food gathering

Food Gathering: 25 Edible Plants to Forage for Survival

So you’re thinking of becoming a survivalist? Great! The key to surviving in any situation is being prepared. There are plenty of things to worry about when it comes to survival — but food gathering shouldn’t be one of them.

There are tons of edible plants that grow all around us, and knowing which ones to pick can mean the difference between life and death. So whether you’re a seasoned prepper or just starting out, read on to learn more about 25 edible plants you can forage for survival.

gathering food


Hunter Gatherer Groups and Hunter Gatherer Cultures

Hunter gatherer cultures used to be the thing before we developed more modern ways of food gathering such as with agriculture. Most hunter gatherers are adept with hunting, fishing and searching for edible plants.

In human history, early humans have food gathering societies that don’t make use of permanent settlements. Because of the economic activity of foraging, early native Americans and their children would move from place to place to hunt and forage the land.

They were excellent hunters gathering meat from deer and other animals in nature. In modern times, this skill and knowledge of foraging and food gathering is seemingly lost and somewhat deemed irrelevant.

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Why Learn Foraging?

However, the world today would still make great use of the knowledge to search for edible plants for survival. A person can never know when wild foods become the only option to survive.

To continue living when in a dire situation, the knowledge and skill of a hunter gatherer is intended to keep a person or a group of people alive by searching, hunting and gathering food.

Without this knowledge, humans wouldn’t know what to do in a survival situation. If the existence of human race then would depend on this knowledge and skill, it’s important to preserve the ability of us as hunter- food gatherers.

Most Hunter Gatherers Today

Hunter gatherer societies today still exist. However, they are in danger not because of their lack of capability but by external threats to their land and way of life.

The Neolithic revolution was when early humans stopped their ways of being nomadic hunter gatherers. By this time, they started making use of permanent settlements. This was when they started having domesticated food sources.

According to the National Geographic Society, hunter gatherers tend to have a size of until their extended family up to about 100 people. Other reference data considered complete mentioned they tend to rely on hunting bigger than smaller game for food gathering and their material goods are typically made of plants and that they don’t have a text language.

Today, people would likely depend on mobile apps free tools on their bookmarks sign to know how to act in a survival situation. A farlex clipart collection, periodicals archive, word dictionary or one click in a website or log page can’t help you in a survival situation.



The leaves of primrose can be added to salads or cooked as a vegetable, while the flowers can be used to make primrose syrup, jelly, or tea. In addition to being a source of food, primroses are also a valuable source of medicine.

The flowers can be used to make a topical ointment for treating wounds, and the leaves can be brewed into a tea that is effective for treating colds and flu.

Stinging Nettles

Stinging nettles are packed with vitamins and minerals, including iron, calcium, and magnesium. They’re also a good source of protein, making them an ideal survival food. What’s more, stinging nettles can be eaten raw or cooked, making them a versatile survival tool.

Of course, the biggest advantage of stinging nettles is that they’re easy to find in the wild. They grow in most temperate climates, and they’re often found near bodies of water.

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Ox-Eye Daisy

The ox-eye daisy is a favorite among survivalists. This hardy plant can be found in fields and meadows across North America, and its white flowers make it easy to spot. The entire plant is edible, but the leaves and flowers are the most nutritious parts.

Greater Knapweed

Greater Knapweed is high in vitamins C and A, making it a good choice for survivalists looking to boost their immune system. But beware: the plant can cause stomach upset if consumed in large quantities, so it’s best to eat only what you need.


Elderberries are packed with nutrients and have a wide range of medicinal properties. They can be eaten raw or cooked, and can also be used to make tea, jam, and wine. The berries grow in woods and hedgerows, and can often be found near streams and ponds.



The plant has a sweet, fruity smell (hence the name) and can be eaten raw or cooked. Pineappleweed is a good source of vitamins A and C, and can be used to make tea, salads, and even survival bread.

Crab Apple

This small fruit is often sour and unpalatable raw, but it can be made into a delicious jelly or cider. Crab apples are also a good source of Vitamin C, making them valuable for survivalists looking to ward off scurvy.

