Tag Archives: food

survival skills: raw meat

Eating Raw Meat. Is it Safe?

Have you ever seen Bear Grylls eating raw meat in his TV shows? Generally, he’s lost in a wild place and  he chooses to hunt and set some traps or he finds an already dead animal.At this point, all he has to do is eating this food. He could set up a fire and prepare food but this act could take him one hour or more, so he decide to consume it uncooked. Is it a savvy move?

Eating Parasites and Bacteria!

Even if meat you procure in the great outdoors may seem better compared to what you purchase in the supermarket, that does not mean it’s sufficiently safe to eat uncooked due to the presence of parasites and bacteria.

Here a short list of bacteria and parasites that may be on your wild menu:

  • Trichinella worms can be carried by numerous wild mammals
  • Brucellosis
  • Sarcoptic mange (Sarcoptes scabiei; Notoedres douglasi) Meat is edible but heavy infestations can result in secondary bacterial infections. Avoid skin contact with carcasses as transient infections by Sarcoptes scabiei is possible.
  • Escherichia coli
  • Larva migrans (Baylisascaris procyonis). Avoid exposure to fecal material and intestinal tract contents because larvated eggs are infectious for humans if accidentally ingested.
  • Tularemia can be passed while you’re butchering the animal. It’s common in rabbits.
  • Prions. They are like the infectious agent that provokes mad cow disease. Squirrels carry prions in their bones and their brain, cooking them can’t completely destroy the prions so NEVER eat brain and marrows.
  • Lyme Disease is trasmitted by ticks (sometimes called deer ticks). You’ll get it dressing the game while eating meat is safe.

External Analysis

Inspect the outer layer of the carcass, using gloves or a stick to turn it. When performing external analysis, it’s fundamental to understand that the unhealthy look of an animal may be induced by other means, not only by transmittable disease. Aging, poor or lack of nutrition, physical injuries, and physical defects that hinder food gathering and consuming tend to be the other variables that can be responsible for this sort of appearance.

  • Do the feathers, hairs, shell or any other body coverings seem in good health?
  • Is the animal in good shape or is it rather emanciated or skinny?
  • Are unnatural issues present, including abnormal growths, deformities, or traumas?
  • Does it have other sorts of symptoms of sickness, for instance proof of diarrhea?

Internal Analysis

After the external analysis, you’ve to inspect the interior of the animal while the carcass is skinned and processed.
Make use of all senses when inspecting a carcass. Bad smells commonly arise from decaying tissues, it’s possible that come from an old injury which has abscessed. Nevertheless, the spilling of intestines content into the animal cavity in the course of extraction or from cutting during harvest can be the origin for such smell. The food eaten by the animal may even cause strong smells which are not a sign of illness. For example, mussels or sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) are meals eaten by animals that cause them to smell strange, but do not indicate potential human health risks. The look of organs and flesh is frequently damaged during the hunt and may be hard to judge. However, if you find the presence of tumors, fungal growth or abscesses in the interior, you should reject the carcass.

  • How does the animal interior smell?
  • Do any of the organs or tissues seem abnormal or irregular in appearance or color?
  • Do any of the tissues or organs seem to have abscesses or infections?
  • Are there any tissues or organs that contain what appear to be parasites?

Always Cook Raw Meat

The simple reason to cook the meat you harvest in the wild is because heat can destroy the majority of the harmful infectious agents.

Remember: in the event you discover a sick or an already dead animal, never eat its meat.

Every signs and symptoms of infections, abscesses, tumors and fungal growth outside or the carcass also suggest that you must discard it.

Another reason is that humans are genetically predisposed to eat cooked food. Uncooked meat is much more difficult to masticate and uncooked plants have too many fibers to be easily digest. Our small teeth and sensitivity to raw foods are physical proof of this adaptation.

Remember: bacteria prosper and reproduce between 4°C and 60°C. To kill bacteria you must cook meat taking the internal temperature up to 65°C.

