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FlyLeaf Rocks!!
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Discussion Starter #1
Although this is may not always be exactly correct, a general rule of thumb when foraging for berries in a survival situation is:
  • Most Red and Blue berries are edible
  • Avoid White or Cream-coloured berries

DO NOT, and I repeat, DO NOT trust this information with your life when you have any other possible food sources. Only use this rule as a last resort when you are in the wilderness and eating berries is your only chance of survival. I say this because there are still poisonous berries that are red and blue in colour, and edible ones that are white or cream-coloured, just not as many as are poisonous.

Only use this information in a life-or-death situation! :cool:

SgtPepper
 

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FlyLeaf Rocks!!
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Discussion Starter #3
Yes, but in a life or death situation, especially in the wilderness, you may have to eat something in order to survive. Just tryin' to help dude.
 

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Wild Edibles Expert
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Yes, but in a life or death situation, especially in the wilderness, you may have to eat something in order to survive. Just tryin' to help dude.
No offense meant, yet, in a life and death situation eating a berry you don't know can mean death whereas skipping it probably won't kill you. There is no good rule of thumb when it comes to berries except don't eat white or cream colored ones. (There are three edible white berries, one tastes like %$#@ but it is edible, one is extremely rare, read struggling more than you are to survive, and the last doesn't grow anywhere near North America.) But there are as many toxic red and black berries as edible ones. It's a gamble. Whereas just a little studying can tip the odds in your favor.

As for fireweed, if you mean erechtites hieracifolia et al, it is edible but you have to hold your nose after long boiling it.
 

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Blackberries, wild strawberries, mulberries, wild cherries, and muscadines are ok. Don't know about others and won't risk it.
 

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How about if the bush has thorns? I was thinking that if it has thorns then it's trying to protect itself against being scarfed back utterly by mammals. Any thorny berries that are not edible?
 

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DIY RPG's
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i only eat berries that i know. want an easy course in edible berries go to the store and look at the berries in the fresh fruit isle. not comprhensive but this course is free.
 

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Hubris begets Nemesis
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I respectfully disagree. When Morus Alba are ripe enough that they fall of the bush with a slight touch or shake of a limb, they are, in my opinion, very sweet and tasty.
 

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Wild Edibles Expert
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I respectfully disagree. When Morus Alba are ripe enough that they fall of the bush with a slight touch or shake of a limb, they are, in my opinion, very sweet and tasty.
May be, but the consensus is the red tastes better. Or lets look at it this way, when they plant for landscaping they plant the white mulberry. When they plant for fruit they plant the red mulberry.
 

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Hubris begets Nemesis
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May be, but the consensus is the red tastes better. Or lets look at it this way, when they plant for landscaping they plant the white mulberry. When they plant for fruit they plant the red mulberry.
I got NP with what you say. The red maybe are better. I only wanted to make the point that the white are also good and should be considered.

Didn't know the leaves were edible, but a lot of young leaves are.

BTW, ever eat milkweed (Asclepias syriaca )? One of my favorites! Young shoots, flowers and baby pods!
 

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Wild Edibles Expert
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How about if the bush has thorns? I was thinking that if it has thorns then it's trying to protect itself against being scarfed back utterly by mammals. Any thorny berries that are not edible?
You can't tell by the thorns... the only rule of thumb with berries is if it doesn't kill a chimpanzee it probably won't kill you.
 

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I watch which berries the birds eat. Usually a safe indicator of toxicity. Taste is another issue. This info applies to Eastern North-America woods, I can't say about other areas of the globe as I haven't been there practicing survival skills.
Another point about berry picking is that snakes, both poison and non, like to hunt birds by getting under the bush and striking as the bird comes in to feed. A hand could look like a feeding bird to a snake, so either pick from high parts of the bush or use your staff to raise and look under the bush before picking. My grandmother was bitten on the finger in exactly this manner, by a copperhead, while picking black berries. She survived, but never recommended the experience.
An herbal remedy for snakebite is Echinacea angustifolia (Narrow-leaved purple coneflower, blacksamson echinacea) root. I wouldn't know the dosage, but I would start with about 4 00 caps every ½ hour until I was sure I was over the toxin. Tea would be better at the onset if you had the capability. I have never used this herb for snakebite, as I haven't had the need. It was routinely used for snake and poison insect stings by the native Americans who called it snake root. Note that only the root is used for this purpose, the foliage or flowers don't have the antitoxin properties. I have used it for multiple wasp stings in the above dosage. It reduced the sing within minutes and took all the pain away. Very fast acting in my body. As I recall all the swelling was gone within 2 hours and the redness was gone overnight. I think it neutralizes the toxin and so it should work on snake venom about the same, if the native tradition is correct. I don't offer this as a medical treatment or suggest that you try to treat snakebite without a doctors care. I am mentioning it as a possible help in a survival situation, which might help you to survive, until you can get to a physicians care. I carry a few hundred caps in my gear when I am in an area where snakes are know to exist. You might want to consider it as a possibility for a shtf situation.
 

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Wild Edibles Expert
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I watch which berries the birds eat. Usually a safe indicator of toxicity.
I hope you have good life insurance. Birds can eat arsenic and saponins that would kill us within a few heart beats. Eating berries the birds eat will at some point kill you. I can think of many that can, and I am not exaggerating or being funny. Also don't use squirrels either, they can eat strychnine. The chimp is the only animal we can imitate in diet that probably won't kill us.
 
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