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The Universal Edibility Test Discussion
#1
This subject comes up periodically on the forum. Here are come comments that cut to the heart of the matter.



If you can't understand what comes after this, let me make it simple.



The Universal Edibility Test can kill you. Don't try it. Period. Whatever you have read is wrong.



The comments were written by Tap Code, who is a U.S. Air Force SERE instructor. He speaks with the authority of one who teaches these things for a living. If you have any questions, you can always drop him a PM...



Bill



****************************************************************





Quote:(Dirttime Dude @ Nov 16 2006, 03:41 PM)



Don't get some of us started on the universal edibility test bullshit...



This is something that started in WW2 manuals and has refused to die or get you real sick over the years ..



Being in a survival situation is not the place to be testing some form of plant that you have no idea what it is..or how sick it may or may not get you...I don't need to be throwing up my guts , losing all my fluids, and unable to move for 2 days or dying 10 minutes before some team finds my poor scummystupidass..



Even in the best of conditions the edibility test is BS...Do not eat any plant unless you can Id the family 100%...meaning you are dead sure what it is...cuz when you are dead wrong you're dead and wrong.



that's my cactus and I'm sticking to it..



Dude >>>coveryerownsix<<<







Touche Dude...I could not agree with you more my friend---but from a different perspective!



I am really f%{:content:}amp;ing (pardon my German) sick of people putting the edibility test in civilian publications and here are the reasons:



1) The test was derived and is only intended for SURVIVAL IN CAPTIVITY situations---NEVER WAS THIS TEST INTENDED TO BE USED FOR GENERAL SURVIVAL PURPOSES!!!!! This IS NOT for civilian survival use!!!!! It is to be used in this case (for example): You are tied to a 10 foot rope deep in the Bolivian jungles and you have NO idea what plants you can eat after you have exhausted all your attempts to get good ANIMAL PROTEIN. When a captor expects (and hopes) you will die so they can blame it on you to the press (and not themselves) for propaganda reasons, you are left with little choice. Duty and Code of Conduct dictates that you MUST make every effort to escape and live.



I would NEVER do this unless those very, few specific circumstances demanded it of me to save myself or my fellow captives.



This test is only for military (and select military members at that) that have been properly trained in how to apply it. This brings me to my second point.......



2) NOT ONCE ON THIS FORUM OR IN ANY SURVIVAL PUBLICATION BY ANY AUTHOR HAVE I EVER SEEN THE TEST PROPERLY FORMATTED OR DISPLAYED IN IT'S ENTIRETY OR ACCURATELY................NOT ONCE. Nothing makes my blood boil more than to see some author quote the test and get it wrong---not only is he writing to the wrong audience, he is also getting the test and associated factual data completely wrong. This further perpetrates the myth of the "Edibility Test" to the general public. Conversely, I have seen authors that have completely discredited the test saying it is hogwash. They do not know the reason for the test or accurately describe or portray the test. These authors are RIGHT for ALL OF THE WRONG REASONS.



3) This test is consistently reviewed by panels of experts for the best possible methods and updated info. What you read in the general public is NOT what is taught---but as I said, it has never once been quoted in it's entirety and properly anywhere out there, so what does that point matter!!! Also, it is understood that this is a last-ditch, life or death test for "spooky" folks in "spooky" places (captivity) and is treated as such. These warfighters need the tools to help them in any scenario, but understand and accept that using it could mean death.



2) One thing the general public/authors out there do not know (besides how to incorrectly interpret/quote the test) is that it should only used after ALL other methods have been exhausted in a MILITARY CAPTIVITY ENVIRONMENT (there, I said it again!). This thought block will parallel what I said in the 1st point, but with a little more explanation.

* Eat protein first--BUGS AND ANIMALS ARE GOOD!!!!!----with some exceptions and in certain biomes, you will never find a wild plant to completely sustain you in a survival situation.

* Know and learn all of the global edibles!!!!! There are a bunch of them and chances are good you can find a few them wherever you are!

* Your survival kit is equipped with an area specific wild plant guide----use it!!!!!

* You will be fine without food for a loooonnggg time---you will hopefully be recovered/saved long before then.



