Foraging Wild Edibles - Hunting for Wild Food and Medicinal Plants
Foraging wild edibles is not only a survival strategy in emergency
situations or in case of a catastrophe like an apocalypse, but it can
also inspire you to find new food sources and develop different food
Just some distance away from an urban landscape is the wilderness, maybe
thick forests, gardens, or simply unknown areas where wild plants grow.
Many of these plants and weeds may be growing in your yard or garden.
If you want to know how to survive by foraging, you should arm yourself
with knowledge to identify the plants.
Some Edible Wild Plants
Many wild plants are poisonous, including some varieties of
mushrooms. Some wild edibles are eaten raw, others may need cooking and
some are inedible. If you are foraging wild edibles, keep a lookout for:
— You can eat both flowers and leaves. Chickweed also has medicinal
uses as the chopped weed treats cuts, burns and rashes.
- Violet — Leaves and flowers are edible, but avoid yellow flowers.
- Purple Dead Nettle — Also called Red Dead Nettle, its leaves, stems and flowers are edible.
Mustard — With a strong garlic flavor, these leaves taste good lightly
cooked or raw if you like garlic. The plants with larger leaves have
taproots, which taste like horseradish.
- Stinging Nettles —
You should harvest these only wearing gloves as the nettles do sting.
The plant and its fibrous roots are edible after cooking.
- Miners lettuce — This green is a delicious salad alternative and you can eat it raw or cooked.
- Japanese Knotweed — A wild edible, it has a lemony flavor and is best if plucked when still young.
- Onion Grass — It resembles and tastes similar to chives.
— The ubiquitous weed grows almost everywhere. You eat the greens raw,
while you eat the other parts of the plant after cooking them.
- Black-Eyed Susan — This plant has many medicinal uses and you can eat the greens after cooking them.
— Though it looks like cactus, agave is not from the cactus family. You
should cook the flowers and buds before eating. The flower stalks are a
source of liquid, which you can drink in small quantities.
Carrot — The wild carrot looks similar to its cultivated counterpart.
The roots are flavorful and edible when young, but you must be able to
identify this plant correctly as similar looking plants are poisonous.
— With a burry surface, the actual nut is sweet, edible and highly
nutritious. You can roast the beechnut until dry, brown and hard, grind
the nut and use the powder to substitute for coffee.
— This weed is edible and restaurant menus now sometimes offer this as a
gourmet choice. It has a lemony taste and is a powerhouse of nutrients.
- Waterleaf — The whole plant is edible and cooked greens make a delicious side.
— This wild food source looks a lot like rhubarb. You can eat the
immature flower stalks raw and the roots either raw or cooked.
— These berries, also called huckleberries and bilberries, grow
abundantly in the wild. The berries and the leaves are both edible.
Innumerable varieties of mushrooms and fruits also grow in the wild. You
should learn to distinguish the edible ones from the poisonous ones.
Where to Go Foraging Wild Edibles
select safe areas for foraging wild edibles. Usually places near fresh
bodies of water like rivers, streams and waterfalls have plush
vegetation, but be sure that the water is clean, without effluents and
Hazardous chemicals and dangerous
contaminants from roads, toxic landfills, or chemical factories pollute
the plants that grow next to them. In addition, pesticides often affect
plants near farms, making them unhealthy for consumption.
The Benefits of Wild Edibles
from the fact that you can find many edible plants in the wild, so that
you will theoretically never go hungry, you can actually cut your
grocery bill even if you are not in a catastrophe. You can still find
fresh food that is nutritionally rich and healthy. Many plants are rich
in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins A, B and C, antioxidants, minerals and
other micronutrients as well as protein, carbohydrates and fiber.
Foraging wild edibles can be a family bonding experience as a hobby and stand you in good stead for survival.
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