(Natural News) Foraging for food during an emergency situation is quite different from when you're just leisurely hiking. When it comes to food — especially the ones that you'll need to eat to survive — you have to make sure that you have the right set of skills to identify which foods are safe to eat and which aren't. (h/t to DoomsdayMoose.com).
If you don't know it, don't eat it
Always err on the side of caution when foraging for food. In survival foraging, remember the most basic rule: If you can't identify it, don't eat it. This rule is especially important when it comes to plants and berries. Some berries — like pokeweed — may look safe and yummy but are actually lethal. The best way to prepare for this is to have a guidebook that will help you identify your plants. We also recommend that you take the time to look at the type of food around your home and/or homestead.
With regards to animals, insects are usually pretty safe to eat. Another safe choice for you are earthworms, which become a nutritious meal after you cook them. The best way to get a bunch of worms is to pound soil with a mallet, club, or staff. Worms respond to these vibrations and will crawl up to the surface.
Looking for edible plants
Depending on the region of the United States you live in, edible plants will grow in different landscapes. In general, however, edible plants will be found in sunny areas in humid zones, and near water sources in drier climates.
If you are in the woods or an unknown place, look for plants that grow in abundance. Avoid plants that you see are found in only one or two spots in an area. That being said, remember to always perform the universal edibility test (a test that will help you know if a plant will make you sick or not) on any plant you are not fully certain of.
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Never eat plants that have any of these characteristics:
Milky or discolored sap
Beans, bulbs, or seeds inside pods
Bitter or soapy taste
Spine, fine hairs, or thorns
"Almond" scent in the leaves or woody part
Three-leaved growth pattern
Grain heads with pink, black, or purplish spurs