prepared is always a good thing, but don't put much hope in being able
to stock up on things now that would enable you to maintain your
lifestyle now after some major breakdown in society, without the help
of other people. Don't stock up on guns and
ammunition thinking you will be able to protect yourself and your hoard
from hungry marauders. If you have food
and your neighbors don't, there is no way you can keep desparate people
at bay. They can keep trying, and you only have to be caught off-guard
There have been settled populations next to nomadic populations
throughout history, and the way the settled populations have dealt with
the marauders is to bribe them with a small amount of trade goods so
they will not be inclined to risk their lives to get a larger amount of
People who stay plump and well-fed during a famine
have a hard time integrating back into society after the
famine is over, anyway. People remember. Squirrel away non-perishable food items against your
darkest hour, by all means, but don't try to maintain your non-famine
way of life. The best way to prepare yourself for a famine or disaster is to learn now the skill you will need then, and be able
teach those skills to others.
The Sami eskimos of Norway have a survivalist strategy that they put in
place every year. In the autumn. They cut strips of bark off trees and
hang them inside their homes. When dry, these can be ground into a
powder and made into a paste and a bread. That tastes terrible and you
would only eat it if you were starving. They hope they will be able to
find enough normal food for the winter, but, if there isn't, this will
keep them alive until spring. And they don't have to worry about anyone
wanting to kill them to get at their food. This is the type of
philosophy I recommend for survival of a catastrophic situation. Don't
try to replicate a typical or modern diet.
is edible, and poor people around the world eat it when they have no
other food. It has minerals in it, and will even keep you from feeling
along rivers now and learn where you
might be able to find clay. For now, you can store white potters clay,
salt and Crisco. To make mud pies:
1 cup of dry clay
1 tablespoon of fat. Pastured, home
rendered lard is best, of course,
but if you don't have that, any fat will do.
1 teaspoon of salt. A full-array salt from
the health food store would
be best if you have it, but anything will do if you don't.
Enough water to make a pliable mud.
Mix all the ingredients together and set
them out in the warm sun to
dry. If you don't have warm sun, set them around the perimeter of a
campfire where they will be kept warm but not hot.
Rainwater will drain minerals from your body. Add a pinch of
dirt to your rainwater, or strain it through charcoal.
Grass water Chop
up grass and let it soak overnight. Drain. Don't try to eat grass as
our bodies cannot digest it and it will cause gastric upset in the
stomach, but you can draw some nourishment from the green water.
Mushrooms If it's
too late now to
learn what mushrooms are safe
to eat, get the healthiest member of your group to eat a quarter
teaspoon of cooked mushroom on an empty stomach. Be prepared to give
him dirt and water to drink to dilute it if he feels it contains
poison. If all goes well, try a quarter teaspoon of the same mushroom
raw the next day. Slowly increase amounts of cooked and raw until you
are sure of its safety. Btw, I don't know if this works or not as I
have never tried it, but in primitive societies before they try the
taste test to determine if a new food is safe to eat, they have the
tribal shaman sleep next to the plant and ask its spirit if it's safe
to eat and anything else they might need to know about it. Can't hurt
Freegan Tea Gather
leaves, either green or dry, from trees that seem edible, such as oak,
maple, sassafras, birch. Add boiling water and steep. This is good for
trace minerals from the deep earth where the trees' roots are.
Most tree leaves contain too much tannin to be edible, but mulberry are
supposed not to have as much tannin. To reduce tannin in chopped
acorns, put them in a net bag and place in a running stream for a few
Tree bark The
inner green bark of many trees is edible.
Scotch Pine Bark Bread
part of a tree that is alive (i.e., still a "vegetable") is the inner
bark. During the year, peel away the brown outer bark to reveal the
inner bark layer, which may only be a fraction of an inch thick. Peel
off the inner bark in strips and hang from the ceiling in an airy room
or garage. When dry, it can be ground into flour that will make a very
nutritious, if unappetizing, bread. Throw away every year you don't eat
it and replace with new.
