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86

Just because there are grasses (Poaceae) with edible and nutritious parts does not mean that this applies to all grasses. That is pretty common-place. A quick Google search give you all the info you need: Many grasses are edible, in the sense that you can eat it; you simply won't get any energy/nutrients out of it. They consist mostly of cellulose, and ...


29

Your body just doesn't have a reaction on skin contact right now. However most people will develop a reaction after enough repeated exposure. While poison ivy doesn't bother me either, I do take basic precautions to not push my luck. With regular contact, you will develop an allergy, and though it could take years, it will take a lot less if you start ...


27

The best advice is not to unless you are very, very sure. Having said that, and just for fun, assuming you are in a chronic survival situation with no choice, this article describes how to test if a plant is edible.


25

Eating grass isn't smart because our bodies lack the enzymes to digest it, and because you never know if some animal came along and crapped on it. Don't eat grass.


24

Eating berries and mushrooms is not recommended since there is no general pattern to identify poisonous ones (unless you're an expert on that topic). Even having a book with pictures of edible berries can be tricky as some poisonous ones are disguised as their edible counterparts. Plants, on the other hand, should not be edible if the sap is milky. Milky ...


17

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!


17

No. For one, you may not be capable of gathering any worthwhile nutrition. You could eat grass all day and still be hungry. Secondly, many animals are immune to toxins that are nasty to us. Best example I know of is that goats and many other new world animals can eat poison ivy. But if you try eating it, you're in trouble.


16

To add to the existing answers, depending on where the grass is growing, there can be all sorts of synthetic fertilizers thrown onto it which would be very harmful to humans. You do not want to eat Scott's Lawn Fertilizer.


15

If you are referring to Crataegus, then yes Hawthorne is edible, the pomes are like tiny apples with two flower spots on the bottom. It is commonly made into jelly, syrups and country wine. Regarding the seed, you want to pull this out after cooking the pome just like you would the heavy solids of any other fruit. I know you mention raspberry and black ...


15

Apart from the low nutrients issue, grass stems are covered in tiny silica spikes, which act as an abrasive on your insides. These spikes are thought to have evolved as a defense against being eaten (Silica in grasses as a defence against insect herbivores:) -- which clearly didn't work in the long run. But anyway, if you don't have a tough lining like a ...


13

Get a good book, with full color illustrations. I can't find a link for one, but you want quality equivalent to the Audubon full color field guides. Do a few field runs in the area you plan on being in with someone experienced before you try to eat the foliage. Of course, everything depends on risk. If you've been lost for four or five days and you'...


13

The practice of eating insects is called entomophagy. References using that term can include many insects. I've narrowed it down to ants and termites as best as I could, although some of the general advice and information include ants, termites, and other insects. The short answer is that not all ants and termites are safe to eat, but most of those you're ...


12

It looks like eating raw acorns won't kill you but its not likely to be pleasant and can harm you. That said, even “sweet” acorns should be leached to remove what tannins exist in them because several studies show that unleached acorns can make you constipated and can harm your teeth. Source If you've ever tried a raw acorn, and quickly spat it out, ...


11

Watermelon snow is caused by algae called Chlamydomonas nivalis. Apparently, it has laxative effects. As Giersch and National Park representatives explain, the red pigment in the algae helps to protect its chloroplast from the sun’s radiation, allowing it to take in more heat. As the algae absorbs the sun's heat, it causes the snow around it to melt, ...


10

There is one poisonous: the Desmarestia. The other species should be okay. However, I can't say anything about if they are "worth eating" :) Desmarestia is a genus of brown algae found worldwide. Members of this genus can be either annual or perennial. Annual members of this genus can produce and store sulfuric acid in intracellular vacuoles. When ...


10

A look through the veterinary literature can show you some further reasons not to just go out and eat grass. Specifically, parasites like liver fluke, different species of tapeworm, and some nematodes can infect humans as well as sheep (or cows, or mufflons, or whatever lives on the pastures where you find your grass). So, in a real outdoors situation, ...


9

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.


9

I looked first at bears to get a handle on this question, because it is well known that bears get a significant part of their caloric intake from berries. I should have looked first at berries! According to Blueberry Nutrition Facts, one quart of blueberries has 340 calories. Let's assume that the lost person of the Q expends 4,000 calories per day ...


8

If you are eating fruits like these, you aren't eating true almonds. These are tropical almonds, Terminalia catappa, and the entire fruit and nut are edible.


8

Learning specific plants is helpful, but each person can have different food reactions, and they can change over time. So learning to taste well is a valuable skill: Start with a clean mouth Take a small bite Chew it in the very front of your mouth Spit it out Notice how it tastes, and how you feel. Not just in your mouth & throat, but throughout your ...


7

The Encyclopedia of Edible Plants of North America: Nature's Green Feast would be a good start. Book description from Amazon.com: From mushrooms to ferns, to trees and shrubs, nature offers a slew of healthy and tasty menu alternatives. We no longer have to limit ourselves to the 50 to 60 fruits and vegetables commonly grown in North America but can now ...


7

Intentional ingestion of poison ivy berries is ludicrous. Knowing what you already know - why even dare to go there? If you are looking for attention getting or want free kicks to get off on you'd be better off playing in traffic. At least in that instance you would have a running head start to get yourself away from the danger. My advice is do not eat or ...


6

Crataegus is definitely eatable, and has medicinal qualities. But remove the seeds before preparing any significant quantity. You also might wish to know that mature hawthorn fruit is often loaded with Codling moth larvae. And read this about seed toxicity.


5

In general, worldwide this is very hard to predict unless you're an expert in the subject (and therefore likely wouldn't be looking for advice on this page!) There are some clues, like plants with milky sap tend to be poisonous - but applying these in a general context is almost always a bad idea since your life can depend on it. The best you can do is to ...


5

Yes, they may be fatal! Is that a risk you're willing to take? As pointed out already even if you eat them once and you're ok, that may not be the case the next time. If you're unsure of eating anything in particular in the wild I'd stay well away. With something that's known to be poisonous to a large number of people, it just seems silly to even try!


5

I am quite certain that there are more deadly mushrooms than just the one you mentioned - if only for the other members of the Amanita Genus, many of which are very poisonous and some plain kill you. E.g. Amanita Vitrosa, with the uncommonly poetic name destroying angel (German: Weisser Knollenblätterpilz), is just as deadly as the one you mentioned. What ...


5

There are multiple guides to edible foods, it looks like you would be most interested in would cover all of North America and if you are wanting to go light, there are pocket guides. I found quite a few including, Edible Wild Plants and Herbs: A Pocket Guide Edible Wild Plants: A North American Field Guide to Over 200 Natural Foods Edible Wild Plants A ...


5

People make lots of claims. You can find all kinds of suggestions when you research this, some of it even from people who are considered experts. In the end, all you can do is use some basic logic and look at some real, anecdotal events. For long term survival, if you can attempt to get back to civilization, that is always recommended. People often suggest ...


4

In the spring you can commonly find delicious new shoots on spruce. They are quite good as a snack when there are no other significant sources of food to eat, or perhaps on a hike.


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