While everyone’s becoming more concerned with microplastics, mercury, and lead in the foods we’re supposed to eat, familiarize yourself with this list of items you won’t find in a pantry. But, they’re all things that you could eat if you needed to, in a pinch. Once the world collapses post-apocalypse, it’s useful to know the things that you can eat to stay alive (maybe).
While it’s nontoxic, it’s still not advisable to eat large amounts of chalk. According to the US National Library of Medicine, it can cause some real digestive issues. That didn’t stop a 2018 Instagram trend of ASMR accounts posting chalk-eating videos to get likes, however. If you crave chalk, there’s a chance you’re suffering from Pica, a condition that drives people to eat all kinds of non-food items like paper, sand, and glue.
It’s not generally recommended, especially not for children, as a single cigarette contains 20mg of nicotine; Smokers only consume 1.5mg per cigarette. But there are a lot of survivalists who suggest eating a cigarette as a natural parasite cleanse, as the nicotine can kill intestinal parasites.
More specifically, clay. People all over the world consume dirt from deep in the ground, beneath the topsoil. Initial research suggests that it’s consumed for its protective qualities against parasites, pathogens, and plant toxins. Some places in the US package and sell white dirt, called kaolin. It’s frequently purchased and consumed by pregnant women.
Like all plants, some bark is poisonous to people. The inner bark (not the rough stuff on the outside of the tree) from the Pine, Black Birch, and Balsam Fir among others is packed with calories, starch, sugar, nutrients, and (obviously) tons of fiber. It’s still used around the world, like in Sweden and Finland where you can find bread made from pine bark flour.
These days, leather products are treated with super-toxic chemicals that make it inedible for humans. There’s some record of Native Americans boiling leather for a few hours to make it edible, and the Donner Party ate boiled leather before turning to cannibalism to survive.
Stop throwing out your eggshells, as they’re beneficial as a fertilizer and in a compost pile. Or, if you’re suffering from calcium deficiency, you can also eat them. Cook the eggshells first to kill any bacteria, but then you can crush them into a powder and add it to smoothies, bread dough, or scrambled eggs. A single egg shell contains double the daily recommended amount of calcium an adult needs.
Next time you’re weeding your garden, you can make a salad for when you’re done. As long as you don’t use pesticides and chemicals in your garden, rinse off dandelion, chickweed, and purslane and dress them up with a vinaigrette. Often, they offer more nutrients than cultivated greens and have diverse flavors and textures.
There’s nothing like covering food in gold to show how gourmet it is (and to justify an exorbitant price). While eating gold may have you feeling fancy, there’s no nutritional value. But there is also no danger in consuming small amounts of gold. Edible gold is more pure than the gold used in jewelry (as other metal alloys can be toxic), and it passes straight through your digestive tract.
After washing, dry them in the stove and they’ll be soft enough to grind up in a blender or food processor. Like any seed, they’re a rich source of nutrients, antioxidants, and fiber. People in Mexico and Central America used the pit in ancient times to treat a variety of conditions, like constipation, diarrhea, diabetes, and arthritis. Health professionals warn against eating too many, as there’s no scientific research into their effect on health.
Depending on the sort of child you were, you already knew this one was true. It’s made from non-toxic materials and the greatest danger comes from the salt content.