Survival Manual


After having solved the problems of finding water and shelter, food will be your next concern. Plants don't run nearly as fast as animals so they are usually much easier to catch. haha But which ones and which parts can you eat in a survival situation.

      Edible Plant Guide

Maintaining health is easier to do when your body has fuel. Food is that fuel and securing enough food each day should be one of your top priorities. You must learn about the plants in your area to increase you chances of survival.

Most plants are edible but some are not. Knowing what not to eat can be just as important as knowing what to eat. Hemlock can kill you and numerous berries can make you sick which just might lead to your death in a survival situation.

The Universal Edibility Test to determine which plants you can eat and those to avoid is the first step since there are literally thousands of plants and you can't possibly know them all by name.

Rule one. Wash thoroughly ANY plants growing near human habitation as pesticides are a potential concern.

****Important: Wash all foods even if you know they are edible. Parasites and other contaminants abound!****
Rule two. Boil any plants that have grown next to roads as exhaust emissions contaminate the surrounding area.
Rule three. Do not eat any fruit that is starting to spoil as fungal toxins will develop.
Rule four. Avoid any weed, leaves, or seeds with an almond like scent, a characteristic of the cyanide compounds.
Rule five. Boil any bitter foods such as acorns to remove tannin compounds and make them more palatable.
Rule six. If you eat a plant with high Oxalate compounds it will cause a burning sensation in your mouth and throat. Stop eating this plant until it can be baked or roasted.
Rule seven. Test unknown plants first. Allow 24 hours to evaluate its effects if any.

Edibility Testing
1. Test only one part of a potential food plant at a time.
2. Do not eat anything for 8 hours prior to testing a food.
3. Do not even test a plant part unless it is common and readily available.
4. Touch prepared plant for testing to your lip before eating it. If their is burning or other strong reactions do not eat. Allow 3 minutes for reactions. 5. If after the lip test passes touch to the inside of your mouth and allow 15 minutes for adverse reactions. 6. After eating a small taste with no ill reactions for 8 hours. You can then eat 1 handful and again wait 8 hours before concluding the food is good to go.

Keep in mind that eating large portions of a particular plant after having basically fasted before hand can induce diarrhea and nausea and lead you to the conclusion that an otherwise good food is something to avoid.

To help avoid poisonous plants stay away from any plants that have:
Milky or discolored sap.
Beans, bulbs, or seeds inside pods.
Bitter or soapy taste.
Spines, fine hairs, or thorns.
Dill, carrot, parsnip, or parsley like foliage.
"Almond" scent in woody parts and leaves.
Grain heads with pink, purplish, or black spurs.
Three-leaved growth pattern.

Preparing Your Plant Food
Some plants are edible raw others must be cooked. Remember edible means that a plant is safe to eat and is healthy. Palatable means that it actually is pleasing to eat. Many wild plants are edible but not very palatable.

Soaking, boiling, cooking, or leaching can often increase the palatability of wild plants. To leach if you aren't familiar with the term, is done by crushing the food (for example, acorns), placing it in a strainer, and pouring boiling water through. Boil leaves, stems, and buds until tender, changing the water, if necessary, to remove any bitterness.

Boil, bake, or roast tubers and roots. Drying helps to remove caustic oxalates from some roots. Crush and then boiling acorns in water to remove the bitterness. You can eat many grains and seeds raw until they mature. When hard or dry, you may have to boil or grind them into meal or flour.

The sap from many trees, such as maples, birches, walnuts, and sycamores, contains sugar. You may boil these saps down to a syrup for sweetening. It takes about 10 gallons of maple sap to make one quart of syrup!

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