Survival Food - What to eat when food is scarce

Survival Food - What to eat when food is scarce

In many countries, eating bugs, grubs and worms as well as what we term weeds,is part of a normal daily diet.  As the Earth changes start to take a hold and increased crop shortages become the norm, new food sources will be sought after and utilized in daily diets.  For those who have back gardens or go to parks etc, they will notice that dandelions, goosefoot, and mushrooms along with other wild edibles are readily available. 

For instance the whole of the dandelion plant can be eaten, providing a lot of nutrition.  That creeping garden weed, chickweed is a lively peppery addition to salads.  That pervasive variegated plant in the corner of the garden - groutwart - the leaves can be eaten just like spinach.  There are  many surprising plants and insects that provide the nutrition we need when food is scarse.  

There are plenty of plants and insects that provide delicious meals and snacks.  What has been included here is just a sample, showing how to prepare, cook and eat wild edibles and insects.  As always safety comes first and safety tips for collecting wild edibles and insects has been included.  

Cooking (includes safety tips when foraging)

Safety tips on foraging wild plants (an excerpt on foraging from the story written by Nancy Lieder - )



Eating Insects/ general - Zetatalk (check your local area for edible insects)

Water Weeds

Mushrooms/Fungi (check your local area for edible mushrooms)

Birds and Other Small Mammals (catching, skinning and cooking rats)

Snails, Slugs and Worms

Wild Edible Seeds

Zetatalk - Edible Seeds

Sprouting Seeds 

It is recommended to use organic seed produce as most stores sell produce that has been irradiated and the seeds will not sprout.

Here are some seeds that are good for sprouting:: broccoli - lentils - peas - sunflower - pumpkin and mustard..

6 Easy ways to sprout seeds

Edible Grass

Kitchen Scraps

Quick Recipes and notes

Dried and powdered worms/bug stores well and can thicken soup. Corn and Amaranth ground up together makes a corn cake equivalent to red meat in protein.

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Comment by Juan F Martinez on May 10, 2022 at 5:09am

Herbs to forage in the Spring,

Comment by KM on April 24, 2022 at 5:07pm

This is a bit of a long video, but at the 55:11 mark, there is an interesting part on insects and how to incorporate them into daily cooking. ; This URL will take you directly to the point of the insects.

Comment by KM on March 15, 2022 at 6:36am

Lots of people sprout their own seeds for eating.  Putting into salads, on sandwiches and various dishes.  Here is a site that helps to show what seeds to sprout and some of their nutritional value.

Comment by KM on September 24, 2021 at 3:22am

Picking, preparing and eating nettles.

Comment by KM on September 24, 2021 at 2:58am

How to prepare Dandelion Jam, Cake and Dandelion root coffee

Comment by KM on September 11, 2021 at 9:10pm


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Squash flour is a wonderful low carb flour that can be used for gluten-free, paleo, and keto baking! A perfect replacement for coconut flour! This gluten free flour can be made with any type of squash!

Squash flour made with yellow squash in mason jar.

Yellow squash is prolific during the summer months, especially with the Back to Eden Gardening Method that we use! But there are only so many yellow squash recipes that I really want to make for the family, so I got a little creative.

Normally we use coconut flour for our baking needs, with an occasional almond flour recipe tossed in the mix.

But I decided to try my hand at making squash flour to see how it compared.


Fortunately, my rabid curiosity paid off and the squash flour was a smashing success!

    1. First, you'll need about 5 pounds of yellow squash for each cup of finished squash flour.
    2. Shred the squash either with a cheese grater or a shredding attachment blade on your food processor (that's what I do).
    3. Lay the shredded squash on lined dehydrator trays and dehydrate at 135° until COMPLETELY dry.

✅ If you need a good dehydrator, here's the dehydrator we've been using for 20 years (and love)!

  1. Take the completely dried squash and place it in a clean, dry food processor or blender. Run on high speed until squash is powder fine. This usually takes about 5-8 minutes.
  2. Once you think the squash flour is ready, leave the lid on for another few minutes (with the machine off) to allow the flour dust to settle. Otherwise you will end up with yellow cabinets!

