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If you are in a survival situation in the woods and REALLY hungry, and you are unsure about which plants are edible, can you eat pine needles?

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There are so many edible plants that you can surely find something good to eat in the woods. – Jay Bazuzi Feb 2 '12 at 18:25
@JayBazuzi Problem is, there are also so many poisonous plants... – berry120 Feb 2 '12 at 23:41
My point is that wherever you are going, you could learn about a few easy, tasty, nutritious plants beforehand. – Jay Bazuzi Feb 3 '12 at 18:28
up vote 12 down vote accepted

Pine needles have virtually no caloric value.
I would not recommend pine needles as an energy source, although they have plenty of vitamin C and make delicious tea. This is good in winter to avoid getting scurvy in a long-term survival situation.

As already mentioned, Yew needles are toxic to the human body. There are several genera of yew. Generally they grow at higher elevations and in man-made parks.

If anything looks like these yew needles, leave them be and don't eat them:

Yew needles - do not eat.

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Assuming they are similar to rosemary, yeah... very very few calories: – Russell Steen Feb 3 '12 at 1:49

All pines, spruces and firs have edible needles.

All yews are poisonous, and can look like some of the above, so be careful you have identified the tree correctly!

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Yes & no. The U.S. Navy land survival training in Pensacola, Florida teaches students to chew on pine needles to obtain vitamin C. But you don't actually chew and swallow them.

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