides.


Now if I have really wet your ppetite for more information on these ingredients keep reading.
It is Really, Really long from here and gets somewhat technical in places but there is some interesting reading and a couple of links if you care to continue.


Now let's look at what we really have;

Lettuce;
Red and Green Romaine, Red & Green Oak leaf, Red Leaf, Lollo Rosa, Mache and Tango

Romaine or cos lettuce (Lactuca sativa L. var. longifolia) is a variety of lettuce which grows in a long head of sturdy leaves with a firm rib down the center. Unlike most lettuces, it is tolerant of heat.

Loose Leaf Lettuce (Lactuca sativa) (This is Tango,). is a temperate annual or biennial plant of the daisy family Asteraceae. It is most often grown as a leaf vegetable. In many countries, it is typically eaten cold, raw, in salads, sandwiches, hamburgers, tacos, and in many other dishes. In some places, including China, lettuce is typically eaten cooked and use of the stem is as important as use of the leaf.
This is Lollo Rosa = Lactuca sativa. Plant produces flavorful leaf type lettuce. Leaves are green with frilly red edges tips. Excellent for salads and garnishes. Slow to bolt.
This is Oak Leaf = Lactuca sativa. Plant produces very flavorful medium dark lettuce that are shaped like oak leaves. As outer leaves are picked, inner leaves keep producing. Excellent for salads and garnishes. This variety stands well without bolting. Long standing, never bitter and does amazingly well in summer heat.
This is Red leaf = Lactuca sativa. Early variety produces flavorful red leaf lettuce. As outer leaves are picked, inner leaves keep producing.

There are six commonly recognised Cultivar Groups of lettuce which are ordered here by head formation and leaf structure; there are hundreds of cultivars of lettuce selected for leaf shape and colour, as well as extended field and shelf life, within each of these Cultivar Groups:
• Butterhead forms loose heads. Its leaves have a buttery texture. Butterhead cultivars are most popular in Europe. Popular varieties include Boston, Bibb, Buttercrunch, and Tom Thumb.
• Chinese lettuce types generally have long, sword-shaped, non-head-forming leaves, with a bitter and robust flavour unlike Western types, for use in stir-fried dishes and stews. Chinese lettuce cultivars are divided into “stem-use” types (called celtuce in English) called wosun (Chinese: 莴笋; pinyin: wōsŭn) or woju (Chinese: 莴苣; pinyin: wōjù) (although the latter name may also be used to mean lettuce in general)., and “leaf-use” types such as youmaicai (Chinese: 油麦菜; pinyin: yóumàicài) or shengcai (生菜).
• Crisphead, also called Iceberg, forms tight, dense heads that resemble cabbage. They are generally the mildest of the lettuces, valued more for their crunchy texture than for flavour. Cultivars of iceberg lettuce are the most familiar lettuces in the USA. The name Iceberg refers to the crisp, cold, clean characteristics of the leaves.
• Looseleaf (also called leaf lettuce) has tender, delicate, and mildly flavoured leaves. This group includes oak leaf and lollo rosso lettuces.
• Romaine, also called Cos, grows in a long head of sturdy leaves with a firm rib down the center. Unlike most lettuces, it is tolerant of heat.
• Summer Crisp, also called Batavian, forms moderately dense heads with a crunchy texture. This type is intermediate between iceberg and looseleaf types.
Some lettuces (especially iceberg) have been specifically bred to remove the bitterness from their leaves. These lettuces have a high water content with very little nutrient value. The more bitter lettuces and the ones with pigmented leaves contain antioxidants.

Nutrition of Lettuce
Lettuce is a fat free, low calorie food and is good for a well balanced diet. It is a valuable source of vitamin A and folic acid. Lactucarium (or “Lettuce Opium”) is a mild opiate-like substance that is contained in all types of lettuce. Both the Romans and Egyptians took advantage of this property eating lettuce at the end of a meal to induce sleep.

