I’m going to tell you about five wild edibles that you can eat in any kind of survival situation.
Stinging nettle is native to Europe, Asia, North Africa, and North America. Most people who have come into contact with stinging nettle have already experienced a painful sting that comes from the hairy needles on the leaves and the stem of the plant. Stinging nettle contains up to 25% of protein of its dry weight, which is quite high for a leafy green vegetable. The seeds of the stinging nettle are very nutritious and can be ground up and baked like a bread. The roots of the stinging nettle are edible too. Besides using stinging nettle as food it also can be used as medicine. It’s used to treat urinary tract infections. It also taste’s decent but that’s acceptable since it’s a survival food.
Dandelion is native to temperate areas often the northern hemisphere. The entire plant is edible, but the roots contain the most energy. Their roots are very bitter and can cause stomach problems, therefore, they need to be processed. They need to be cut up and put in cold water for a couple of hours to lose their bitterness. It’s important that the water is cold because with boiling water you can get rid of the bitterness much faster, but it also causes the carbohydrate in the roots to get washed out since it’s soluble in hot water. Ground roasted dandelion root can be used as a non-caffeinated coffee substitute.
Several burdock species have been widely spread worldwide. Burdock has large leaves which can reach a size of 28 inches and the underside of the leaves looks a little bit whitish. The root of the burdock plant contains a lot of starch which is not easy to find when it comes to wild edibles and it can be roasted over the fire. The outer bark of the root tastes a little bit bitter, but the inner part which you can peel off is quite fine.
Cattails grow in wetlands all over the world. The plant can be easily identified by their unique flowering spike and flat blade like leaves. Besides the fact that the cattail flap makes excellent flash tinder also completely edible. The stems can be roasted in the fire but the roots have the most nutritional value. Cattail roots are rich in starch and they provides 266 calories per 100 grams. They can be eaten raw, roasted, or made into a flour substitute.
Acorns come from oak trees which grow all over the world. There are several species and hybrids which all look a little bit different. Acorns provide 87 calories per 100 grams, which is pretty high. They contain both carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, which makes them a perfect survival food.
However, acorns contain a lot of tannins, which makes them extremely bitter. Therefore, they need to be processed and cooked several times before they can be eaten. Acorns has been used as a coffee substitute especially in WWII and the American Civil War. Roasted acorns taste very good. They remind me of sweet chestnuts. It tastes a little bit like coffee and with a lot of imagination it’s true.