Once I finished the flour, I made this delicious chocolate cake!

5 pounds of squash for 1 cup of flour?!
Yes, it is a lot of squash! But keep in mind that you aren't going to be using it in the same quantities as wheat flour.

For each recipe, you will only use 1/2 a cup of squash flour, on average!


Store the squash flour in an air tight container WITH a silica packet (this is a MUST) for up to 6 months.

The squash flour will pull moisture from the air and will end up molding in the jar if you don't include a silica pack. These are the ones we use and they work really well!


When first contemplating the idea of squash flour, I did a small test batch to determine the absorbency rate of this flour compared to other paleo, GAPS gluten free flours such as almond flour and coconut flour.

I found that squash flour acted just like coconut flour, except that the squash flour didn't crumble the way coconut flour did. Instead, it had a wonderful bouncy texture to it, even though the absorption rate was the same.

So I tested it with several of my favorite GAPS recipes that used coconut flour and found that not only did the squash flour replace 1 for 1 with the coconut flour, but I much preferred the taste and texture of the squash flour!


Does this work with other squash varieties as well?
I have tried it with zucchini and had the same results as with yellow squash! However, I have not tried it with the starchier squashes such as butternut and spaghetti squash.

Here is the zucchini flour!
Gluten free paleo keto gaps baking with zucchini flour

Will this turn my food yellow?
As you can see in the photo, the finished product has a vary light color when fully blended. However, if you made this with zucchini (and then didn't add cacao or something to the recipe), this would give the finished food product a slight green tinge.

That doesn't bother me though!

How long will it last?
If you use an air tight container and a silica packet in every jar, it should last you about 6 months to a year, depending on the humidity of your climate.

In all honesty though, it's going to be gone long before that because this stuff is seriously delicious!


While there's not really a 100% accurate way to calculate the nutrition for the squash flour, each 1/2 cup is about 2.25 pounds of fresh yellow squash or zucchini.

So here are the nutrition facts for 2.25 pounds of squash! Keep in mind that you need to subtract the fiber to get the net carbs.

Comment by KM on December 19, 2020 at 6:40pm

Eating Hostas!

Harvesting Hosta to Eat

When you are cultivating hostas to eat, the main harvest time will be spring.

The most delicious part of the plants are the hostons that emerge in the spring. Simply cut or snap off these curled leaves at ground level soon after they emerge. 

Eating hosta is more than just a novelty. These plants have potential to be a major productive vegetable. You can take the whole first flush of leaves from an established plant without destroying the plant. It should simply produce a second flush of fresh leaves.

Smaller hostons are delicious served raw in a salad, or stir-fried lightly. Larger ones are best boiled briefly and then served as you would another green vegetable. You can substitute hosta for brassicas such as broccoli, for example, in a range of recipes.

The hostons, however, are not the only part of the plant that you can eat. Open leaves can also be eaten, stir-fried or as a spinach substitute in a range of recipes.

Comment by KM on July 3, 2020 at 4:08am

Here are some interesting tips on different types of flour

With in the link here are some of the flours that are featured and can be processed:

They list the following plants as sources of wild flour:

  • Amaranth
  • American Beech
  • American Lotus
  • Arrow Arum
  • Balsam Fir
  • Birches
  • Black Medic
  • Blue Vervain
  • Buckbean
  • Cattails
  • Carrion-flower
  • Chestnut
  • Clovers
  • Chufa
  • Eastern Hemlock
  • Golden Club
  • Great Bullrush
  • Greenbriers
  • Hazelnut
  • Hickories
  • Icelandic Moss
  • Jack in the Pulpit
  • Kudzu
  • Lambs Quarters
  • Large Cane
  • Pickerelweed
  • Pines
  • Prickly Pear
  • Purslane
  • Reindeer Moss
  • Slippery Elm
  • Spruces
  • Sunflower
  • Tamarack
  • Wild Rice
  • Water Lillies
  • Walnuts
  • Wild Calla
  • Yellow Pond Lillies
  • Wild Calla
  • Water-shield

Of all the wild flour options discussed, seeds and grains are some of the least practical options.  Most are very small and require extensive processing before they can become flour.  Even then, it’s tough to harvest more than a handful at a time.

