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When There Is No Food, Even Civilized Societies Will Resort to Dumpster Diving To Survive

It will not be long before Americans begin feeling the reigns of economic hardship that our European friends are experiencing. Learn what to expect, how to prepare, and what you can forage in order to survive when the last domino falls.

In many so-called “civilized” parts of the world, life has taken a dramatic turn. If you have kept up with the news lately, you know that Greece is not the only European nation in trouble. In fact, smaller countries like Lithuania, Italy, and other debt- ridden nations are all rapidly approaching their breaking points. Little by little, the economic toil placed on these nations is hardest felt by its citizens who are doing their very best to provide for their families. For them, their untold story is one involving desolation and feelings of abandonment from their country’s leaders. In every sense of the word survival is the name of the game for our European friends and it will not be long before we are on the same boat. If we’re smart, we can learn from the events taking place across the ocean and prepare before it’s too late.

In some areas of the world, it’s no longer about going to work and earning a living – it’s about going out and finding food to get them through another day. In some of these countries, the shelves in the stores are either empty, or the prices are unreachably high. As a last resort, people have gone back to the days of hunting and gathering in order to make it day to day.

Desperate Times Call for Desperate Measures

Those who live near forests and natural resources are considered the fortunate ones and spend the entire day in search of food to forage – berries, nuts, edible mushrooms.  In most of these places, weapons are banned, so they are reduced to using common items to make snares in order to catch squirrels or the occasional rabbit.

This can hardly be considered a fortunate existence, but compared to those in the cities, the forest offers up a cornucopia of food.

People in the cities are lining up for food that is being doled out; they are digging through garbage bins for bits of food that were discarded. Some city dwellers have been reduced to catching and consuming small rodents.

Ten years ago, these friends of ours never expected to be spending the day in search of sustenance.  Like us, they were planning vacations, contributing to retirement funds and working towards a promotion at work.

It’s not that great of a stretch of the imagination to foresee that we may be headed in a similar direction.That leaves one question:

What is your plan?

We may be looking at a return to the hunting and gathering lifestyles of our ancestors.  By deciding what foods you can access now, you will be miles ahead of all the people who are trying to wrap their brains around the idea that life as we know it is over.

If you are a city dweller you might be surprised at the foraging opportunities right in your neighborhood.  Start a notebook and mark down addresses of food sources. Some common finds in the city are:

  • Nut trees
  • Edible flowers
  • Poke greens and berries
  • Other leaves can be cooked as greens
  • Wild flowers like sweet peas have edible pods

I’m not suggesting you map out a plan to pillage your neighbor’s yards, however, if you have an older neighbor with an apple tree, for example, they might be willing to split the harvest with a younger person capable of picking the fruit.  City parks can sometimes offer a windfall of nuts or other edible plants. By being aware of the location of these food sources, you can be the early bird.

If you are a country dweller, spend some time on the weekends walking through areas near you to locate food sources.  The forest may be home to berry patches.  You can learn a lot about the whereabouts of local wildlife by being observant during your walks, looking for scat or prints.  Pick up a field guide of the local flora so that you can quickly and easily identify the edible plants if the day comes when that is the only way you can feed your family.

In remote areas, look for:

  • Wild herbs
  • Nuts
  • Seed pods
  • Fruit like berries, wild plums, crab-apples, etc.
  • Signs of deer, pheasant or other game animals
  • Water sources

Other options would be to learn how to use items like paracord to make a snare and how to improvise other forms of fishing or hunting equipment.

Hopefully the day never comes when we have to revert to hunting and gathering.  But if it does, by doing your homework now, you will have the advantage over other people who are just getting the same idea.

This article was originally published at Ready Nutrition™ on August 29th, 2012