Living off the grid requires that you at least meet the basic requirements for human survival. These are food, shelter, water, and heat.
However, for many that are starting out survival food is a mystery.
What foods are appropriate, what foods should be avoided, and how can you get food once the supplies in your survival kit is extinguished?
Here are 11 things I wish I knew about survival food when I first started.
1) Not all survival food is meant for survival
Just because a food has a branding for the outdoors does not mean that it is intended for the outdoors.
Foods which have a high levels of corn syrup (such as that which is found in a ton of beef jerky) is not a survival food.
Neither are foods which contain a great deal of un-natural sugar (such as gummy worms). Where you might like the flavor, you need to ensure that your food is intended for survival.
2) Hybrid Plants are useless for survival
Hybrid plants are attractive to many people because they provide very large produce. Yet, hybrid plants do not yield any seeds you can replant.
From a survivalist point of view they are useless plants. You want to have organic plants which give you seeds that you can dry and use on the next harvest.
3) Fresh water does not mean drinkable water
Fresh water simply means that the salt content is lower than that of say the ocean. It does not mean that it is cleaner.
Animals, waste, natural bacteria and other contaminants will need to be removed from the water prior to drinking.
Usually, you can use a water filter or a water purification system from your food survival kit.
4) The myth that Weeds have no purpose in your garden
Some weeds have a very definitive place in your survival food. Dandelions, for example, are considered a weed.
Yet, you can eat the leaves as many vegetarians have done for years. Daylilies can have the flower eaten as they are high in vitamin A.
If there is horseweed nearby you can boil and eat the leaves of that as well. The misconception that survival food has to fall into “traditional” produce may very well cut your food supply.
5) Aquaponics systems will pay you back for the investment
One of the best ways that you can keep a sustainable food source while living of the grid, is to have an aquaponics system.
Many are swayed away from using such a system as the initial investment can be rather steep.
However, once you have the system in place you do not have to worry about any maintenance apart from maintain the PH levels and feeding the fish. The rest replenishes itself.
6) Spoiled Food can be used to grow new food
If you are just discarding spoiled food randomly, you are at a huge disadvantage in your food survival.
Compost heaps made from natural substances will give better produce.
Keep in mind that spoiled fruits and vegetables still have seeds and those seeds can be harvested for the next crop.
You do want to ensure that you have your compost pile far enough away from your fresh produce so as not to cause bacteria to ruin any of the harvest.
7) You can water your crops using rainwater
Regardless of whether you are plating a huge crop or just a small garden for your off grid living, rainwater can be collected and used as the main irrigation system.
Use a large canister to collect the water. You can get .6 gallons of water for every inch of rain.
Where this may not seem to be a great deal, if you have several containers and it rains, you have plenty of water.
8) Do not be afraid to eat a worm
Worms, bug, snails can usually be eaten. The general rule of thumb on eating bugs and such is that if they are red, you may be dead, but colors that aren’t too bright you’re typically alright.
Of course do not go eating flatworms, centipedes, and black widows. Use a bit of common sense and you should be ok.
Grubbs make for an exceptional amount of protein as do crickets. If you have the time, eat some ants.
9) Scaling and skinning fish are two different directions
When you catch a fish there are basically to types you may have caught. The first is a scaled fish(such as a bass) and the second is a smooth skinned fish (Such as a catfish).
Fish that have scales should be scaled from the tail to the head using your survival knife.
Smooth skinned fish should be skinned from the head to the tail using your multi-pillar tool or something similar.
With a scaled fish you can start scaling as the first step if you wish. However, smooth skin fish should have a ring cut around the gills to allow you to pull downward.
10) Goats are more survival efficient than chickens
Chickens can give you food and eggs, but that is about it. Goats on the other hand provide milk, soap, meat, and a natural way to clear land.
The hide can also be used for clothing. Where a cow provides the same thing, they are expensive and take up a great deal of space.
Chickens are cheap but do not provide you with milk, soap, or clothing. If you are looking for a barnyard animal for your food survival, get goats.
These are but eleven things out of many which I have learned about food survival and off grid living.
Of course, I would recommend that you have water and dehydrated meats in your pack to get started, but after that it is your survival training, what you know, and how you implement your knowledge which will keep you alive.