If you find yourself in an outdoor survival emergency situation, it’s essential you find food and nourishment. If you’re lucky, plants will surround you – but which ones are edible? And how can you tell if they’re safe for you to eat?
Is It Safe to Eat?
In the great outdoors, you may not know for certain the specifics about the types of plants that surround you. You can learn about the plants by studying them. How does the plant smell, for instance? Is there a negative reaction by touching the plant?
Place a piece of the plant on your wrist. Generally, if you do not experience a skin reaction within 15 minutes, you are probably safe. Warning: skin reactions are possible after this time, but this is usually a good rule of thumb.
Prepare to Taste Test
Once you have decided to try a portion of the plant, prepare it in the manner you intend to eat it. Do not start popping dinner into your mouth and swallowing. This can be very dangerous.
First, place the prepared plant on the outside of your lip. See if you have a reaction to the plant in 5 to 15 minutes. If no reaction occurs, place a tiny bit on your tongue and hold it in your mouth for a brief period of time before spitting it out. You may go ahead and chew it for a moment, but do not swallow it. Wait another 15 minutes or so to determine how your body will react to this plant.
It may seem that this is a tedious process, but avoiding a serious or fatal reaction is worth the time and effort.
By this time, you will be able to determine if you want to consume this plant. Don’t naturally assume that just because one part of the plant is edible that all parts of the plant are safe. Repeat this procedure for each part of the plant before determining if it is edible and crucial to your survival.
How Long Can I Survive Without Food?
Humans can survive for weeks without food – up to 21 days. Edible plants may help provide healthy nourishment in a survival situation, but do not eat whatever is around in haste. Poisonous plants can cause mild to serious reactions. Some plants may be hallucinogen us or cause a fatal reaction. Always take the time to experiment with each part of any new plant to maintain excellent health.