Thursday, June 13, 2013

Can I Eat That Wild Plant?

Continuing on our survival theme at co-op, this week we learned about plants that can and can't be eaten. 
A few things we learned that are true:
  • Plants are a valuable source of food because they are widely available and easily found
  • You identify plants using factors such as leaf shape and margin, leaf arrangements, and root structure.
  • Stay away from grain heads with ink, purplish, or black spurs.
  • You can eat any berries you can positively identify.
  • Purple, blue and black berries are 90% eatable.
  • The inner bark of a tree (especially cotton wood, birch, aspen, willow and pine) may be eaten raw or cooked.
  • Acorns are this country's most important wildlife food - there are 85 different oaks in the USA
  • You can eat most parts of burdock, cattails, and dandelions.
  • You can make different dyes using onion skins, walnut hulls or pokeberries.
  • Plants can be used to help in cases of aches and sprains.
  • Knowing poisonous plants is as important as knowing edible plants.
A few things that are false:
  • You don't need to identify plants in order to use them as food or medicine.
  • One rule to follow is to watch the animals and eat what they eat.
  • All plants with a red color are poisonous
  • Plants generally poison by contact only.
  • If you boil the plant in water, it will kill all the poison.
  • You should burn a contact poisonous plant once you identify it.
  • There are only two poisonous plants known to us that cause skin irritations
  • You can eat mushrooms in any survival situation.
  • Tasting or swallowing a small amount of a plant is ok even if you don't know what it is.
  • You can eat as much of a plant as you want  if you are hungry.
  • It is safe to eat any plants that have beans, bulbs or seeds inside the pods.

1 comment:

Amy Dingmann said...

Identifying wild edibles is one of those things I always mean to learn more about but never have. Guess I should have been at co-op with you!