Cooking Methods

  • Roast: Cut meat into slim strips and put them on a flat rock placed near the fire.
  • Grill: Build a spit placing two green forked twigs on both sides of a fire. Spear a piece of meat with green, thin branch then rest it in the forks just over the fire.
  • Bake: Wrap meat in green, non-poisonous, leaves. Put the package in a shallow hole and cover it with mud. Build a fire just over the mound and let the heat bake it.

Meat Storing

For any uncooked meat remains, use natural refrigeration technologies. If you’re in a snowy place, you can merely wrap up them in snow.
In a more warm place, insulate the meat with leaves and clay and submerge it in a stream or put it in a hole near a water source. This storage technique is temporary.

In future posts, i’ll describe in details methods to preserve meat with salt, by drying and by smoking.

 


Trifolium pratense - red clover

Trifolium pratense

Name

The genus name “Trifolium” means three-leaved grass. The specific name “pratense” is latin for “found in meadows”.

Also Known as

  • red clover
  • beebread
  • broad red
  • cleaver grass
  • cow clover
  • cow grass
  • marl grass
  • meadow clover
  • meadow honeysuckle
  • meadow trefoil
  • purple clover
  • trefoil
  • wild clover

Identification Keys

  • perennial herbaceous
  • usually upright but may also creep on the ground, producing stems and fibrous roots at nodes
  • grows to 20-80 cm tall
  • alternate, palmate-compound leaves
  • leaves arise from a long, slender, branching downy stem
  • leave is trifoliate (with three leaflets)
  • leaflet oval to elliptical
  • leaflet 15–30 mm long and 8–15 mm broad, green with a characteristic pale crescent in the outer half of the leaf
  • leaflet has a V-shaped chevron in the outer half
  • a midrib runs down the leaflet length, creating a seam
  • rounded flower head with up to 60 tiny, bilateral-symmetrical, magenta, pea-like flowers
  • tiny brown seeds

Bloom Time

  • late spring – early fall

Habitat

  • fields
  • disturbed habitats
  • trailsides
  • roadsides
  • parks
  • sunny places
  • meadows
  • pastures
  • open fields
  • lawns

Look-alikes

  • Trifolium repens (white clover) resembles red clover, but it’s smaller with white flowers and leaves arising from separate stems
  • Oxalis spp. (wood sorrel), also edible, is often confused with clover, but it has heart-shaped and completely different flowers

Medicine Uses

Parts Used

flowering top

Actions

alterative, antioxidant, antispasmodic, aperient, diuretic, expectorant, sedative, oestrogenic

Systems

Circulation

  • prevents hypertension

Respiratory system

  • antispasmodic for whooping-cough, dry cough, bronchitis and asthma

Immune system

  • useful as a detoxifying herb for cancer of the breast and lung
  • benefits lymphatic system

Musculoskeletal system

  • protects from osteoporosis
  • used for arthritis and gout

Reproductive system

  • increases follicle-stimulanting hormones
  • useful for menopausal issues such as hot flushes, night sweats and insomnia
  • helpful in mastitis
  • guard against prostate problems

Externally

  • apply poultices to skin problems and cancerous growth

Caution

  • avoid in bleeding disorders, pregnancy and breast-feeding
  • diseased clover can contain toxic alkaloids
  • use with caution with anticoagulants and contraceptives

Food Uses

Parts Used

flowers, leaves

Main Uses

potherb, salad, tea

Nutrition

  • vitamin C
  • vitamin B1, B3
  • vitamin E
  • calcium
  • chromium
  • magnesium
  • phosphorus
  • potassium

Cooking

  • add the raw flowers to salads
  • cook (10-15 min) the flowers in any dish that calls for vegetables. They cook in about 10 to 15 minutes
  • dehydrate flower, grind them into powder. Add to whole-grain flour to use in breads
  • make an infusion with the freshest flower heads and few leaves
  • cook (15 min) the leaves like other greens
  • sprouted seeds are edible in salads


Harvesting

Harvesting Season

  • the leaves are barely edible in early spring but can be used in tea
  • the flowers are at their peak in late spring, but good ones are also available in the summer and fall

Harvesting Methods

  • pick the young leaves and the flower heads by hand
  • collect the most attractive-looking flower heads
  • avoid those that still include some immature, green flowers
  • collect completely brown flowers (contain seeds) and use them to supplement the protein of whole grains in breads

rubus idaeus - raspberry

Rubus idaeus

Name

Rubus is a latin name meaning bramble. Idaues is an adjective and means “of Mount Ida”, a sacred mountain associated with the mother goddess in the deepest layers of pre-Greek myth.

