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The Universal Edibility Test Discussion
#16
I'm partly with Motman (takes too much time) and partly with Ron (test some, preferably by the indigenous).



I don't toss out the edibility test whole-house, but I prefer to do my homework before venturing into a new biosphere.

That includes taking along a fieldguide or some plant ID cards. Best is of course a native to show (and chow) the

edible ones and warn against the toxic ones. Also, they know WHICH PARTS are edible and which poisonous, or the

proper procedure to render edible, like most manioc is poisonous unboilt, other plants' leaves are loaded with oxalic acid

but the root tuber good after roasting/boiling etc.



Same goes for "get clean drinking water out of jungle vines". Tough luck on that one if it contains prussic acid, as

happened to me. Nice projectile vomiting and retching lying curled up on the jungle floor, thanks!



Nah, in dire circumstances, lemme just roll over logs and rocks to get grubs and earth worms and stick to the known plants

while expanding my knowledge through plant guides and internet fora. After all, chance favors a prepared mind.
*croon* Wherever I sling my hammock, that's my home...



كافر
#17
Personally, I've always liked the UET.



Some people just can't or won't stomach insects or grubs (vomiting up what you just tried to forcefeed yourself will only make a situation worse).



Some people are not coordinated enough to build an effective figure 4 trap.



Some people just don't want to kill woodland creatures. Not even for their own survival. And if they did, some of those people wouldn't know how to clean and dress a critter, innywayz.



Not me, however...I wanna watch the world burn...



The UET is like the rule of 3's. Memorize it and you have a simple, effective tool that might help you if you're stuck somewhere with no earthly idea of what to eat.



It's nice to know, but I'll agree with the always fabulous and flamboyant Vecinator. A normally healthy person would have a week or so before they had to worry about food (the headaches and queasiness are a bitch, though- I did an experiment a week or two ago...glad I decided to do it at HOME).



I am curious though, Big R said:



Quote:In some places I wouldn't even dream of using it but in others, no sweat.



What places would you not use it?

It ain't quite so universal if there are some areas that it's not a good idea to use the Quasi-Universal Edibility Test, eh? <img src='http://www.hoodswoods.net/IVB/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/wink3.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':wink3:' />











XOXO,

Team Princess.
Ron Hood 6/21/11. God needed another good one for his outfit.



Plan ahead. Bring a machete.



"Then I remembered: America is afraid of cap guns, which no longer exist. Of bottle rockets and pocketknives and Islamo-Mahmuds curled beneath the bed. And America is afraid of children. Puzzled boys of eleven are led from school in handcuffs for possession of a water pistol. A cop who would do it ought to go into hiding from embarrassment, but nothing embarrases anyone any longer. Ye gods and little catfish, I thought. Bob’s right. The country is afraid. Of everything." -- Fred Reed. Free Fall: Conversations with Bob. 2010. http://www.fredoneverything.net
#18
[quote name='Ron Hood' post='314771' date='Jan 1 2009, 03:44 PM']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[/quote]

Thanks for your input and I understand what you are saying, if you are in a true emergency and your life is on the line then you must use all you have available (knowledge, materials, etc) to survive.
- Woodsmaster -



Guide my feet along the trail
#19
When I first learned the UET the caveat was that we would not likely use it to test every leaf, bush and flower we find. It is meant for attractive food sources. Let's say I'm in the highlands in Chile like I was when I saw this green, knobby, spiky looking fruit on a tree. I did not know what it was at the time. I was hungry, having found a small town I planned to buy food at, closed due to a holiday or something. I was NOT going to go about slaughtering chickens and sheep or eating bugs and as I walked toward another town a dozen clicks and a night away I saw this tree with fruit. I pulled one off and started the process. Little did I know it but I'd just found Cherimoya.



[url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cherimoya"]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cherimoya[/url]



The flavor pretty much reassured me immediately but I went through the first hour or so... tongue, taste and bite. I ended up having three of them for breakfast. as I said earlier "Food of the Gods".



This has happened to me several times. Those of you who have see the Jungle video have actually seen times when I applied the test to plants I was shown by my native guides. One plant in particular was a pineapple sized melon thing with dangerous spikes hanging from a vine in a tree. They cut it open and it was filled with little compatments containing something that looked like custard. I was very dubious. It also had a smell I didn't like. I believe now that it was a cousin of the Durian plant. Point was that even if an indig shows you something is edible, it might not be for you... the test is the place to start. That "custard plant" was absolutely delicious.



I hate to say this but it has been my experience but the less travelled a person is in the worlds wilds the more adamant they are in condemning this skill if told to do so by another. Vec definately has travelled and he and I have agreed in the past that this is a technique worth knowing.



Where would I likely not use this skill? Pacific Northwest.