Acorn flour also requires a lot of processing, but it’s possible to harvest enough to feed your family all year from just a few trees.  It’s also highly nutritious and bakes up wonderfully.

Other nut flours are also good options, provided you can beat the squirrels to the harvest.

Pollen flours are highly nutritious but only available for a short time.  Root and rhizome flours are a better option, given that they’re available much of the year, and you’re not competing with wildlife for that nutrient source.

Comment by KM on April 11, 2020 at 5:57pm
Comment by KM on March 30, 2020 at 1:07pm

Wild Plants You Can Eat: A List of Edible Wild Plants (Part One)

Wild Plants You Can Eat

Knowing what wild plants you can eat and other things to do when disasters strike will minimize the difficulty to survive and will let you live a normal daily life. It is unfortunate that we often cannot see trouble looming in the horizon, until it is already in front of us. Being prepared usually provides an adequate advantage for survival not just in the wild but in our very own backyard. We must know what plant resources are available for us to use when the proper time comes.

Knowledge of plants and their primary uses are part and parcel of survival skills which are practical know-hows and are essential for one’s survival.

See also: Bushcraft Wilderness Survival Skills: Making Use of What You Have

Most plants that we do not know of, which are scattered almost everywhere, are considered medicinal and fit for human consumption. Taking free food from the wild is regarded as an ability to be self-sufficient. We must know where to look and how to prepare wild edible plants provided by nature. Looking for plants that can be eaten or used for medicinal purposes depends on where we live. In humid and tropical regions most edible wild plants can be found in clearings that have direct contact with the sun. In dry areas, majority of wild edible plants can be found near the water.

Edible plants

Places that are regularly cleared or cleaned often have edible plants that are not cultivated, like dandelions, plantain, wood sorrel dead-nettle and grass. Grass is edible with intensely sweet and bitter flavor. Grass below 6” is easy to ingest, and those that are above 6” are often chewed to extract juice and then are spitted out.

Grass can also be made into juice by using a hand-operated wheatgrass juicer. Below are some wild edible plants that can be seen in the backwoods, and which can be safely used for food or other medicinal purposes.

List of edible wild plants

Dandelion (taraxacum officinale)

Dandelion can be steamed whole. Its center greens that are young can be eaten raw. The best part of the plant is its flower.


The best way to eat the plant is to remove the green base of the flower to remove the white sap which is bitter. This is one of the plants you can eat in the wild with leaves that have a sweet filling that you can find in abundance in the wild.

Chickweed (stellaria media)

Chickweed plants are entirely edible and all its parts can be consumed.


When eaten, chickweed tastes like sweet grass.

Wood Sorrel (oxalis spp)

Whole wood sorrel plants can be consumed raw. It has refreshing acid flavor that is nice to the palette. Most variants of wood sorrel have pinkish flowers. Stems can be eaten but avoid the red part and the leaves because they are bitter. It is a common plant that can be usually seen clearings, lawns and in the deep wilderness.

Wood Sorrel

Consumption of this wild plant must be moderate because it has great oxalic level content, which can cause gastrointestinal ailments in taken in large quantities.

Herbit (lamium ampllexicaule)

This is another wild plant which is wholly edible and can be eaten raw. It tastes like mild mint with a tinge of a grassy sweet flavor. Before eating a herbit, it is recommended that you avoid its stems by removing the tops.


The herbit comes in a huge carpet formation usually in the early times of the year.

Dead-nettle (lamium purpureum)

It is a plant which is almost the same like the herbit and is eaten like as a herbit is eaten.


It also grows in abundance like a huge carpet on the ground mostly during spring time.

Plantain (plantago lanceolate)

The young leaves in the center of this plant are eaten raw and have a good salty flavor.


English plantain variety and common plantain are quite similar to each other.

