Emergency Supplies Famine Foods
Economic collapse can lead to a breakdown of society and mass food shortages. Severe drought or weather, natural disaster, or a man-made catastrophe like an EMP can also bring on food shortages, and famine, followed by starvation. Millions go hungry. Countless people die.
“My interest in the study of famine food-plants began in 1966 when I was an undergraduate student in the anthropology department of the University of Arizona. In my last semester, I wrote a term paper on Native American food preparation techniques, for Professor Bernard Fontana’s class, “History of the Indians of North America.” This research became the catalyst for an interest in the socio-anthropological aspects of human food habits, which lasted for the next fifteen years.
After exhaustively searching the ethnographic literature in the University of Arizona’s anthropology and main libraries, I had 103 typewritten pages of food preparation information representing several dozen Native American and Native Canadian tribes. Although I stopped at 103 pages, I could have continued to gather material from the literature at a seemingly endless rate. I was so excited by this study of human food habits, that I decided to compile a bibliography on the subject. This project soon expanded from Native North America to every culture in the world. I began to collect citations from the ethnographic literature before I graduated from the University of Arizona, and carried the project with me, when I began graduate studies at the University of Hawaii from 1966 to 1969. Ten years and many libraries later, I had accumulated about 12,000 bibliographic citations. In 1978, I applied for and was awarded an Extramural Grant by the United States National Library of Medicine to complete the bibliography. It was published in the early 1980s, in two volumes, by Greenwood Press. I give this brief history as a background for my interest in famine foods, which developed alongside the larger focus of creating a bibliographic resource for anthropologists documenting the significance of food use in human culture.
Disaster preparation has received a lot of attention in the recent past. In fact, people who live in every corner of the world prepare for various disasters such as famine and war. Some of them even prepare for zombies. It is always better to prepare to face disasters as they can hit us at unexpected times. However, it should be done according to a plan. That’s where The Lost Ways comes into play. This guide follows a scientific approach to help people prepare for disasters. In fact, it would let people know about the secret methods followed by the ancestors to survive disasters. They include a variety of disasters such as droughts, diseases, financial crisis, wars, famines and everything else life threw at them. For More Information About The Lost Ways Survival Guide Click Here
As my search for references to human food habits continued, every so often I found a paper describing famine food plants – those plant species hardy or hidden enough to survive drought or other causes of crop destruction – upon which starving indigenous groups relied to assuage often death-dealing famines. Eventually, I realized no one had coordinated this small but fascinating literature on these famine plants. As I collected more citations, I decided to compile an inventory of all the published famine species. Particularly interesting was the fact that some of these famine plants had unusually high nutritional values. I thought that over a thousand species of plants consumed during times food scarcity attested to a useful resource for the development of potential new crops. Further, it seemed, at least in theory, more cost-effective to consider improving some of these indigenous crops, rather than continuing to transplant traditional Western crops to areas where they are not environmentally compatible and organoleptically acceptable. In this paper, I will examine, in general terms, the nature of traditional knowledge of such plants and the potential these plants may have for areas of the world at high ecological risk.
There is no documentation indicating when famine plants were first used. It is likely however to have occurred subsequent to the Neolithic Revolution. Knowledge of undomesticated plants still would have been quite broad then and reliance upon them presumably have continued parallel to the early development of regular crops. But, as horticulture evolved, older knowledge of many edible wild plant species was slowly lost. In societies which remained non- or semi-agricultural, on the other hand, traditional knowledge and use of wild plants was probably retained to a greater extent, thereby providing a wider potential range of species from which to choose in times of famine and food scarcity. “(source)
‘(From a petition to the authorities by I.A. Rylov)
“I saw the ravages of the famine of 1932-1933 in the Ukraine: hordes of families in rags begging at the railway stations, the women lifting up to the compartment window their starving brats, which, with drumstick limbs, big cadaverous heads and puffed bellies, looked like embryos out of alcohol bottles …”
(as remembered by Arthur Kaestler, a famous British novelist, journalist, and critic. Koestler spent about three months in the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv during the Famine. He wrote about his experiences in “The God That Failed”, a 1949 book which collects together six essays with the testimonies of a number of famous ex-Communists, who were writers and journalists.)