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?
#20
[quote name='Ron Hood' post='315044' date='Jan 2 2009, 12:57 PM']When I first learned the UET the caveat was that we would not likely use it to test every leaf, bush and flower we find. It is meant for attractive food sources. Let's say I'm in the highlands in Chile like I was when I saw this green, knobby, spiky looking fruit on a tree. I did not know what it was at the time. I was hungry, having found a small town I planned to buy food at, closed due to a holiday or something. I was NOT going to go about slaughtering chickens and sheep or eating bugs and as I walked toward another town a dozen clicks and a night away I saw this tree with fruit. I pulled one off and started the process. Little did I know it but I'd just found Cherimoya.



[url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cherimoya"]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cherimoya[/url]



The flavor pretty much reassured me immediately but I went through the first hour or so... tongue, taste and bite. I ended up having three of them for breakfast. as I said earlier "Food of the Gods".



This has happened to me several times. Those of you who have see the Jungle video have actually seen times when I applied the test to plants I was shown by my native guides. One plant in particular was a pineapple sized melon thing with dangerous spikes hanging from a vine in a tree. They cut it open and it was filled with little compatments containing something that looked like custard. I was very dubious. It also had a smell I didn't like. I believe now that it was a cousin of the Durian plant. Point was that even if an indig shows you something is edible, it might not be for you... the test is the place to start. That "custard plant" was absolutely delicious.



I hate to say this but it has been my experience but the less travelled a person is in the worlds wilds the more adamant they are in condemning this skill if told to do so by another. Vec definately has travelled and he and I have agreed in the past that this is a technique worth knowing.



Where would I likely not use this skill? Pacific Northwest.



Ron









[/quote]





Very interesting...reading about that fruit has me thinking about bugging the local food magnates about ordering it...sounds like the flavor is out-effing-standing.



Pacific NW...why's that? (I've never been to the other side of the US...I don't know a whole lot about their flora)
Ron Hood 6/21/11. God needed another good one for his outfit.



Plan ahead. Bring a machete.



"Then I remembered: America is afraid of cap guns, which no longer exist. Of bottle rockets and pocketknives and Islamo-Mahmuds curled beneath the bed. And America is afraid of children. Puzzled boys of eleven are led from school in handcuffs for possession of a water pistol. A cop who would do it ought to go into hiding from embarrassment, but nothing embarrases anyone any longer. Ye gods and little catfish, I thought. Bob’s right. The country is afraid. Of everything." -- Fred Reed. Free Fall: Conversations with Bob. 2010. http://www.fredoneverything.net
#21
[quote name='Ron Hood' post='314678' date='Jan 1 2009, 03:11 PM']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.





Ron[/quote]

Holy CRAP that's funny!!!! <img src='http://www.hoodswoods.net/IVB/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/laugh.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':lol:' /> <img src='http://www.hoodswoods.net/IVB/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/laugh.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':lol:' /> <img src='http://www.hoodswoods.net/IVB/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/laugh.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':lol:' />
We have the right to our opinion but not to the facts.
#22
[quote name='vector001' post='314825' date='Jan 1 2009, 09:04 PM']i think we have onboard analyzing faculties for detecting poisons, etc.



vec[/quote]





I agree. Evolution has in fact created some characteristics to our species that do help in our survival. For example, children today still become picky eaters when they start to walk until age 4 or 5. Mobility gave the abo child an opportunity to put the "wrong" thing in his/her mouth so in response during those first couple of years, their taste buds would be more particular for eating just those "known" foods. So for those with toddlers, their picky eating habits are by design and that's why they only want the fries! <img src='http://www.hoodswoods.net/IVB/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Smile' />



Adding on to the UET discussion, which I believe effectiveness increases with ones awareness ~ find it interesting that for medicinal purposes, primitive cultures rely heavily on the DOCTRINE OF SIGNATURES. This can be seen in a LOT of Cherokee remedies and still prevails here in Appalachia today. In my humble opinion, the eastern band of the Cherokee are still some of the best herbalists in the world.
Flint Knapping - so easy a caveman can do it!
#23
Doctrine of Signatures



[url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doctrine_of_signatures"]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doctrine_of_signatures[/url]



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?
#24
Here is a cool excerpt that puts the DOS in context too...



[url="http://books.google.com/books?id=83To12NoFa4C&pg=PA55&lpg=PA55&dq=doctrine+of+signatures+cherokee&source=bl&ots=wI_oL85MjE&sig=CjegUHWLG5ME-RLXP7TQitZERLk&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=4&ct=result#PPA56,M1"]http://books.google.com/books?id=83To12NoF...result#PPA56,M1[/url]





Also, for any east coasters interested in learning edible/medicinal plants in depth with the tradition of DOS, Ila and Mark are awesome teachers...



[url="http://www.wildcrafting.com/"]http://www.wildcrafting.com/[/url]



[url="http://home.alltel.net/medbow/"]http://home.alltel.net/medbow/[/url]
Flint Knapping - so easy a caveman can do it!
#25
I would tend to agree with Ron and a few others here...



