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The U.S. military survival manuals are a treasure trove of information for anyone who spends time outdoors. Whether you need to plan a bug-out bag, treat injuries, build a snare, or even prepare yourself mentally for the rigors of solo survival, these manuals are packed with tried-and-true methods and advice. Previously, we showed you how to build an efficient Dakota fire pit using the U.S.M.C. Survival Manual—check it out if you haven’t already.
Today, we’re going to delve into identifying edible plants using a technique called the Universal Edibility Test. This method is found in the U.S. Army Survival Manual, and can help you identify plants that are safe to eat if you run out of other options. But first, a warning: the only way to avoid accidental poisoning with 100% certainty is to eat ONLY the plants you can positively identify. Use this technique at your own risk.
So, without further ado, here is the Universal Edibility Test from the U.S. Army Survival Manual:
CAUTION: 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.
For more information on edible plants, check out Chapter 9 of the U.S. Army Survival Manual, embedded below via Google Books.