If your caught out in the wilderness and have limited or no food with you then it is very useful to know what plants you can and can’t eat.
Tasting or swallowing even a small portion of some can cause severe discomfort, extreme internal disorders, and even death.
Therefore, if you have the slightest doubt about a plant’s edibility, apply the Universal Edibility Test below before eating any portion of
Before testing a plant for edibility, make sure there are enough plants to make the testing worth your time
and effort. Each part of a plant (roots, leaves, flowers, and so on) requires more than 24 hours to test.
Do not waste time testing a plant that is not relatively abundant in the area.
Remember, eating large portions of plant food on an empty stomach may cause diarrhea, nausea, or
Two good examples of this are such familiar foods as green apples and wild onions.
Even after testing plant food and finding it safe, eat it in moderation.
You can see from the steps and time involved in testing for edibility just how important it is to be able to
identify edible plants.
To avoid potentially poisonous plants, stay away from any wild or unknown plants that have:
· Milky or discolored sap.
· Beans, bulbs, or seeds inside pods.
· Bitter or soapy taste.
· Spines, fine hairs, or thorns.
· Dill, carrot, parsnip, or parsleylike foliage.
· “Almond” scent in woody parts and leaves.
· Grain heads with pink, purplish, or black spurs.
· Three-leaved growth pattern.
Using the above criteria as eliminators when choosing plants for the Universal Edibility Test will cause you to avoid some edible plants.
More important, these criteria will often help you avoid plants that are potentially toxic to eat or touch.