Eating poison hemlock will not kill you in this test. Why you ask??? Because all umbellate flower plants are automatically omitted from the test. This is one of the rules. This, of course, leaves out other good plants such as fennel, cow parsnip, parsley, wild carrot, etc. but helps ensure a person in captivity does not even try it. All milky sap flowers are left out as well, unfortunately that also rules out some of our favorites in the chickory tribe and sunflower families, but alas, one bad apple will ruin it for all the good plants. That is why knowing the common global edibles helps the individual not only identify the proper plant, but understand the "why's" and "how's" to the exceptions (of which there are many!!!). This is how it is taught to those that NEED to know..............



3) Any British Author/Publication LOVES to put the test in their books---the one they quote is their method and completely screwed up. Their test is somewhat different than ours and DOES NOT EVEN HAVE A FRACTION of the safeguards ours does. If your Survival Guide is British (i.e. SAS Survival Guide, Oxford Press Books, etc.), try eating the book first!!!!! Once again, publications misleading the public into thinking this is a safe test intended for general use. IT IS NOT SAFE AND IT IS NOT GENERAL!!!!!!!!! I admire and respect British survival instructors/operators and their training, however the Brits got this one completely wrong............John "Lofty" Wiseman does not have to be a crack SAS shooter with his L85 IW Bullpup rifle to kill you......his test surely will. "But it is safe because he is SAS and has a British accent, right?????" WRONG!



4) This test is considered a short-cut in the general public. FOLKS--THIS TEST IS NOT A SHORTCUT. YOU GOTTA STUDY THE PLANTS!!! I hate all this new survival TV programming/books that still say this test is OK!!! STOP IT ALREADY!!!!!!!!!!! There is no exception to having good plant knowledge...............period.



I HAVE SAID IT ON THIS FORUM BEFORE AND I WILL SAY IT AGAIN------DO NOT USE THIS TEST-----PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!



I hope this helps!!! Maybe the moderators can cut 'n' past this paste and select it as a "hot key" on their keyboard so that whenever this subject comes up again they can automatically refer them back to here!!!!!!!!!!



Whatcha think----Muddy, Bill, Dude et al!?!?!?!?!?!



FWIW,

Tap

#2
I found it surprising Les would talk about using the edibility test on unknown plant! <img src='http://www.hoodswoods.net/IVB/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/unsure.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':unsure:' />



[url="http://www.hoodswoods.net/IVB/index.php?showtopic=10284&hl=edibility"]http://www.hoodswoods.net/IVB/index.php?sh...mp;hl=edibility[/url]



[url="http://www.hoodswoods.net/IVB/index.php?showtopic=11651&hl=edibility"]http://www.hoodswoods.net/IVB/index.php?sh...mp;hl=edibility[/url]
- Woodsmaster -



Guide my feet along the trail
#3
Shows up the fact that Les knows less than we thought or expected.



I have read the book and will not do a review on it for Wilderness Way. There are far more deserving books than this same old same old.

Much of it is just a rehash from older survival books. With new pictures of Les and some "tips" and etc.



Im sure the book will do well because of his show.



I tend to like the show overall but can nitpick some things.

At least the camera likes him and he comes off as a real guy . If only he would stop complaining all the time.

Sounds like a typical songwriter. (Inside joke)



Dude...check yer6now<<<
I have been where the hand of man has never set foot



Dont pick a fight with an old man. If he's too old to fight, he'll just kill you.
#4
I strongly believe in the Universal edibility test.



If Karen puts it on my plate I will eat it. I have never failed with this concept.



It's funny that folks are so wound up about this. It's a test that got most of our forefathers here before us. Someone tries it, it doesn't make them sick or kill them, try it yourself. <img src='http://www.hoodswoods.net/IVB/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/wink.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Wink' />



Ron
Hind sight is an exact science until historians or politicians get involved.



Nothing is so simple that it can't be misunderstood.



I have regular bowel movements, I just wish they were voluntary...



My dad started walking five miles a day when he was 60. Now he's 91, and we don't know where he is.