Our father used to read the Bible to us, but whenever he came to the passage mentioning ‘bloodless war’ he could not explain to us what that term meant. When in 1933 he was dying from hunger he called us to his deathbed and said “This, children, is what is called bloodless war…”
(as remembered by Hanna Doroshenko)
“What I saw that morning … was inexpressibly horrible. On a battlefield men die quickly, they fight back … Here I saw people dying in solitude by slow degrees, dying hideously, without the excuse of sacrifice for a cause. They had been trapped and left to starve, each in his own home, by a political decision made in a far-off capital around conference and banquet tables. There was not even the consolation of inevitability to relieve the horror.”
(as remembered by Victor Kravchenko, a Soviet defector who wrote up his experiences of life in the Soviet Union and as a Soviet official, especially in his 1946 book “I Chose Freedom”. “I Chose Freedom” containing extensive revelations on collectivization, Soviet prison camps and the use of slave labor came at a time of growing tension between the Warsaw Pact nations and the West. His death from bullet wounds in his apartment remains unclarified, though it was officially ruled a suicide. His son Andrew continues to believe he was the victim of a KGB execution.)
“From 1931 to 1934 we had great harvests. The weather conditions were great. However, all the grain was taken from us. People searched the fields for mice burrows hoping to find measly amounts of grain stored by mice…”
(as remembered by Mykola Karlosh)
“I still get nauseous when I remember the burial hole that all the dead livestock was thrown into. I still remember people screaming by that hole. Driven to madness by hunger people were ripping the meat of the dead animals. The stronger ones were getting bigger pieces. People ate dogs, cats, just about anything to survive.”
(as remembered by Vasil Boroznyak)
“People were dying all over our village. The dogs ate the ones that were not buried. If people could catch the dogs they were eaten. In the neighboring village people ate bodies that they dug up.”
(as remembered by Motrya Mostova)
“I’m asking for your permission to advance me any amount of grain. I’m completely sick. I don’t have any food. I’ve started to swell up and I can hardly move my feet. Please don’t refuse me or it will be too late.”
(From a petition to the authorities by P. Lube)
“In the spring when acacia trees started blooming everyone began eating their flowers. I remember that our neighbor who didn’t have her own acacia tree climbed on ours and I went to tell my mother that she was eating our flowers. My mother only smiled sadly.”
(as remembered by Vasil Demchenko)
“Of our neighbors I remember all the Solveiki family died, all of the Kapshuks, all the Rahachenkos too – and the Yeremo family – three of them, still alive, were thrown into the mass grave…”
(as remembered by Ekaterina Marchenko)
“Where did all bread disappear, I do not really know, maybe they have taken it all abroad. The authorities have confiscated it, removed from the villages, loaded grain into the railway coaches and took it away someplace. They have searched the houses, taken away everything to the smallest thing. All the vegetable gardens, all the cellars were raked out and everything was taken away.
Wealthy peasants were exiled into Siberia even before Holodomor during the “collectivization”. Communists came, collected everything. Children were crying beaten for that with the boots. It is terrifying to recall what happened. It was so dreadful that every day became engraved in my memory. People were lying everywhere as dead flies. The stench was awful. Many of our neighbors and acquaintances from our street died.
I have no idea how I managed to survive and stay alive. In 1933 we tried to survive the best we could. We collected grass, goose-foot, burdocks, rotten potatoes and made pancakes, soups from putrid beans or nettles.
Collected gley from the trees and ate it, ate sparrows, pigeons, cats, dead and live dogs. When there was still cattle, it was eaten first, then – the domestic animals. Some were eating their own children, I would have never been able to eat my child. One of our neighbours came home when her husband, suffering from severe starvation ate their own baby-daughter. This woman went crazy.