An example of Nutritional values:
Romaine lettuce
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 20 kcal 70 kJ
Carbohydrates 3.3 g
Dietary fiber 2.1 g
Fat 0.3g
Protein 1.2 g
Water 95g
Vitamin A equiv. 290 μg
Folate (Vit. B9) 136 μg
Vitamin C 24 mg
Calcium 33 mg
Iron 0.97 mg
Potassium 247 mg

Nutrition Facts (One cup raw leaf lettuce, chopped)
Calories 9
Dietary Fiber 1.3
Protein 1 gram
Carbohydrates 1.34 grams
Vitamin A 1456 IU
Vitamin C 13.44
Calcium 20.16
Iron 0.62
Potassium 162.4 mg

Chard:
Red & Green
Family: Amaranthaceae
Genus: Beta
Species: B.vulgaris
Sub species: B.v.var.cicla
Trinominal name: Beta vulgaris var.cicla
also known by the common names Swiss Chard[1], Silverbeet, Perpetual Spinach, Spinach Beet, Crab Beet, Seakale Beet and Mangold, is a leafy vegetable and a Beta vulgaris subsp. maritima. Although the leaves are eaten, it is in the same species as the garden beet (beetroot) which is usually grown primarily for its edible roots. Cultivars of chard include green forms, such as 'Lucullus' and 'Fordhook Giant', as well as red-ribbed forms such as 'Ruby Chard', 'Rainbow Chard', and 'Rhubarb Chard'. All parts of the chard plant contain oxalic acid.

Nutritional values slightly unfair as this is for boiled.
http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=nutrientprofile&dbid=72

Brassicaceae Family
Arugula
Family: Brassicaeae
Genus: Eruca
Species: E.Sativa
Binominal Name
Eruca sativa

Eruca sativa (syn. E. vesicaria subsp. sativa (Miller) Thell., Brassica eruca L.), also known as rocket or arugula, is an edible plant. It is a species of Eruca native to the Mediterranean region, from Morocco and Portugal east to Lebanon and Turkey.
Vernacular names include Garden Rocket, Rocket (British English), Eruca, Rocketsalad, Arugula (American English), Rucola (Italian)[[8], Rukola (Macedonian, Serbian, Slovenian, Polish), Rugola (Italian), Rauke (German), Roquette (French), Rokka (Greek), Roka (Turkish), Ruca (Catalan), Beharki (Basque), Voinicică (Romanian) Rúcula, Oruga and Arúgula (Spanish), Rúcula (Portuguese), Ruchetta (Italian) and Rughetta (Italian).
Nutitional values http://www.nutritiondata.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/3025/2

Mizuna
Family: Brassicaeae
Genus: Eruca
Species: B. rapa
also called Xiu Cai, Kyona, Japanese Mustard, Potherb Mustard, Japanese Greens, California Peppergrass, Spider Mustard, etc.)
In addition to the term "mizuna" (and its alternates) being applied to at least two different species of Brassica, horticulturalists have defined and named a number of varieties. For example, a resource provided by Cornell University and the United States Department of Agriculture lists sixteen varieties including "Early Mizuna", "Kyona Mizuna", "Komatsuna Mizuna", "Vitamin Green Mizuna", "Kyoto Mizuna", "Happy Rich Mizuna", "Summer Fest Mizuna", "Tokyo Early Mizuna", "Mibuna Mizuna", "Red Komatsuna Mizuna", "Waido Mizuna" and "Purple Mizuna".
One fast-growing variety called "Organic Early Mizuna Mustard Salad Greens" by its Indiana-based seller reaches maturity in 48 days at 12 - 24” tall
Mizuna is a mild mustard green. Also known as Spider Mustard, its scientific name is Brassica rapa, which indicates it is related to broccoli and cabbage, with similar nutritional value. And like other brassica vegetables, it contains glucosinolates.

...contains vitamin C, folic acid, and antioxidants. And like other brassica vegetables, it contains glucosinolates, which may inhibit the development of certain cancers. Glucosinolates are the compounds that give brassicas, like Brussels sprouts and cabbage, their bitter flavor. Cultivated varieties of Brassica rapa include:
• Chinese cabbage: Bok choi (chinensis group) and Napa cabbage (pekinensis group)
• Mizuna (nipposinica group)
• Aburana (nippo-oleifera group)
• Flowering cabbage (parachinensis group)
• Turnip (rapa group)
• Turnip rape (Brassica rapa subsp. oleifera) [2]
• Rapini (ruvo group)
• Tatsoi
• Komatsuna
Mustard Greens: 104mg - 58 mg ratio of 1.8:1
Nutritional info on mustard though this is also boiledhttp://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=nutrientprofile&dbid=36

See other Cruciferous vegitables
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cruciferous_vegetables

Chicory Family:
Endive:
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Cichorium
Species: C endivia
Binominal Name: Cichorium endivia