Also Known as

  • raspberry
  • wild raspberry
  • red raspberry

 


 

Identification Keys

  • arching or erect shrub
  • multiple stems up to 1 m
  • purplish-red stems
  • stem has curved prickles
  • leaves are alternated
  • leaf is palmate-compound with 3-5 (sometimes 7) toothed, pointed, oval leaflets
  • leaflet is bright green on  upper side and minty-greenish white underneath
  • leaflet is long 3.5-6.5 cm and about half as wide
  • short, loose raceme
  • white, 5-petaled flower
  • round, downy, red raspberries in summer and fall

Seasons

  • fruits: mid-summer to late summer (sometimes there’s a second season from mid-fall to late fall)
  • leaves: spring to fall

Habitat

  • moist, sunny or partly shady habitats
  • thickets
  • hedges
  • overgrown fields
  • edges or openings of woods
  • trail sides

Poisonous Look-alikes

Poison ivy can resemble raspberry, with which it share territory; raspberry stem almost always has thorns whereas poison ivy stem is smooth. Also, the 3-leaflet pattern of some raspberry leaves changes as the plant grows: leaves produced later in the season have 5/7 leaflets rather than 3. Raspberry leave has many fine teeth along the edge, the top surface is very wrinkled where the veins are, and the bottom of the leaves is light minty-greenish white. Poison ivy leave is all green. The stem of poison ivy is brown and cylindrical, while raspberry stem can be green or purplish red, is squared in cross-section, and has prickles.

  • Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
  • Toxicodendron diversilobum (poison oak) – West Coast of North America
  • Toxicodendron pubescens (poison oak) – Eastern United States

 


 

Medicine Uses

Parts Used

leaf, fruit

Actions

anti-inflammatory, astringent, decongestant, oxytocic, antiemetic, opthalmic, antioxidant, antiseptic, antidiarrheal, diaphoretic, diuretic, choleretic, hypoglycemic

Systems

Digestion

  • protects guts lining from irritation and inflammation
  • relieves nausea and suppress vomiting
  • astringent for diarrhea, especially for children
  • normalizes blood sugar level

Respiratory system

  • beneficial for sore throats, colds, flu and catarrh

Immune system

  • anti-microbial, inhibits pathogens such as Candida albicans

Reproductive system

  • relieves nausea in pregnancy
  • prevents miscarriage
  • tones uterin and pelvic muscles to prepare childbirth (taken as infusion of leaves, in the last 3 months of pregnacy)
  • speeds the healing after the birth
  • stimulates the flow of breast milk
  • fruits are useful to combat anaemia in pregnancy

Externally

  • gargle for sore throats and tonsillitis
  • use as mouthwash for mouth ulcers and inflamed gums
  • apply poultice or lotion on sores, minor cuts and burns
  • useful for conjunctivitis

 


Food Uses

Parts Used

Fruit, leaf

Main Uses

Raw/cooked fruit, Tea

Nutrition

  • source of minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, zinc, copper, manganese and selenium
  • vitamin A
  • vitamin B1, B2, B6
  • vitamin C
  • vitamin E
  • vitamin K
  • pantothenic acid
  • folate

Cooking

  • eat directly or add in any dessert recipe
  • make jams and jellies
  • milkshake
  • fruit salads
  • pies

 

Althea officinalis

Althea officinalis

Name

The meaning of Althea is “healing herb”. Officinalis (meaning “of the workshop”) is a common species name and it denotes medicinal plants.

