I read another great article today, again from Lifehacker. One of the points that really caught my attention is how to identify edible plants and berries. The reason why this caught my attention is because I went on two significant day hikes (of multiple hikes combined) in the Kananaskis last year. Conversations with each of my different hiking partners eventually hit on the topic of what could/should we eat if we needed to? Neither of my hiking companions had a clue. So when I read this advice in Likehackers article “Be a Grown Up Boy Scout“, I thought it was worth sharing. I loved the advice on red berries from the former Green Barret.
Learn the Universal Edibility Test
You might have heard the old rule of thumb that you should follow animals around and eat what they eat, but that’s not a foolproof method. In order to find if a plant is edible, you need to test it. You can follow the Universal Edibility Test, which requires you to place a small piece of plant against your lip, then your tongue, and finally in your whole mouth. Unfortunately, you have to wait for eight hours before you know if the plants safe to eat and it’s still possible a plant can poison you.
If you’re more of a berry fan, you can follow a simple mnemonic from former Green Barret Myke Hawke to remember which berries are edible:
White and yellow, kill a fellow. Purple and blue, good for you. Red… could be good, could be dead.
Like the edibility test, the mnemonic isn’t fool proof, but it’s useful if you have no other options.
So my question to you is, who has better information that we can post and share on edible plants and berries in the wild?