The UET is not a bad thing if used properly. Of course it would be wonderful if one knew every edible plant in the entire world. But I'm not sure that is even possible let alone practical. For the test to be effective.. Mick has already given a list of no-no's. That list alone narrows the field to almost no poisonous plants.



Best is to know what the poisonous plants in your area are! Everything else is fair game at that point! There are relatively few poisonous (or at least deadly) plants in the US compared to the edible ones. Next.. there must be enough of the plant to make a difference. If you were to come across one single plant in an area.. why would you bother doing the test? But if you have a whole tree of fruit like Ron did.. or a field full of a wildflower it would be good to know if it could feed you!



Knowing that this plant probably isn't poisonous... knowing that there is enough to sustain me.. then I would do the UET. It is actually pretty safe in fact! It gives the plant time to react to the skin.. to the mouth.. and to the brain before you ingest any.



Just My Opinion..



- Ben
Ben Tziyon



http://www.yhwhswordoffaith.com/WAS/Survival.htm

http://www.youtube.com/BushcraftOnFire



You can live for 3 Minutes without Air...

For 3 Hours without Shelter...

For 3 Days without Water...

For 3 Weeks without Food...

But you can't live at all without Faith!
#26
[quote name='Ron Hood' post='315044' date='Jan 2 2009, 09:57 AM']Where would I likely not use this skill? Pacific Northwest.



Ron[/quote]



Why not the pacific northwest?

Johnbar
#27
[quote name='johnbar' post='315203' date='Jan 2 2009, 04:24 PM'][quote name='Ron Hood' post='315044' date='Jan 2 2009, 09:57 AM']Where would I likely not use this skill? Pacific Northwest.



Ron[/quote]



Why not the pacific northwest?

Johnbar

[/quote]



There is a nice selection of poisonous plants there, more than many places. If I didn't know the safe one's, just the incidence of dangerous plants, I'd leave everything that didn't look like a watermelon alone.



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?
#28
[quote name='Mick Chesbro' post='314777' date='Jan 1 2009, 04:05 PM']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[/quote]



Mick, the above is NOT correct -- which I why I always say: Learn the plants, or at least, the totally edible plant FAMILIES. I have written about it so often that I don't want to repeat it ... but blackberries have 3-leaf pattern, nettles are edible, sow thistle has white sap but you can eat it, etc. etc. etc.



So, FOOD is usually a LOW priority. If you must eat in survival situation, eat bugs, fish, birds, animals, etc. You should all read the Appendix to my Guide to Wild Food book and this section of my How to Survive Anywhere book, where this is discussed. But, briefly, the entire mustard family is OK, all seaweeds (if fresh) are OK, all acorns OK (once leached), all grass seed OK, all cattail OK, entire Goosefoot family OK, etc. LOTS of OK plants groups.



But the so-called universal test, while the odds are definitely in your favor (that is, MOST plants will not kill you, might get you sick, but are likely to be OK). BUT, one hemlock (and many others of related and unrelated toxins) will kill quickly, or suffocate.



Now, that said, taste (once properly understood -- not the time to figure this out in a survival situation) provides a clue to the chemical constituency of the plant. There are the 4 basic taste sensations, and the many variations, and they do indicate the checmicals in the plant. See Tom Elpel's Botany in a Day for some of this, but it is also basic chemistry. Still-- if you have the luxury of reading this, and talking about this, you have the luxury to learn one new plant tonight before you go to bed. Learn one new plant, or plant family, a week (not so hard) and in a year you know 50 -- more than the average JOe, and plenty to fall back on in survival situtation, like when comet hits the earth, etc.



Let's keep all this in context too -- my goal for 2009, for example, is to grasp that the Matrix is real....



all fo rnow... christopher
#29
[quote name='Ron Hood' post='315227' date='Jan 2 2009, 05:09 PM'][quote name='johnbar' post='315203' date='Jan 2 2009, 04:24 PM'][quote name='Ron Hood' post='315044' date='Jan 2 2009, 09:57 AM']Where would I likely not use this skill? Pacific Northwest.



Ron[/quote]



Why not the pacific northwest?

Johnbar

[/quote]



There is a nice selection of poisonous plants there, more than many places. If I didn't know the safe one's, just the incidence of dangerous plants, I'd leave everything that didn't look like a watermelon alone.



Ron

[/quote]



Thanks

Johnbar
#30
Hi Christopher,



Well... you are certainly far more knowledgeable about edible plants and such than I, but the above is the doctrine taught to our soldiers and aviators in SERE (military survival school).



The core doctrine was reviewed in 2001/2002 and the Army survival manual was republished at that time. It still contains the universal edibility test.



The cadre at SERE take great care to teach their students how to come home alive. If it doesn't work, why would it continue to be taught, and why would we not see reports of its failure through CALL (Center for Army Lessons Learned) or like departments in the other services?



Cheers,

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

Quaeras De Dubiis Legem Bene Discere Si Vis

(Inquire into them to know what things are true)



* * * * *



Scientia Est Potentia


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