People were drinking a lot of water to fill stomachs, that is why the bellies and legs were swollen, the skin was swelling from the water as well. At that time the punishment for a stolen handful of grain was 5 years of prison. One was not allowed to go into the fields, the sparrows were pecking grain, though people were not allowed.”
(From the memories of Olexandra Rafalska, Zhytomir)
“A boy, 9 years old, said: “Mother said, ‘Save yourself, run to town.’ I turned back twice; I could not bear to leave my mother, but she begged and cried, and I finally went for good.”
(Recollected by an observer simply known as Dr. M.M.)
“At that time I lived in the village of Yaressky of the Poltava region. More than a half of the village population perished as a result of the famine. It was terrifying to walk through the village: swollen people moaning and dying. The bodies of the dead were buried together, because there was no one to dig the graves.
There were no dogs and no cats. People died at work; it was of no concern whether your body was swollen, whether you could work, whether you have eaten, whether you could – you had to go and work. Otherwise – you are the enemy of the people.
Many people never lived to see the crops of 1933 and those crops were considerable. A more severe famine, other sufferings were awaiting ahead. Rye was starting to become ripe. Those who were still able made their way to the fields. This road, however, was covered with dead bodies, some could not reach the fields, some ate grain and died right away. The patrol was hunting them down, collecting everything, trampled down the collected spikelets, beat the people, came into their homes, seized everything. What they could not take – they burned.”
(From the memories of Galina Gubenko, Poltava region)
“The famine began. People were eating cats, dogs in the Ros’ river all the frogs were caught out. Children were gathering insects in the fields and died swollen. Stronger peasants were forced to collect the dead to the cemeteries; they were stocked on the carts like firewood, than dropped off into one big pit. The dead were all around: on the roads, near the river, by the fences. I used to have 5 brothers. Altogether 792 souls have died in our village during the famine, in the war years – 135 souls” (source)
Most Americans have only experienced the consequences of massive famine on their television screens. In 1981, in the movie The Road Warrior (played by Mel Gibson), this survivor in the apocalyptic wasteland of Australia experienced the results of widespread famine first hand.
It is one of the most striking paradoxes of our time. Today, more people around the world go hungry than ever before in human history. At the same time, even more people are now classified as obese–part of what observers are calling an overweight ‘epidemic’ and health crisis. This month, historian Chris Otter explores the history of how we have chosen to produce, distribute, consume, and think about food to explain how we have arrived at these extremes of feast and famine.
In the first year of the Famine, deaths from starvation were kept down due to the imports of Indian corn and survival of about half the original potato crop.
For many years the importance of wild plants in subsistence agriculture in the developing world as a food supplement and as a means of survival during times of drought and famine has been overlooked. Generally, the consumption of such so-called ‘wild-food’ has been and still is being under-estimated. This may very well be the case for Ethiopia, a so-called ‘biodiversity hot-spot’ and known as a centre of origin for a significant number of food plants (Bell, 1995).
Rural people of Ethiopia are endowed with a deep knowledge concerning the use of wild plants. This is particularly true for the use of medicinal plants (Abebe and Ayehu, 1993) but also for wild plants some of which are consumed at times of drought, war and other hardship. Elders and other knowledgeable community members are the key sources or ‘reservoirs’ of plant lore. Wild-food consumption is still very common in rural areas of Ethiopia, particularly with children. Among the most common wild plant fruits consumed by children are, for example, fruits from Ficus spp, Carissa edulis and Rosa abyssinica plant species.
The consumption of wild plants seems more common and widespread in food insecure areas where a wide range of species is consumed. The linkage has given rise to the notion of ‘famine-foods’, plants consumed only at times of food stress and therefore an indicator of famine conditions. Local people know about the importance and the contribution of wild plants to their daily diet as well as being aware of possible health hazards such as stomach irritation occasionally occurring after consumption of certain wild plants.
