If you’re dying of hunger, why can’t you eat leaves and grass to survive? Could that sustain you for even a little longer?

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And what would be the most advantageous things to come across if you have dwindling supplies? Berries? An animal?

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7 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

Starving people have tried this. There just aren’t enough calories or nutrients in leaves and grass to sustain a human.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Depending on what kind of leaf, you may or may not be able to get some nutrition from it (spinach — yes, oak leaves — no). Same with grass.

It takes energy to digest something. If you don’t get more calories from digesting it than the digestion (or elimination) takes, you’ve just sped things along more quickly.

As a side note, digestion (and elimination — from either end) takes water from your body also. So if water is also scarce, you’ve done yourself a double disservice.

Anonymous 0 Comments

A cow needs 4 stomachs to digest grass. Many plants are hard to extract nutrents from and so need special adaptations that we just don’t have.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Cellulose (which is what grass is mostly made of) has energy, but we can’t digest it. Cows and horses have different digestive systems that allow them to.

Anonymous 0 Comments

There are plenty of ‘stories’ about this from North Korea defectors. The answer is, you can… but certainly not for very long!

edit:

[https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2010/07/starving-north-koreans-forced-survive-diet-grass-and-tree-bark/](https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2010/07/starving-north-koreans-forced-survive-diet-grass-and-tree-bark/)

Also, you’re simply choosing to believe one propaganda over another. There’s additional evidence out there.

And if we’re talking about simply living off eating grass… a simply google search will provide multiple sources of evidence… here’s just the top one!

https://www.iflscience.com/can-humans-eat-grass-66144#:~:text=Grass%20is%20relatively%20rich%20in,suggest%20you%20stick%20to%20vegetables.

Anonymous 0 Comments

People have resorted to this a few times. During the Irish potatoe famine, there are reports of families with their teeth stained green from eating grass. The issue is grass is mostly fiber. Fiber has 0 caloric value because our stomachs can’t break it down. Sheep and cows can eat it because they have multiple stomachs that have evolved to break down the fiber into sugars, but as humans our single stomach can’t do it.

So eating a big bowl of grass would only be a 10 to 60 calories at most (depending on the grass), yet you’d feel full because the fiber filled you up. In starvation conditions you need about 500 calories a day to stay alive. But a human eating 500 calories a day is barely functional. you could use it to pad out more calorie rich foods like grains and meats, but it wouldn’t be a substitute for other foods.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Depends on the plant, and that’s going to vary by region/ecosystem. For example in a (voluntary) survival experience my group mostly ate cattail rhizomes and stinging nettle, but you really need to cook those (especially the cattail). Berries are great if you can find them but not always in season. Always be absolutely certain about what you’re eating.

Even so we were all skinnier by the end of the week.