Poppy Seed

Poppy seeds are found in the pods of opium poppies, and they’re packed with nutrients. They’re a good source of fiber, protein, and healthy fats, and they contain vitamins and minerals like iron, magnesium, and zinc.


The young shoots of cattails can be eaten raw or cooked, while the pollen can be used to make flour. In addition, cattails can provide an important source of moisture in a survival situation.


Acorns can be eaten raw or roasted, and they can also be ground into a flour that can be used to make bread or other dishes. What’s more, acorns are a great source of protein, fat, and carbohydrates – all of which are essential for survival.

Japanese Knotweed

Japanese knotweed has a peppery taste and can be eaten raw or cooked. The young shoots are the best part to eat, but the leaves and roots can also be used. Just be sure to cook them well, as they can be tough.

Hickory Nuts

hickory nuts

These little nuggets of goodness are not only an excellent source of protein and fat, but they also contain high levels of vitamins and minerals. Plus, they have a relatively long shelf life, making them an ideal survival food.

Wild Asparagus

Asparagus is a perennial plant, meaning it will come back year after year in the same spot, making it a reliable source of food for survivalists. The young shoots are the edible part of the plant and are best harvested in the springtime.

Yard Plantain

Yard plantain is a common weed that can be found in many lawns and gardens. But don’t let its unassuming appearance fool you – this plant is packed with nutrients that can help keep you alive in a survival situation.

Black Walnut

The black walnut is a large tree that can be found in North America. The nuts it produces are edible, and high in protein and fat. They can be eaten raw, roasted, or ground into a flour.

Pine Nuts

Pine nuts are the edible seeds of certain pine trees, and they’re a great source of protein and essential nutrients. They can be eaten raw, roasted, or ground into a flour, making them a versatile survival food.

foraging definition

Other Foraging You Can Eat

  • Clovers

These humble plants are actually a valuable source of nutrition in the wild. All parts of the clover plant are edible, and they’re a good source of vitamins A and C. Clovers can be eaten raw or cooked, and they can also be used to make a survivalist tea.

  • Dandelions


Dandelions are one of the most ubiquitous and easily identifiable plants in North America. They’re also one of the most edible, with every part of the plant being usable in some way.

  • Purslane

This low-growing weed is often found in lawns and gardens, and it’s a good source of nutrients. The leaves and stems are edible, and they can be eaten raw or cooked. Purslane is also high in omega-3 fatty acids, making it a valuable survival food.

  • Fireweed

Fireweed is a common plant found in North America, and it gets its name from the fact that it often grows in areas that have been recently burned by wildfires. The plant is easily recognizable thanks to its bright pink flowers, and it’s also edible from root to stem.

And while fireweed may not be the most nutritious plant out there, it can certainly help keep you alive in a pinch.

  • Chicory

The entire plant is edible – roots, leaves, and flowers. The leaves can be eaten raw or cooked, and have a slightly bitter taste. The flowers are also edible, and make a nice addition to salads. The roots can be roasted and ground into a coffee substitute.

They can also be boiled and eaten like mashed potatoes. In survival situations, Chicory is an excellent plant to forage for food. It’s easy to identify, and is high in vitamins and minerals. In addition, Chicory is a versatile plant that can be enjoyed in many different ways.

  • Wild Alliums

Alliums are packed with nutrients like vitamins A and C, potassium, and iron. And best of all, they’re relatively easy to find in the wild. If you’re lucky enough to find some wild alliums, you can eat them raw or cooked.

They make a great addition to salads or soups. Just be aware that they can have a strong flavor.

  • Beech Nuts

Beech nuts are a valuable source of calories and fat, making them ideal for survival situations. Of course, you’ll need to shell the nuts before you can eat them. But with a little practice, you’ll be able to crack them open and enjoy their rich, nutty flavor.

  • Seaweeds


If you want to be part of or you already are part of hunter gatherer groups, you must already be familiar with hunting, gathering and fishing. If you are nearby certain bodies of water, seaweeds can be available for the picking for you.

Seaweeds are packed with nutrients and calories, and they can be a valuable source of food in a survival situation. What’s more, they’re relatively easy to find and gather.

  • Cactus

If you plan on food gathering, a cactus, can be an option. There are actually many different types of cactus, and some of them are packed with nutrients that can help you survive in the wild.