Since beginning to inventory famine food plants, I have found approximately 1200 species representing 120 or so Linnean families. Early on, my intention in building this data base was to provide a resource for the possible genetic selection of plants which – because of known, or implied characteristics, e.g., previous chemical analysis, botanical family (i.e. leguminous spp.), and such factors as drought resistance – may hold promise for growth trials and possible experimental introduction in areas at environmental risk in terms of drought, or where there is limited nutritional variety among traditional food plant resources.
Plants to Avoid
If you can’t clearly identify a plant and you don’t know if it’s poisonous, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Steer clear from a plant if it has:
Milky or discolored sap
Spines, fine hairs, or thorns
Beans, bulbs, or seeds inside pods
Bitter or soapy taste
Dill, carrot, parsnip, or parsley-like foliage
“Almond” scent in the woody parts and leaves
Grain heads with pink, purplish, or black spurs
Three-leaved growth pattern
Many toxic plants will exhibit one or more of the above characteristics. Bear in mind that some of the plants we suggest below have some of these attributes, yet they’re still edible.
Emergency Supplies to Survive Famines. His way to survive:
The tulip is a Eurasian and North African genus of perennial, bulbous plants in the lily family. It is a herbaceous herb with showy flowers, of which around 75 wild species are currently accepted.
The genus’s native range extends west to the Iberian Peninsula, through North Africa to Greece, the Balkans, Turkey, throughout the Levant (Syria, Israel, Palestinian Territories, Lebanon, Jordan) and Iran, north to Ukraine, southern Siberia and Mongolia, and east to the Northwest of China. The tulip’s centre of diversity is in the Pamir, Hindu Kush, and Tien Shan mountains. It is a common element of steppe and winter-rain Mediterranean vegetation.
A number of species and many hybrid cultivars are grown in gardens or as potted plants.
“Another ‘delicacy’ the Dutch devoured was tulip bulbs. At the beginning of the war doctors had pronounced the bulbs fit for human consumption, but withdrew this in 1942. In the winter of 1944-45 they were rediscovered, and the Office for Food Supply again published some booklets to tell the Dutch how to handle the bulbs. ‘They contain a lot of starch’
they told us, ‘and when cooked their consistency will be slightly mealy.’ It was impossible to say how many bulbs were needed for the recipes that followed, but we were advised to peel them, cut them in half and remove the bitter little yellow core. Almost everybody tried it out and nobody liked them, but the Dutch saying ‘Hunger sweetens even raw beans’ was now more true than ever, and Dr. Mees discovered that the bulbs were ‘not too bad’ when boiled like potatoes… Rather better was tulip soup, the authorities had advised. ‘Take one litre of water, 1 onion, 4-6 tulip bulbs, some seasoning and salt… one teaspoon of oil and some curry-substitute. Cut up the onion and brown together with the oil and the curry. Add water and seasoning and bring to the boil, while grating the cleaned bulbs into the boiling liquid. Add salt to taste.’ It had virtually no nutritional value, but it filled the stomach. One had to be careful not to eat too many tulip bulbs as they could cause indigestion… Dahlia bulbs were also tried, but they never became as ‘popular’ as the tulip bulbs. One tulip grower later told an English journalist that he alone had sold 2500 tons of bulbs — ‘crocuses for coffee, daffodils and hyacinths for fodder, and tulips for the humans.’”(source)
Brosimum alicastrum, the breadnut or Maya nut, is a tree species in the family Moraceae of flowering plants, whose other genera include figs and mulberries. The plant is known by a range of names in indigenous Mesoamerican and other languages, including: ramon, ojoche, ojite, ojushte, ujushte, ujuxte, capomo, mojo, ox, iximche, masica in Honduras, uje in Michoacan, and mojote in Jalisco, or also chokogou in Haitian Creole.