Also Known as

  • marsh mallow
  • marshmallow
  • marshmellow
  • common marshmallow

 


 

Identification Keys

  • perennial herbaceous
  • 60-120 cm tall
  • upright, hairy stem with few side branches
  • tough, pliant, long, thick, tapering taproot
  • taproot is pale yellow outside and white and fibrous inside
  • gray-green, stalked leaves
  • coarsely and irregularly toothed, alternate leaves
  • heart-shaped or three to five-lobed leaves toward the bottom
  • oval and pointed leaves toward the top of the stem
  • flowers grow in short, dense cluster from the upper leaves
  • five-petaled, pinkish flowers
  • bushy central column composed of fused stamens
  • dry, flattened, disk-shaped fruit
  • fruit is radially divided into 15 to 20 segments

Bloom Time

  • late summer

Habitat

  • marshes
  • seashore
  • sunny salt marshes
  • coastal areas

Look-alikes

Malva spp. is a related edible species:

  • Malva sylvestris
  • Malva neglecta

 

Medicine Uses

Parts Used

root, leaf, flower

Actions

emollient, mucilage, demulcent, vulnerary, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antiseptic, antitussive, expectorant, diuretic, antilithic, immune enhancer, galactogogue

Systems

Digestion

  • relieves ulcerative colitis, gastritis and peptic ulcers
  • soothes heartburn, IBS and constipation
  • reduces peristalsis
  • relieves diarrhea
  • has a laxative effect if it’s used at larger doses

Respiratory system

  • soothes harsh, dry coughs, sore throats, laryngitis, bronchitis and croup
  • clears catarrh
  • relieves inflammation

Immune system

  • aids production of white blood cells
  • protects against Proteus vulgaris, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Staphylococcus aureus

Urinary system

  • eases passing of gravel and stones
  • relieves irritable bladder, cystitis and urethritis

Reproductive system

  • eases childbirth
  • stimulates flow of breast milk

Externally

  • soothes irritation and inflammation from insect bites and stings
  • used for treating varicose veins, ulcers, abscesses, bruises, sprains, aching muscles
  • treats scalds, burns and sunburns (mixed with Lavandula and flax oil)
  • heals skin in acne, eczema and sore nipples
  • used for mastitis, boils and abscesses as warm poultice
  • treats sore throats (gargle) and inflamed gums (mouthwash)

Food Uses

Parts Used

leaves, roots

Main Uses

potherb

Nutrition

  • good source of vitamin C
  • iron, calcium and copper

Cooking

  • young leaves thicken soups
  • use as cooked vegetable in stews, sauces, or a variety of side dishes
  • use the raw leaves and flowers in salads
  • boil the root, discard the root, boil down the liquid, sweet it and beat it

Recipes


 

Harvesting

Please do not overharvest where this plant it’s rare or you might eradicate it. 

Harvesting Season

  • young leaves:  mid- to late spring
  • flowers and fruits: late summer to fall
  • roots: spring and fall.

Harvesting Methods

  • strip off the young leaves
  • pick the flowers and fruits with your fingers
  • dig up the roots with a digging stick

 


delicious bannocks

How to make bannock bread

Bannock is a portable, tasty and easy to make bread. You can cook using little more than a fire and a stick or you can bake or fry it.

It can be used as a stand-alone food or combined with whatever ingredients are on hand: honey, brown sugar, fruits, nuts, berries, garlic, cheese, eggs or bacon.

You can prepare the basic mix and store it in an air tight container such as a zip lock bag. It is relatively light and easy to carry because you need to add water only when you are ready to cook it.

 

Preparation time

15 minutes

Ingredients for 1 serve

  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 2 pinches of baking powder (optional)

Preparation

  • mix the above ingredients well
  • add whatever extra ingredients to the dry bannock mix
  • add water a little at a time until you get the required consistency

Cooking methods

  • ash bannock:
    • roll the bannock dough into a ball and flatten into a thin cake
    • bake it directly over the smoldering coals of a fire
    • turn it occasionally until it’s golden brown
  • stick coil bannock:
    • roll the bannock dough into a long sausage shape
    • coil it around a green, peeled stick
    • hold the stick over the embers
    • rotate until the bannock is golden brown all over
  • baked bannock:
    • pat the bannock dough into a fat tortilla 1 cm thick
    • bake in a fry pan until done
  • fried bannock:
    • pat the bannock dough into a fat tortilla 1 cm thick
    • put the oil in the pan. The quantity of oil determines the texture and crust
    • fry bannock on both sides

 


 

sweet spice mix preparation

The Sweet Spice Mix

The Sweet Spice Mix is a simple and tasty blend of herbs that you can sprinkle on cereal, fruit or any kind of dessert. It enhances any sweet dish.

