Listed below are five common wild edibles that can be found in urban areas nationwide. They're extremely easy to identify and they're versatile ingredients, qualities that make them good survival foods. (h/t to PreppersWill.com)
Acorns are a protein-rich survival food. They're especially abundant in cities because oak trees are planted as street and landscape trees in urban environments. You can easily collect large quantities of acorns, too.
Acorns contain chemicals called tannins, which make them taste bitter. To remove the tannins, soak the acorns in water for several hours. Once the water turns brown, drain and rinse the acorns. This method allows the acorns to retain most of their nutrients.
Spread them on a baking tray to dry or dry them in the oven at a low temperature. Once dry, you can eat acorns whole or grind them to make flour.
Sumac is a flowering plant that grows throughout North America. You can easily identify it by its clusters of red berries, which persist through winter. These berries can be made into a drink rich in vitamin C. Collect sumac berries early in the season as they lose flavor the longer they're exposed to the elements.
Dandelion is one of the most common weeds found in gardens. Most of its parts are edible and nutritious. Its stem, for instance, contain calcium, iron and vitamin C, while the roots and leaves are rich in fiber. Dandelion leaves can be added to salads, while its yellow flowers can be used to make tea. (Related: Survival foraging: How to identify and use dandelion, a versatile weed.)
When roses are pollinated and allowed to remain on the plant, they produce rose hips – red, bulbous fruits that contain seeds. Rosehips often appear in late summer and fall. They are rich in vitamin C and can be used to make tea, soup and glazes.
In the summer, cattails resemble hotdogs on a stick. Even in the fall and winter, cattails are easily recognizable. Several parts of the plant are edible, particularly its starchy, potato-like rhizomes.
If you're new to foraging, take note of the following tips so that you can safely forage for wild edible plants:
Learn more about foraging for wild edibles at GreenLiving.news.