Being 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 once.

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 trade goods.

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 to 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.

Eat Dirt
Dirt 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 hungry.

Mud cakes
Walk 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.


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.

 Wild Foods 

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 to try.

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 days.

Tree bark The inner green bark of many trees is edible.

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.

(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.)

Squirrels 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).

 Build 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 the paper.
6 - light a wood fire inside your oven. This will finish drying and harden 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.

 Preserving 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 minutes.

Boil bones and hooves down to a gelatin and then down to a solid. Can be reconstituted with water.

Learn to Preserve Food The Traditional Way In Brine

 Foods 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 

To render 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.

Concise Guide to Self-Sufficiency by John Seymour. Has a recipe for honey mead.
Unmentionable Cuisine   by Calvin W. Schwabe
The Solar Food Dryer by Eben Fodor
Preserving Food without Freezing or Canning by the gardeners and farmers of Centre Terre Vivante
Root Cellaring: Natural Cold Storage of Fruits & Vegetables by Nancy Bubel
The Forager's Harvest 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, not just cut and pasting or rephrasing what other people have written.

Edibility Test
Sleep by the plant and ask yourself if it is edible or poisonous
Touch it, rub it in your hands. Close your eyes, lean back and notice your reaction to it.
Test one part of a plant at a time.
Do not eat for 8 hours before starting the test.
During the 8 hours you abstain from eating, test for contact poisoning by placing a piece of the plant part you are testing on the inside of your elbow or wrist. Usually 15 minutes is enough time to allow for a reaction.
During the test period, take nothing by mouth except purified water and the plant part you are testing.
Select a small portion of a single part and prepare it the way you plan to eat it.
Before placing the prepared plant part in your mouth, touch a small portion (a pinch) to the outer surface of your lip to test for burning or itching.
If after 3 minutes there is no reaction on your lip, place the plant part on your tongue, holding it there for 15 minutes.
If there is no reaction, thoroughly chew a pinch and hold it in your mouth for 15 minutes. Do not swallow.
If no burning, itching, numbing, stinging, or other irritation occurs during the 15 minutes, swallow the food.
Wait 8 hours. If any ill effects occur during this period, induce vomiting and drink a lot of water.
If no ill effects occur, eat 1/4 cup of the same plant part prepared the same way. Wait another 8 hours. If no ill effects occur, the plant part as prepared is safe for eating.


Test all parts of the plant for edibility, as some plants have both edible and inedible parts. Do not assume that a part that proved edible when cooked is also edible when raw. Test the part raw to ensure edibility before eating raw. The same part or plant may produce varying reactions in different individuals.

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adding raw egg to hot liquid || adjust alcohol || airlock || alcoholism || ale || antibiotics questions || apples || arthritis || avatars || bagels || balaclava || beans and rice || beets || bone broth || book suggestions ||  bread beer || bread kvass || brew by bottle || brine pickling for beginners || cabbage water || cancer || carrot cake || casserole || chocolate || cholesterol || chutney || clay || cleaning stuff || coffee || coloring drawings || coloring pages || condiments || container gardening || cookware || corn | cosmetics || cream cheese || cream of wheat || culturing milk and cream || cure alcoholism? || dandelions || dehydrating || depression era living || dmso || e-books for sale || "e. coli infections" || eat dirt || eating less || edible leaves and flowers || eggs || elderberry syrup || EM || evolution || evolution for children || exercise || fast food || fermented malt tea || fermented sun tea || fish, how to filet || fish head soup || fizzy drink || flour || flu || food allergies || food circle || free e-books || frugal healthy eating || fungus in body || grains || grain-free || green tomatoes || gruit ale || hard iced tea |head cheese (lunchmeat) || healthy eating || heartburn and indigestion || home remedies || how to not get sick || how to publish on kindle (ebook) || ice cream || instant NT || japonica quince, identifying || kefir whey || kelp || kimchi & sauerkraut || kombucha || kvass || lard || lemon pickles || lemon pudding || lifestyle || liver || liver loaf || living on less || make animated gif || make whey || magnesium || magnesium diy || magnesium oxide || magnesium sulfate diy || mead || mincemeat || minerals || mold || moldy lemon uses || msg || mustard plaster || my drawings || near beer || oneil's shebeen || pekmez || penicillin diy || pesticides || ph testing strips || physic garden || pickles || pie crust || plums || POGs || poor richard's ale || pork pie || preserving eggs || quince cheese || quince curd || quince honey || quince jam || quince soda || quince syrup || radiation exposure || raspberry framboise || raw beer || raw corn beer || raw fermented fish || raw milk || re-downloading a kindle book || roots beer || salsa || seafood || search natural health sites || search this site || separating egg yolk and white || seven day ale || shoes made of junk || small beer || snacks || soda pop || song of ninkasi || soughism || soup || sourdough beer || sourdough bread || spores (breathing in mold) || sprouting || substitutions || sugar syrup || supplements || survivalism || tea || timeline || tree oils || umeboshi || using frozen || using unset jam || vegetables || vertigo || vitamin C || water || way to lose weight || wheat grass beer || wild food || wild yeast harvesting || wine || yeast starter || yogurt

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