Preparation time

5 minutes, if you’ve already grounded each ingredient

Ingredients

  • 4 tbs. Cinnamomum spp. (cinnamon), ground
  • 4 tsp. dried Mentha piperita (peppermint), ground
  • 4 tsp. Illicium verum (star anise), ground
  • 4 tsp. Coriandrum sativum (coriander) seeds, ground
  • 2 tsp. powdered Zingiber officinale (ginger), ground
  • 1 tsp. Syzygium aromaticum (cloves), ground
  • 1 tsp. Elettaria cardamomum (cardamom), ground

Preparation

  • Mix all ingredients together and store in a jar


olea-europaea

Olea europaea

Name

The specific name “europaea” indicates its origin: the coastal areas of the eastern Mediterranean Basin as well as northern Iran at the south end of the Caspian Sea.

Also Known as

  • olive

 


 

Identification Keys

  • evergreen tree
  • height up to 15 m
  • thick, gnarled and silvery trunk
  • trunk and main branches have many  large cavities and holes
  • wild tree (oleaster) is bushy and spiny
  • cultivated tree (sativa) is unarmed
  • leaves not divided into leaflets
  • leathery leaves 20-80 mm
  • leaves are grey-green above, silvery-hairy beneath
  • leaves in opposites pairs on shoots
  • flowers in loose spikes
  • each flower has 4 sepals, 4 petals, joined in a tube, and 2 stamens
  • fruit size: 10-35 mm
  • in first year, fruits are green; they ripens black in second year
  • fruits are oily fleshed
  • each fruit has a single large stone

Bloom Time

  • July-August

Habitat

  • grows in lightly wooded, rocky areas

Look-alikes

You can confuse the Olive tree with other Oleaceae

 


 

Medicine Uses

Parts Used

Fruit, oil, leaf

Actions

demulcent, emollient, antiseptic, astringent, febrifuge, antioxidant, cholagogue, hypotensive, hypocholesterolaemic, laxative

Systems

Digestion

  • alleviates inflamed and irritated conditions such as indigestion, heartburn, gastritis, colitis and peptic ulcers
  • stimulates bile flow
  • helps in liver and gall bladder issues
  • alternating with lemon juice, helps to dissolve and encourage the passing of gallstones
  • helpful in diabetes; leaves lower blood sugar
  • oil is useful as a laxative

Circulation

  • lowers harmful cholesterol and blood pressure
  • reduces risks of atherosclerosis, clots, heart attacks and strokes
  • mitigates hypertension
  • increases sweating and reduces fever, taken as hot infusion

Respiratory system

Immune system

  • protects cell membranes against free radicals
  • retards ageing
  • reduces development of cancer

Externally

  • To speed healing, apply to boils, eczema, cold sores, dry skin, brittle nails, insect bites, stings and minor burns
  • warm oil dropped into the ear softens wax
  • oil, mixed with essential oils such as garlic or lavender, relieves earache
  • massage over kidneys for bedwetting treatment
  • mouthwash with an leaves infusion heals bleeding/infected gums
  • use infusion as gargle for sore throats

 


 

Harvesting

Leaves

  • gather the leaves by cutting the stem to encourage new growth. Do not uproot the olive leaves wherever possible
  • hang the stems upside down in a brown paper bag
  • tie off the bag opening with a rubber band or piece of string
  • hang your paper bag in a space for drying
  • let dry for one to two weeks
  • cut off the stems from the leaves. Some of the leaves may drop naturally from the stems as they dry in the bag

Fruits

  • gather the fruits when they are completely ripe (October-December)
  • put the fruits in clean water
  • change water every other day for 2 weeks
  • move the fruits in salted water