Frisee and Radicchio
Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Cichorieae
Genus: Cichorium
Species: C. intybus
Binominal Name: Cichorium intybus
Endive belongs to the chicory genus, which includes several similar bitter leafed vegetables. Species include endive (Cichorium endivia), Cichorium pumilum and common chicory (Cichorium intybus). Common chicory includes chicory types such as radicchio, puntarelle and Belgian endive.
Endive is rich in many vitamins and minerals, especially in folate and vitamins A and K, and is high in fiber.
There are two main varieties of cultivated endive:
Frisée
• Curly endive, or frisée (var crispum). This type has narrow, green, curly outer leaves. Sometimes called chicory in the United States and is called chicorée frisée in French. Further confusion results from the fact that frisée also refers to a technique in which greens are lightly wilted with oil.
• Escarole, or broad-leaved endive (var latifolia) has broad, pale green leaves and is less bitter than the other varieties. Varieties or names include broad-leaved endive, Bavarian endive, Batavian endive, grumolo, scarola and scarole.

Common chicory (Cichorium intybus) is a bushy perennial herb with blue, lavender, or occasionally white flowers. It grows as a wild plant on roadsides in its native Europe, and in North America and Australia, where it has become naturalized. Common chicory is also known as blue sailors, succory, and coffeeweed. It is also called cornflower, although that name is more properly applied to Centaurea cyanus. The cultivated forms are grown for their leaves (var. foliosum), or for the roots (var. sativum), which are baked, ground, and used as a coffee substitute and additive. Common names for varieties of var. foliosum include endive, radicchio, Belgian endive, French endive, red endive, sugarloaf or witloof.
Chicory is also the common name in the US (and in France) for curly endive (Cichorium endivia). There is considerable confusion between Cichorium endivia and Cichorium intybus.

Leaf chicory
Chicory may be grown for its leaves, eaten raw as a salad. It is generally divided into three types of which there are many varieties
• Radicchio usually has variegated red or red and green leaves. Some only refer to the white-veined red leaved type as radicchio. Also known as red endive and red chicory. It has a bitter and spicy taste, which mellows when it is grilled or roasted. It can also be used to add color and zest to salads.
• Sugarloaf looks rather like cos lettuce, with tightly packed leaves.
• Belgian endive is also known as French endive, witlof in the Netherlands, witlo(o)f in the USA, chicory in the UK, as witlof in Australia, endive in France, and chicon in parts of Northern France and in Wallonia. It has a small head of cream-coloured, bitter leaves. It is grown completely underground or indoors in the absence of sunlight in order to prevent the leaves from turning green and opening up (etiolation). Not suggested for tortoise diet.
Although leaf chicory is often called "endive", true endive (Cichorium endivia) is a different species in the genus.
The bitter substances are primarily the two sesquiterpene lactones Lactucin and Lactucopicrin. Other ingredients are Aesculetin, Aesculin, Cichoriin, Umbelliferone, Scopoletin and 6.7-Dihydrocoumarin and further sesquiterpene lactones and their glycosides.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glycoside

Calcium & Phosphorous Content of Common Vegetables & Fruits http://www.swanimalhospital.net/html/veggie_info.html

Some information from:
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=LACTU
http://www.reimerseeds.com/lollo-rosa-lettuce.aspx
http://urbanext.illinois.edu/veggies/lettuce1.html
http://en.wikipedia.org


Most plants carry what we look at as toxins of some sort. What we need to remember is the amount that is in the plant and the amount we feed to our animals. Some people would prefer to steer clear of Oxalic acid, others glucosinolates, or glycosides, or high protiens, or tannins, etc. I do not think we have yet gotten down to a science how to feed our tortoises regarding the amount of which toxin is infact harmful to them. So we feed a variety of greens to minimize the risk of concentrating one toxin or another. Each keeper needs to decide what and how they are going to provide a diet for their particular species. Because not only are their toxins in all plants but the amount can vary depending on how it is grown, time of harvesting, etc.
The information given here is stricly to inform.
 
M

Maggie Cummings

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Well, I certainly appreciate all that work...but sweetie now I see I need to worry about my tortoises getting addicted to that opiate like stuff...oh my!
 

DoctorCosmonaut

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That isn't a spring mix... that's Italian... or at least the organic spring mix i get is differently composed (no romaine for example). So i think "spring mix" may be a vague term on this forum.
 

Isa

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Robyn, I do not know how to tell you this but ROBYN YOU ARE AMAZING!!! Thank you so much to sharing your research with us :D.
 
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Maggie Cummings

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The Spring Mix I use says Spring Mix in big letters and is baby lettuces. I will have to get some today and see what it more it says on the bag. Because I don't want the words Spring Mix to cover anything that comes in a bag. I want when I advise someone to get Spring Mix that they are buying what I intended for them to buy. Packaged Spring mix...
 