Understand?
#5
Quote:Someone tries it, it doesn't make them sick or kill them, try it yourself. <img src='http://www.hoodswoods.net/IVB/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/wink.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Wink' />





But isn't that also how the first marriage's got started? <img src='http://www.hoodswoods.net/IVB/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/laugh.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':lol:' />







BTW, I'm really just kidding...my wife and I are coming up on 27 years together. And I've only made her cry twice....and boy did I pay for it. <img src='http://www.hoodswoods.net/IVB/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Big Grin' />
"Machines are gonna fail. And the system is gonna fail. Then...then...survival. He who has the ability to survive. That's the game...survival." - Lewis Medlock





"No amount of force can control a free man, a man whose mind is free no, not the rack, not fission bombs, not anything. You can't conquer a free man; the most you can do is kill him." -- Robert Heinlein



-- SEND LAWYERS GUNS AND MONEY --
#6
I thought he said in an episode that he didn't know edible plants all that well, or maybe he said that he heard his guide tell him what was ok to eat. Either way... so he's not an expert at everything. That's ok.



The edibility test always seemed like a good scientific idea, but took so much time, doing it in any survival situation was just not worth it (time and risk factor). If you weren't 100% sure what it was, just don't eat it.
#7
[quote name='Motman241' post='314691' date='Jan 1 2009, 12:37 PM']The edibility test always seemed like a good scientific idea, but took so much time, doing it in any survival situation was just not worth it (time and risk factor). If you weren't 100% sure what it was, just don't eat it.[/quote]

IMHO the edibility test is a crock of BS, there are plants out there if a very small portion is ingested will or could cause death. By putting in a book this test I feel there will be people out there that will believe they can run around and test plants this way with no possible recourse except a possible rash. This is irresponsible IMH (I know it has be published over and over but that doesn't make it right).
- Woodsmaster -



Guide my feet along the trail
#8
One thing about this discussion that always bothered me... and this is NOT a defense of the test...



Are there any actual statistics to show that it has done more harm than good? i.e are there incidents where the test actually killed someone? Are there incidents where it saved someone?



Theoretically it can be very dangerous.



Theoretically it can provide sustenance in a dire situation. In a dire situation you could be dead or ineffective anyway so what is the cost/benefit of doing or not doing it?



Practically there is no difference between a trained person and an unknown plant and an untrained person and the same plant.



I have quite a bit of jungle time and though there are a few plants that could hurt you there are many more that are the food of the Gods. The test is the only way I know to get some idea of what is usable unless you have a guide to help you. We all know that different species find different plants dangerous but generally if you see the husks of plants that have been harvested by monkeys, you are safe. First you apply the test....



I watched the indigs if Brazil, Peru, Vietnam, Cambodia, Chile, Ecuador etc taste things on the tip of their tongue and then walk on. Perhaps they are more highly trained to taste poisons because they have experience at it.



What I am arguing against is the universal condemnation of a technique that exists because it has worked for time immemorial. In some places I wouldn't even dream of using it but in others, no sweat.



It's just one more tool to be used cautiously and IF someone wants to taste a plant it is best to have rules for doing it. It's a bit like teaching a caveman to walk across a busy street in Tehran, against the light. With no rules he will die surely, with rules he has a chance at survival.



You be the judge but I for one am not going to just toss this set of rules out because there are a few exceptional plants than can kill in minutes, or even in days.



Ron
Hind sight is an exact science until historians or politicians get involved.



Nothing is so simple that it can't be misunderstood.



I have regular bowel movements, I just wish they were voluntary...



My dad started walking five miles a day when he was 60. Now he's 91, and we don't know where he is.



Understand?
#9
The 'universal edibility test' has been around for a long time... and it does in fact work!



The test is still taught by the military survival schools (at least Army and Air Force. I haven't been to the Navy school).



The universal edibility test was re-validated with the update of the Army survival manual (FM 3-05.70) in May 2002.



Remember that the universal edibility test specifically cautions about certain plants...



"9-16. To avoid potentially poisonous plants, stay away from any wild or unknown plants that have—



Milky or discolored sap.



Beans, bulbs, or seeds inside pods.



A bitter or soapy taste.



Spines, fine hairs, or thorns.



Foliage that resembles dill, carrot, parsnip, or parsley.



An almond scent in woody parts and leaves.



Grain heads with pink, purplish, or black spurs.



A three-leafed growth pattern."




For those of you who object to the universal edibility test... what test do you recommend if you are in a survival situation in an area where you have not learned about the specific plants in that area?





