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Thread: edibility test

  1. #1
    Senior Member Antonyraison's Avatar
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    Default edibility test

    hi all, I am not sure how many of you are familiar with the edibility test;
    Test only one part of a potential food plant at a time.
    Separate the plant into its basic components -leaves, stems, roots, buds, and flowers.
    Smell the food for strong or acid odors. Remember, smell alone does not indicate a plant is edible or inedible.
    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 0.25 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.

    I am familiar with the procedure, however never used to eat something I can't identify,
    I just am quiet skeptical of it actually being that viable, for the duration it would take to do this, and also the viability of there being enough of whatever your testing to actually be considered sustainable for a survival situation,
    what are your thoughts?


  2. #2
    Administrator Rick's Avatar
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    The Universal Edibility Test is part of Wilderness-Survival.net. You can find it at:

    http://www.wilderness-survival.net/plants-1.php

    I've heard various sources for it's origin, one being for pilots downed on foreign soil. Any any case, it's handy to have when eating at McDonald's.

  3. #3

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    I can confidently say that I have finally learned my lesson about eating plants that I don't know. Never again.

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    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    Takes a long time and requires plenty of water.....and always save a piece to show the EMT what you ate.
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    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by madmax View Post
    I can confidently say that I have finally learned my lesson about eating plants that I don't know. Never again.
    It was just a little river lettuce.
    Can't Means Won't

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    Quote Originally Posted by crashdive123 View Post
    It was just a little river lettuce.
    It would've made a hilarious video. Our faces contorted in agony in between our faces in the river sucking down God knows what micro organisms. We drank gallons it seemed. We also raised swearing to an art form.

  7. #7

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    I'm fairly certain the first time I read that was in the U.S. Army survival manual. I have never used it. I always thought it was a good thing to keep in the back of my head. Another one I remember I believe was from the same manual. One ounce of kerosene to treat intestinal parasites. Do Not Repeat Treatment. I think I would have to be in a real bad way to try either. I'm talking real bad to at least think of the kerosene one though.

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    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    I often wondered why...if you are that bad of shape,...where is the kerosene coming from....?
    Haven't had any at home since the heater gave up....lamps use oil.

    Good to know, I guess...thanks for that.
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    Senior Member alaskabushman's Avatar
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    So I can't eat for 16 hours? Seems to me that time would be better spent foraging something I'm familiar with.

    Also, try holding food in your mouth for 15 minutes without swallowing at all...just study the plant in your area or the area your travelling to.

    In my area we have water hemlock, monkshood, baneberry, wild calla, arrowgrass, death camas, false hellebore, skunk cabbage...you get the idea, I don't recommend running around in the woods eating random plants.
    There ain't too many problems you can't fix with $500 or a 30-06.

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  10. #10
    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alaskabushman View Post
    So I can't eat for 16 hours? Seems to me that time would be better spent foraging something I'm familiar with.

    Also, try holding food in your mouth for 15 minutes without swallowing at all...just study the plant in your area or the area your travelling to.

    In my area we have water hemlock, monkshood, baneberry, wild calla, arrowgrass, death camas, false hellebore, skunk cabbage...you get the idea, I don't recommend running around in the woods eating random plants.
    I agree......not something I would do either.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member Antonyraison's Avatar
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    I too am in agreement, I rather go for something I do know

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    Senior Member natertot's Avatar
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    You can go for about three weeks without food. If I can't find anything in three weeks, then I am more content in starving rather than puking/crapping myself to death.
    ”There's nothing glorious in dying. Anyone can do it.” ~Johnny Rotten

  13. #13
    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by natertot View Post
    You can go for about three weeks without food. If I can't find anything in three weeks, then I am more content in starving rather than puking/crapping myself to death.
    True Dat...Tell us how you really feel about....after 3 week maybe finishing you self off isn't a bad idea.
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  14. #14
    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    Three weeks is an estimated length of time and used because if fits the rule of three. It is not a set limit for death at the end of 21 days.

    You can actually go longer than 21 days and many people have done so.

    There is also the part of the equation that includes just a little food along the way.

    During the Warsaw Rising, when the Nazis closed off the Warsaw Ghetto with the intention of starving the entire population to death, the doctors treating the casualties kept some very careful records so they could use them in the expected trials for war crimes.

    One of the things they documented was that if a person was 20 pounds over weight and they could obtain 500 calories per day (a thick slice of bread) they would last 6 months and only be unable to function for the last couple of weeks.

    It takes about 2,000 calories to sustain life and each pound of body fat contains 3500 calories.

    That is why the contestants on Naked and Afraid that get almost zero food for 21 days come out of the contest losing only 12-20 pounds and none have starved to death on the 21 day effort.
    Come to the dark side, we have pudding.

  15. #15
    Senior Member alaskabushman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyratshooter View Post
    Three weeks is an estimated length of time and used because if fits the rule of three. It is not a set limit for death at the end of 21 days.

    You can actually go longer than 21 days and many people have done so.
    I was just going to say the same thing. My mom recently finished a 30 day fast with no adverse effects, and only a little weight loss. You do get pretty weak after about 20 days, and in a survival scenario foraging and hunting would be difficult after that IMO.

    Quote Originally Posted by kyratshooter View Post
    each pound of body fat contains 3500 calories.
    I'm set for a while then...
    There ain't too many problems you can't fix with $500 or a 30-06.

    Him-"Whats the best knife for survival?"
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  16. #16
    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kyratshooter View Post
    .............

    That is why the contestants on Naked and Afraid that get almost zero food for 21 days come out of the contest losing only 12-20 pounds and none have starved to death on the 21 day effort.
    That we know of......

    Interesting story....Starved botanist saved a seed bank from the Nazis.....WWII

    https://in.rbth.com/blogs/2014/05/12...ds_seeds_35135
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  17. #17
    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    While it is true that we can all "survive" for quite a long period without food, it should be remembered that our ability to physically exert ourselves will diminish rather quickly without caloric intake.
    Can't Means Won't

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