Sow thistle (sonchus spp)

Sow thistle is like dandelion, with yellow flowers that can be prepared in the same process and can be eaten raw.

Sow thistle

Sow thistle is more prickly-looking than dandelion.

Wild onion (allium spp)

Wild onion plants are commonly found on areas that are regularly mowed.

Wild Onion

Bunches of wild onions are normally used like scallions.

Cress (cardamine spp)

Cress is a wild plant that can often be seen in the cities. It is part of the mustard family, hence when you eat the leaves raw; the taste would be like that of a slight mustard flavor.


Full-grown cress plants are steamed like mustard greens.

Blackberries (Rubus fruticosus)

Most wild berries are not safe for human consumption, with the exemption of blackberries which are 100% edible and safe. Blackberries have long thin stems with green jagged leaves. They are abundant in spring and can be found clustered around its bush.


Blackberries are already ripe from the months of August to September.

Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis)

Asparagus is mostly found in Europe and in some North African regions. When this plant is ingested it gives the urine a peculiar smell. Wild asparagus that has more slender stems are sold in grocery stores. This plant is a great source of vitamin C, potassium, vitamin B6 and thiamine.


Best to be consumed when boiled or can be eaten raw like the standard asparagus we normally use for food at home.

Elderberries (Sambucus)

Elderberry shrubs grow to about 10 feet, which produces a large quantity of food. It has 7 central leaves that are stretched out from the stems which have a long jagged edged appearance. The white flowers of this plant form a cluster that looks like an umbrella.


Berries from the elderberry plant are ripe by the month of September. Elderberries must be properly processed for use to prevent intoxication, but they can be used to treat flu and colds. The berries can be processed into home-made jellies.

Pine (Pinus)

Pine comes in different varieties and species. It is a good source of food supply and can likewise be used for some medicinal purposes.


Native American use grounded pine to treat scurvy. Pine is rich in vitamin C and can also be made into tea by boiling a bowl of water and dropping in a few pine needles.

Kudzu (Puenraria lobata)

Most of the parts of kudzu are edible that has medicinal properties. It can be used to treat inflammation, migraines and headaches.

Puenraria Lobata

Leaves and roots from the plant can be boiled, steamed or eaten raw.

Daylily (Hemerocallis)

Daylily is a common plant that is scattered in many places. It has bright orange flowers with surrounding foliage that comes straight out of the ground.


The flower buds can be eaten even before they open or it can be cooked like any other ordinary vegetable.

Pecans (Carya illinoinensis)

Pecan trees grow to an average of 20 feet to 30 feet tall. Others sometimes reach a height of 100 feet tall. The leaf structure of the pecan has a long and smooth edge. This plant has its origins in the south central part of North America.


Pecan trees that are found in the wild can provide a nutritious and filling food cache.

Research before eating any wild plants

To fully understand how wild plants can help in our survival, we must do a research and get ourselves a handbook on plants to serve as our guide. This will help us sort out which ones are safe and which ones are not. Suffice it to say that we must also know how the plant looks like, so it is vital to have a wild plant guidebook on hand.

There may come a time when all we have in the wild is our guts and wits; hence, it is always to better to remember to look for berries on trees. Most berries on trees are edible; they are soft and look shriveled. Also be on the lookout for ornamental trees that have attractive flowers, since the flowers will often lead you to edible berries, plums or crab apples.

Poison plants

Majority of nuts in the wild are healthy, and fit to be consumed by humans. Nuts can be usually found underneath trees. Acorns are in abundance under the oak tree’s leaves and can be consumed without need for further process.  It is also sound to note that edible fruit bearing trees can usually be found in the open, mostly on road sides, in forest clearings and nearby bodies of water.

Keep in mind that fruit trees need the sun to be able to bear their fruits, so finding fruit bearing trees deep in the forest is nil. Fruit bearing trees commonly found in the open are wild apples, persimmons, mulberries, etc.

There you have our simple guide on what plants to look for and can be eaten in the wilderness should you get lost in the forest or happened to just want to live with nature’s abundance.

See more of our tips on how to survive in the wilds for added information you might need someday.

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