Two subspecies are commonly recognized:
- B. a. alicastrum
- B. a. bolivarense (Pittier) C.C.Berg
Breadnut (genus Brosimum), also called milk tree or Ramon, prolific trees closely related to the breadfruit.
Breadnut is a round green fruit that has short, dull regular spikes covering the skin. Inside, the white nuts covered by brown shells (when ripe) are surrounded by white pulp, which is eaten when shredded like cabbage and braised.
Breadnut is in the fig family (Moraceae). It was the staple food for pre Hispanic cultures throughout the neo-tropics, who protected it as a source of food. In addition, the nut attracted their favorite game species (deer, wild pigs, large forest rodents). In recent history, thousands of villages survived drought, war and famine by eating breadnut when no other food was available. Breadnut is an ideal staple and famine food due to its abundance, ease of harvest and processing, and its exceptional storage, nutritional, and culinary qualities.
The trees grow to be 10-15 m high, with a trunk 1 m in diameter. When compared to Breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis) and Dugdug (Artocarpus mariannensis), breadnut has more open branching structure. The same tree has both male and female flowers and the male inflorescence appears first.
Leaves of a breadnut tree
Unlike the Breadfruit, the individual flowers do not fuse together along their lengths. The fruits are 7-12 cm in diameter and weigh 800 g. The skin of the fruit is dull green to green-yellow when ripe and a spiny texture from the pointed, flexible, long tips of the individual flowers. The seeds vary in size, number and nutritional composition.
The fruits reported to be nutritious and are usually consumed when immature. These are thinly sliced and boiled as a vegetable in soups or stews.
A cut fruit of breadnut showing its interior
Breadnut has nutritious seeds that are a good source of protein and low in fat compared to nuts such as almonds, Brazil nuts and macadamia nuts.
Urtica dioica, often called common nettle, stinging nettle (although not all plants of this species sting) or nettle leaf, is a herbaceous perennial flowering plant in the family Urticaceae. It is native to Europe, Asia, northern Africa, and western North America,and introduced elsewhere. The species is divided into six subspecies, five of which have many hollow stinging hairs called trichomes on the leaves and stems, which act like hypodermic needles, injecting histamine and other chemicals that produce a stinging sensation when contacted by humans and other animals. The plant has a long history of use as a source of medicine, food, and fibre.
Lathyrus sativus (Persian: خلر; Arabic: جلبان; Turkish and Uzbek: بورچک) is a legume (family Fabaceae) commonly grown for human consumption and livestock feed in Asia and East Africa. It is a particularly important crop in areas that are prone to drought and famine, and is thought of as an ‘insurance crop’ as it produces reliable yields when all other crops fail. The seeds contain a neurotoxin that causes a neurodegenerative disease when the seeds are consumed as a primary protein source for a prolonged period.
It is also known as grass pea, blue sweet pea, chickling pea, chickling vetch, Indian pea, white pea,white vetch,almorta or alverjón (Spain), guixa (Catalonia), jari grah (Croatia), λαθούρι (Greece), koçkulla (Albania), chícharos (Portugal), cicerchia (Italy), ሰበረ, sebere (Eritrea), ጓያ, guaya (Ethiopia), turmos (Arabic), “خللر” (Persian), കേസരിപ്പയർ (Malayalam) and khesari (Bangladesh and India).
Atriplex hortensis, also known as garden orache, red orach, mountain spinach, French spinach, or simply orache or arrach, is a Eurasian species of plant in the amaranth family (for many years classified in the goosefoot family, now absorbed in the amaranth family). It is native to Asia and Europe, and widely naturalized in Canada, the United States, Australia, and New Zealand.
Atriplex hortensis is a hardy, annual plant, with an erect, branching stem, varying in height from two to six feet, according to the variety and soil. The leaves are variously shaped, but somewhat oblong, comparatively thin in texture, and slightly acidic to the taste; the flowers are small and obscure, greenish or reddish, corresponding in a degree with the color of the foliage of the plant; the seeds are small, black, and surrounded with a thin, pale-yellow membrane. They retain their vitality for three years.
