Because Food Storage Sucks
by Jason Ross
Freeze dried tastes delicious, for about three days. After that, you start looking for something, anything, fresh to change up the flavor. Same goes for MREs. And, the same goes triple for dried food storage.
I think we underestimate the effects of appetite fatigue on our survival. We figure that, if we have calories, we will survive just fine.
In ReadyMan Challenge Three, we put a bunch of guys in a series of night-and-day survival challenges. It took about twelve hours before guys started falling apart. The group that did the best had a healthy dose of bacon, booze and guitar.
Surprisingly, morale impacts the performance of most people by several hundred percent. Tasty food directly correlates to good morale.
Add mushrooms to your meals as a sure-fire pick-me-up. They’re a strange, tasty little foodstuff that makes almost anything savory. Yet, TEOTWAWKI is the wrong time to learn mushroom hunting.
Many mushrooms can make you sick and a few can make you dead. But once you know what’s good in your survival area, you’ll be good forever. So hunting mushrooms is a process of carefully identifying the good mushrooms that grow where you’ll be surviving then enjoying them for life. Everywhere I’ve ever looked mushrooms, at least four or five delicious varieties produce in that area – and a bunch of marginal or toxic mushrooms produce there too.
Think of mushrooms like fruit trees that live underground. When you see mushrooms, what you’re really seeing are the fruit of an organism that’s quite large and that exists below the ground. The actual “plant” (it’s a fungus) looks like a huge, white, spider web of busy fungus in the dirt. The mushroom is the organism’s attempt to spread to a new area. You can harvest the same mushrooms from the same place, over and over again just like a fruit tree. In fact, picking mushrooms doesn’t hinder the underground fungus at all.
Rain drives the fruiting of fungus. Different mushrooms generally prefer to fruit during particular seasons. But, rain will almost always trigger the fruiting. Hunt mushrooms one or two days after a significant rain. For example, I have a Shaggy Mane organism at the bottom of my driveway. They’re delicious and safe and I go check that spot every time it rains.
Here’s how to identify edible mushrooms:
- Get a book for your area. The right book will help you begin to understand what you’re looking at when you hunt. Use the process of elimination to winnow down the possibilities when you’re identifying.
- Check against multiple sources. Don’t get in a hurry to eat a mushroom. Take a sample home and begin searching online, or in other books, to absolutely identify your particular sample.
- Taste it carefully. Many times, toxic mushrooms taste toxic. If you think you’ve positively identified your mushroom, and it’s edible, test a tiny bit, preferably at home. Pay attention to how your stomach fairs. Few mushrooms will kill you, but many are irritating to your stomach and shouldn’t be eaten.
- Try it several times. Eat more and more on other occasions, paying attention to how the mushroom agrees with your belly. Once you’ve proven the mushroom’s edibility, then you can hunt it for life.
Good Books by Region:
Upper Mid-western United States: Mushrooms of the Upper Midwest. Teresa Marrone