Edible Weeds for the Zombie Apocalypse: Have Fun. Don’t Die.
If you’re foraging for survival food during the Zombie Apocalypse, you might want to skip precautions. Don’t.
Slow down and doublecheck that field guide. Dead is dead, whether a zombie eats you or you accidentally eat meadow deathcamus (Zigadenus venenosus).
Eating weeds, wild plants, and ornamentals is terrific fun if you know what you’re doing. Weeds are everywhere, definitionally, so you’ll soon learn you’re surrounded by food.
Even if you know your weeds, take precautions: Bring a buddy, and try only a little at a time. My pelt turned red and itched after I ate some thistle (Cirsium sp.). Fortunately, it cleared in two days with antihistamines.
DISCLAIMERS AND ADVICE: (You knew this was coming. You should be able to recite it from memory.)
This column is written solely for your edutainment. If you croak (or barf or get spots or otherwise fall ill, fall overboard, fall into disgrace, or fall on hard times) from any part of this info, it is totally on you or whoever tried to kill you.
All wine pairings are the responsibility of the forager or chef.
- Be 100% certain of the plant species before you stick it in your pie-hole. Similar species may have different toxicity.
- Eat only the plant parts described, and prepare them as recommended. If you can’t cook, buy a corndog on your way back and throw out the weeds when you get home.
Even if you follow my directions, I do not guarantee safety, palatability, or Zagat ratings.
- If you are pregnant, have kidney or liver disease, or have any other medical problems whatsoever, before and/or after eating weeds, contact your retirement-fund-sucking medical doctor (as in MD not naturopath, chiropractor, psychic, or astrologer–and no, I don’t group them as one; deal with it).
- If you’re allergic to pollen, don’t pick or eat anything that’s pollinating. If you’re allergic to bees or other Hymenoptera, don’t collect plants in bloom. And take your effing EpiPen. But I’ve told you that a thousand times if I’ve told you once. Love, Mom
- Check with your pharmacist about drug interactions. Be sure to admit you also smoke crack.
- Dose makes the poison. Eat only a little at first. Have antihistamines handy (if your doc recommends) and 911 on speed-dial.
- Even if you prefer pesticide-laden foods, don’t eat weeds with toxic soils or pesticides. That is, if it smells like dog feces, it’s probably growing in dog feces. Take my word on that.
- IF YOU DID NOT NOTICE THIS LIST STARTED RENUMBERING ITSELF IN THE MIDDLE, YOU ARE NOT FIT TO DRIVE MUCH LESS FORAGE. Come down off your high, or call a psychiatrist or mathematician.
Have fun, and also–well, just have fun.