Crazy1

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DoctorCosmonaut, I do not think '"spring mix" may be a vague term on this forum'
From the ones I have seen and looked at the ingrediants and I've looked at a lot of the packaged ones, they have most if not all the ingrediants (i've listed here) listed. Some have spinach added some don't have romaine, some even say "and other greens as available". So Please post what is in your spring mix so we can compair.

Thanks Isa, but I must admit this is the type of stuff I do when I have difficulty sleeping and yesterday I got shots in my hands so I was having some pain and difficulty sleeping so I thought I'd do some research. So not really amazing just sleep deprived and painful. :rolleyes:

Maggie since I got torts I started eating a lot more lettuces and thought I was getting addicted to Lettuces but now I have to wonder maybe it is the opiate like stuff in that lettuce. (kidding) ;) LOL
 

Marshman

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Robyn,
I been looking into the spring mix as well because i have lately seen my stores not carrying it and instead they carry baby greens which according to there website www.ebfarms.com is the same with more quantities. I'm glad i found your post and appreciate all your research i was on my way of doing the same thing and you just saved me a lot of time. from what i am seeing the spring mix does not sound like a good diet for my Walter. and maybe why he is not feeling so great lately. I've always used spring mix and added different greens and squashes etc. that were on lists that I've have seen on the forums for his daily diet and and looking into changing this and making my own mix for him.
 

Crazy1

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Marchman that is one reason I posted this. (glad I could save you some time). I looked into what was in my spring mix. (I just got one with some really odd looking stuff in it I couldn't id and had never been it it before. A lot of us use it especially during the winter months. I think as long as you know what is really in it you can add a lot of good greens with it and still use it. But most of us take it for granted when someone says "use spring mix" that it only has good stuff in it and it is all the same. Trust me they are not all created equal. :) Plus I don't want anyone to get the idea it is OK to feed only spring mix to any animal, that is why we usually state we add weeds and stuff to it.
 

Candy

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Crazy1 said:
DoctorCosmonaut, I do not think '"spring mix" may be a vague term on this forum'
From the ones I have seen and looked at the ingrediants and I've looked at a lot of the packaged ones, they have most if not all the ingrediants (i've listed here) listed. Some have spinach added some don't have romaine, some even say "and other greens as available". So Please post what is in your spring mix so we can compair.

Thanks Isa, but I must admit this is the type of stuff I do when I have difficulty sleeping and yesterday I got shots in my hands so I was having some pain and difficulty sleeping so I thought I'd do some research. So not really amazing just sleep deprived and painful. :rolleyes:

Maggie since I got torts I started eating a lot more lettuces and thought I was getting addicted to Lettuces but now I have to wonder maybe it is the opiate like stuff in that lettuce. (kidding) ;) LOL

Robyn great stuff that you posted thank you for the time that you spend researching what's best for out tortoises. I have to ask since you posted it why did you get shots in your hands? That sounds painful in itself. :(
 

bettinge

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Now we feel guilty that when we see these awsome posts that your sleep deprived or hurting! Just kidding, we all have our nights! You do have an itch to research, and were thankful! And how in the h*ll did you get chinese characters in your post?

I bought spring mix only once this past April, and never bought more. I looked at the ingregents and they seemed to contradict all the good foods normally recommended here. I thought my store was just selling a cheep off brand.
 

Crazy1

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Seems like I have quite a bit of those nights these days. Chinese characters are easy. either cut and paste or systran translation software. :)
 

Traveller

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Wow great info, thanks for posting!

I just picked up Organic Spring mix, made by fresh Express. This is what is supposed to be in it,
baby red romaine lettuce
royal red oak lettuce
lollo rosa lettuce
new red fire lettuce
baby red leaf lettuce
tango lettuce
little gem lettuce
baby green romaine lettuce
green oak leaf lettuce
baby green leaf lettuce
mizuna
tatsoi
red mustard
red chard
green mustard
green chard
arugala
baby spinach
radicchio
frisee
and then it says ingredients may vary.
I'm ashamed to say that I always thought there were only 3 or 4 different lettuces in my mix. What a dummy.
The next time I buy this mix I'm going to go through it and reeducate myself.

I have a hard time getting the spring mix all the time, seems only a handful of stores carry it up here. sheesh
 

Crazy1

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Traveler, then here is what is in your spring mix. This should make it easier for you to buy things that may be not already bagged or boxed in your store to make a nice mix. :) I also put in some information on spinach that was not in the original post. I found it quite interesting.