Cheers,

Mick
==================================

Quaeras De Dubiis Legem Bene Discere Si Vis

(Inquire into them to know what things are true)



* * * * *



Scientia Est Potentia
#10
In a survival situation, wouldn't your efforts be better focused trying to catch insects, fish, and trapping or snaring animals, instead of tasting/trying plants which probably don't have a whole lot of much needed calories anyway?
Hoodlum formerly known as "molawns"



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"An investment in knowledge pays the best interest."



"Rebellion against tyrants is obedience to God."



"Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn."



~Benjamin Franklin





"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."



~ Mark Twain





"What lies behind us, and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us."



~Ralph Waldo Emerson
#11
[quote name='Dirttime Dude' post='314653' date='Jan 1 2009, 01:51 PM']Sounds like a typical songwriter. (Inside joke)[/quote]



Dude! I'm wounded! <img src='http://www.hoodswoods.net/IVB/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/wink.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Wink' />



[quote name='Mick Chesbro' post='314777' date='Jan 1 2009, 07:05 PM']Grain heads with pink, purplish, or black spurs.[/quote]



Those are for fun, not food. <img src='http://www.hoodswoods.net/IVB/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/wink.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Wink' />



Seriously, though, that accurately describes not just ergot, but huitlacoche. Do we miss good food sometimes by applying the rules? Yep. But I rarely find standing grain in this area that doesn't show something that looks like ergot spikes. I think it would definitely be better to be safe.
Men are, that they might have joy.
#12
i think we have onboard analyzing faculties for detecting poisons, etc.



i usually give whatever it is a couple good sniffs, and my little rat brain says "eat" or "don't eat."



as to staying alive off of land plants - come on, a healthy person has weeks before that is an issue.





i don't eat fungae, but i am also not afraid of it.



wherever their is fungae, there is usually a whole bunch of other palatable stuff, fiddleheads, inner bark, ants, etc. - i know that isn't always so, but it is universally constant in my experience, so i ain't gonna worry about it.





there is so much out there that you can eat - yes, be as careful as possible, given the situation, but don't add paranoia to your current dilemma....









brother les has that gay tone of voice i can't listen to for long periods in a man, so he is out of luck as far as i am concerned.



makes me wanna stab him in the nut sack with a testosterone shot, screaming "Man UP!!!!!"





if you are really terrified about possibly starving to death on a solo, just bring along a dog or person that you are not overly-fond of.



burp.



vec
#13
[quote name='vector001' post='314825' date='Jan 1 2009, 06:04 PM']brother les has that gay tone of voice i can't listen to for long periods in a man, so he is out of luck as far as i am concerned.



makes me wanna stab him in the nut sack with a testosterone shot, screaming "Man UP!!!!!"

vec[/quote]



I like it when you talk Gay <img src='http://www.hoodswoods.net/IVB/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/thumbsup.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':thumbsup:' />



Griz
Hopefully the S won't HTF and I pray every day that it won't. It would not be fun.



I have a high art..I wound with cruelty, all who wound me...Archillocus; 650 B.C.
#14
[quote name='vector001' post='314825' date='Jan 1 2009, 06:04 PM']if you are really terrified about possibly starving to death on a solo, just bring along a dog or person that you are not overly-fond of.



burp.



vec[/quote]



Have trouble finding hiking partners do ya? <img src='http://www.hoodswoods.net/IVB/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/unsure.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':unsure:' />



Johnbar
#15
[quote name='Grizzly Dave' post='314827' date='Jan 1 2009, 06:25 PM'][quote name='vector001' post='314825' date='Jan 1 2009, 06:04 PM']brother les has that gay tone of voice i can't listen to for long periods in a man, so he is out of luck as far as i am concerned.



makes me wanna stab him in the nut sack with a testosterone shot, screaming "Man UP!!!!!"

vec[/quote]



I like it when you talk Gay <img src='http://www.hoodswoods.net/IVB/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/thumbsup.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':thumbsup:' />



Griz

[/quote]



i like it when you listen to me, my mighty mountie mushcakes-man.



you ready for the rare and beautiful Burrowing Moose hunt...?



....i could use a hiking buddy....



manly smooches,



vec


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