The garden orache has a salty, spinach-like taste. The leaves are used cooked or in salads. It was commonly grown in Mediterranean regions from early times until spinach became the more favored leaf vegetable. The leaves appear in red, white and green varieties. It is commonly grown as a warm-weather alternative to spinach because it is more tolerant of heat and slower to bolt in warm weather. The green leaves were once used to color pasta in Italy. Another common use of orach is to balance out the acidic flavor of sorrel.
Birch bark bread
Inspired by the “Fried Pine Bark” thread by RangerXanatos I decided to do a bit of research about an emergency food, known as pettu, commonly eaten here during food shortages up until the WWII.
Pettu is flour made from Pine bark. It was traditionally used to make two types of breads. Either using buttermilk and plain pettu or a mix of rye flour and pettu.
The part of the pine you should use is called Phloem. This is the white layer after the brown bark and green mid layer.
Best time to harvest pettu is at spring, few weeks before midsummer. You strip off the bark on top of phloem and cut nice sheets of it out.
Then you dry the sheets for few hours, warm sunny day will do fine.
Then you fry the sheets to slightly brown from the both sides, crush them and ground them. You can use a bag and a wooden mace to do that.
Birch bark bread
600g whole grain flour
400g tipo 00 flour
75g birch flour
200g sourdough starter
Combine ingredients and soak overnight. The next morning add 200g sourdough. Over the next 4-5 hours turn the dough every 45-60 minutes by pulling up one corner and folding it over onto itself. Give the bowl a quarter turn and repeat until you have made it all the way around.
Shape loaves into tight rounds and let them rest for 20 minutes. Then fold them into tight packages and place in a rising basket. Allow to rise for 2-3 hours.
Place Dutch oven with lid into oven and preheat oven to 250°C. Once hot, drop the dough into the pot, score, and put the lid back on. Decrease temperature to 230°C and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the lid and bake for another 25 minutes until the crust turns a beautiful golden brown.
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First off, I didn’t make this to look or taste nice. Today I would like to share a recip. British Culinary History, especially when it comes to famine soup. During the Great Irish Famine in April 1847, he invented a soup kitchen and was asked by the Government to go to Ireland to implement his idea. This was opened in Dublin and his “famine soup” was served to thousands of the poor for free. This is that soup; A dish with a true historical background.
- 450 g British stewing beef
- 5 litres water
- 200 g butter (was meant to be dripping)
- 3 onions
- 500 g flour
- 100 g brown sugar
- 200 g salt
Colcannon, or Irish mashed potatoes, are boiled and mashed potatoes traditionally served with cabbage or kale. The word comes from the Gaelic cal ceannan,’ which translates literally to “white-headed cabbage.” It can also be eaten with ham or bacon. There’s also a traditional Irish song called “Colcannon,” which has been recorded by many well-known artists.
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Generally, most people are optimistic. This makes them unprepared for failure. However, the best thing is to prepare for worst times. It is important to tell your kids about earthquakes, fire outbreaks, extreme weather conditions and other calamities. Tell them how to deal with these calamities in case they occur.
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The Lost Ways (Learn the long forgotten secrets that helped our forefathers survive famines,wars,economic crisis and anything else life threw at them)
Survival MD (Best Post Collapse First Aid Survival Guide Ever)
Conquering the coming collapse (Financial advice and preparedness )
Liberty Generator (Build and make your own energy source)
Backyard Liberty (Easy and cheap DIY Aquaponic system to grow your organic and living food bank)
Bullet Proof Home (A Prepper’s Guide in Safeguarding a Home )
Family Self Defense (Best Self Defense Strategies For You And Your Family)
Survive Any Crisis (Best Items To Hoard For A Long Term Crisis)
Survive The End Days (Biggest Cover Up Of Our President)
Drought USA (Discover The Amazing Device That Turns Air Into Water)