Brassicaceae Family
mizuna
tatsoi
red mustard
green mustard
arugala

Chicory family
radicchio
frisee

Chard family
red chard
green chard

Lettuce family
baby red romaine lettuce
royal red oak lettuce
lollo rosa lettuce
new red fire lettuce
baby red leaf lettuce
tango lettuce
little gem lettuce
baby green romaine lettuce
green oak leaf lettuce
baby green leaf lettuce

Amaranthaceae family

Spinach (Spinacia oleracea) is an edible flowering plant in the family of Amaranthaceae.
There are three basic types of spinach:
• Savoy has dark green, crinkly and curly leaves. It is the type sold in fresh bunches in most supermarkets. One heirloom variety of savoy is Bloomsdale, which is somewhat resistant to bolting.
• Flat/smooth leaf spinach has broad smooth leaves that are easier to clean than savoy. This type is often grown for canned and frozen spinach, as well as soups, baby foods, and processed foods.
• Semi-savoy is a hybrid variety with slightly crinkled leaves. It has the same texture as savoy, but it is not as difficult to clean. It is grown for both fresh market and processing. Five Star is a widely grown variety and has good resistance to running up to seed.
Nutriton:
Spinach, raw Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
Energy 20 Kcal 100Kj
Sugars 0.4
Fiber 2.2g
Fat 0.4g
Protein 2.2g
Vitamin A equiv 469 μg
Vitamin A 9400 IU
Beta-carotene 5626 μg
Folate (Vit B9) 194 μg
Vitamin C 28mg
Vitamin E 23 mg
Vitamin K 483 μg
Calcium 99mg
Iron 2.7 mg

The body's absorption of non-heme iron can be improved by consuming foods that are rich in vitamin C. However, spinach contains iron absorption inhibiting substances, including high levels of oxalate which can bind to the iron to form ferrous oxalate, which renders much of the iron in spinach unusable by the body

Spinach also has a high calcium content. However, the oxalate content in spinach also binds with calcium decreasing its absorption. Calcium and zinc also limit iron absorption.[9] The calcium in spinach is the least bioavailable of calcium sources.[10] By way of comparison, the body can absorb about half of the calcium present in broccoli, yet only around 5% of the calcium in spinach. Oxalate is one of a number of factors that can contribute to gout and kidney stones

The name spinach has been applied to a number of leaf vegetables, both related and unrelated to spinach:
Related species
• Chard (Beta vulgaris, Amaranthaceae), also known as spinach beet, silverbeet or perpetual spinach.
• Orache (Atriplex species, Amaranthaceae), also called "French spinach" or "mountain spinach".
• Good King Henry (Chenopodium bonus-henricus, Amaranthaceae) and other Chenopodium species, also called "Lincolnshire spinach".
In Indonesia, the word bayam is applied both to certain species of amaranth commonly eaten as a leafy vegetable, and to spinach, which is rarely seen, only in certain supermarkets but well known from Popeye cartoons.
Unrelated species
• New Zealand spinach (Tetragonia, Aizoaceae).
• Water spinach (Convolvulaceae).
• Malabar spinach (Basellaceae).
• The greens of various nightshade, legume and cucurbit species are also known as spinach, wild spinach, African spinach, "Thermadorian spinach" or morogo (in Southern Africa).
• Sorrel, also known as Spinach Dock
 

Stazz

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WOW Robbie thanks so muuuuch for your hard work - this is all the stuff in the new organic mix we bought Tallula ! :D You're such a star
 

Traveller

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Wonderful info. Thanks again.
Funny as a human family we're eating more lettuce everyday.
Hubbies not so happy though, he says he's a meatatarian(no such word),
but I'll humour him since he tolerates all my animals.
 

Clementine_3

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Super information! Thanks so much for all the good research.
I've actually stopped buying the spring mixes, Turtle was picking through it and only eating about half of what's in there so a lot got wasted. He will not eat chard or any of the 'red' things in it.
 

fel1958

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great info.i think ill nix the spring mix and mix my own all of the time.i must admit,with 2 hockey kids and 10 hours a day at the job,i thought this was an easy good feed a couple of daze a week.thanx for the info,,,frank
 

padjo32

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Is the Belgian Endive, listed as 'Chicory' here in Ireland, bad for tortoises or has it no nutritional value? I thought i had found something nice for my tort... Why would they call it 'chicory' if its endive??
 

K9KidsLove

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Hi...Endive and chicory are both good for your tortoise.
Good luck
Patsy
 
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