BOOK REVIEW: Essential Wild Food Survival Guide

May 7, 2015

in Books

The biggest problem with all wild edible food books is regionality. Guides on wild foods from the East Coast don’t supply much information for the forager in the South West and vice-versa. This book is drawn from experience mostly based in the Adirondack mountain region of upper New York state. If you live in that area, this is most likely an excellent, perhaps even essential book to have. The value of the book will vary in other areas, depending on how the list of plants matches your area. There are a few plants listed in the book that obviously don’t come from the North East, such as Prickly Pear and Saguaro cactus. And there are quite a few plants that are found widely.

The main value to this book is found in the details offered regarding specific plants and their use. A typical plant entry contains various combinations of the following items: botanical name and commonly used names, a pencil sketch of the plant, history, habitat, characteristics, primary uses, nutritional value, medicinal value, and collection and storage information. Some sections are skimpy for some plants and well filled out for others. Some plant entries contain special anecdotal information sections that can be quite valuable. A section with photos of actual plants and tables with nutritional information follows. The number of edible plants is not all encompassing but it is thorough enough to be widely useful.

There is a nice section containing recipes, some good information on cultivating wild edibles and a short cross reference of poisonous look-a-likes. The book has an appendix of terms, a short reference page, a suggested reading list and no index.

In summary, first look for a foraging guide that is specific to your area. If you are in or near the Adirondacks, this book is a must have! If not, this should not be considered a sole reference source, but it makes a good supplementary tool containing some information you may not find elsewhere.

The Essential Wild Food Survival Guide Paperback – April 29, 2009 by Linda Runyon (Author)

Essential Wild Food Survival Guide

Essential Wild Food Survival Guide

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