(Note: You will probably
need to be starving to eat pine bark bread, but you can grind the bark
into a powder and make a cough syrup with it by mixing it with sugar.)
Remove skin and innards, dredge in flour and fry in lard. (Small game
animals are less likely to have parasites on the skin and fur if you
harvest them after the first frost and until the weather gets warm.)
Grass with seeds (hay).
Your Own Mud Oven
1st - dig up some sand, pile it to make the inside of your oven.
2 - cover the sand with newspapers, 2-3 layers thick.
3 - make some mud, and pile it on thickly.
4 - let dry (~ 24hours or so)
5 - dig out the sand, and some of the paper, but it is okay to leave
6 - light a wood fire inside your oven. This will finish drying and
your oven, and once the oven is ready (i.e. good and hot, and the
fire's burned down quite a bit), use a tool to pull the wood out, and
stick your bread in, probably on a pizza stone or in a loaf pan.
Alternately, you can use some sort of campfire rack over the fire in
the oven, but for this, the fire needs to have burned down to near
ashes. The oven can be decorated anyway you like, if desired.
Food Without Refrigeration
Make gundruk -- ferment edible leaves such as spinach for 7 days. After
7 days, take them out and lay them on a cotton cloth, and then roll
them in the cloth to extract as much liquid as possible. Dehydrate the
leaves, preferable in the wind and sun. When dry, they will store
indefinitely in a cool, dry place. To eat, soak in water for a few
Boil bones and hooves down to a gelatin and then down to a solid. Can
be reconstituted with water.
To Store -- Things to do before a survival situation begins
Freeze grains before storing to kill any eggs that may be in it.
Buy empty plastic containers from bakeries to store dry goods, or
collect large glass jars
Store: beans, rice, wheat berries (real wheat such as emmer, einkorn or
kamut khoresan), sea salt, sugar, gelatin, cocoa, cornmeal, tomato
paste, baking soda, cream of tartar
matches (all types),
Medicines: aspirin, veterinary antibiotics, cheap vegetable oil to be
used for fuel, wax, kerosene
Notes & Tips
out fat, marrow and edible scraps after slaughter from animal bones
without any modern conveniences, put the bones in the stomach of the
animal, dig a hole in the ground, fill with burning charcoal, put
filled stomach on top, cover with more charcoal, then earth. When fire
burns itself out, retrieve the stomach and skim the congealed fat and
marrow from the top
Scotch Pine Bark Bread
The only part of a tree that is alive (i.e., still a "vegetable") is
the inner bark. During the year, peel away the brown outer bark to
reveal the inner bark layer, which may only be a fraction of an inch
thick. Peel off the inner bark in strips and hang from the ceiling in
an airy room or garage. When dry, it can be ground into flour that will
make a very nutritious, if unappetizing, bread. Throw away every year
you don't eat it and replace with new, as it does not keep indefinitely.
Historically, arborvitae (=tree of life), Thuja occidentalis was used
as treatment for scurvy. So was Picea glauca. Probably any conifer
would provide the vitamin C needed for that disease. Natives of the
Adirondacks, and probably others as well, ate the elongating candles
and the cambium of Pinus strobus when in distress for lack of food.
Freeze grains before storing to kill any eggs that may be in it.
Eating dirt can extend your life during times of little
or no food, besides providing you with healthy, soil-based minerals.
Dirt and edible leaves can keep you and your family and neighbors alive
for a long time. Learn how to test plants for edibility and be prepared
to get food where you find it.
Guide to Self-Sufficiency by John
Seymour. Has a recipe for
by Calvin W. Schwabe
Solar Food Dryer by Eben Fodor Preserving
without Freezing or Canning by the gardeners and farmers of Centre Terre VivanteRoot
Cellaring: Natural Cold Storage of Fruits & Vegetables by Nancy BubelThe
A Guide to Identifying, Harvesting, and Preparing Edible Wild Plants by
Sam Thayer. What's good about this book is that the author tells about
things he has experienced,
just cut and pasting or rephrasing what other people have written.