Alright guys, here it is: a multiple part article on sustenance acquisition and production in the zombie apocalypse. Thanks to Eric Rutherford of Zombie Awareness International for his inspiration on this piece.
Making It Edible: A How-To Guide on Food Safety and Awareness in the Zombie Apocalypse
First of all, I would like to answer a (sadly) very common question from some of our readers: Is zombie flesh edible? The answer is a resounding NO. I cannot express this any more strongly. Is a rotting corpse of any species edible? No. Would you even think to take a big chomp out of maggot-infested tissue that’s been collecting dirt and grime, and contains an extremely deadly virus? My answer: HELL NO. However, I will eat bugs and critters that crawl in the dirt, for one very specific reason: THEY WEREN’T DEAD (or undead) WHEN I FOUND THEM, or they were recently killed. Pretty much anything that died due to old age or disease is not safe to eat. Got it? Good. So now that that’s out of the way, we can get to the real topic: what you CAN eat during the apocalypse.
On herding, planting, and wild harvesting:
The critters, vegetables, and fruits you’re going to find growing wild can only sustain you for so long. Consider this: there is a population of deer living near your camp or safehouse. Let’s say it’s a big group and there are fifty of them. Every three days, you harvest one deer for your small community or team to consume for dietary protein. If the deer never think to run from your location to preserve themselves, you would at most have deer meat for 153 days (saying that final deer lasts you three days before you run out), and no new fawns are born during that time. Considering most of the deer within a herd are female (in general), you will most likely kill them off first, therefore decreasing the number of reproductive members in the herd, and stifling the herd’s growth rate. However, if you’re the dumb sap that kills off all the bucks first, whether out of desperation or pure stupidity, you’ll either force your prey to move to a new area in search of mates, or completely destroy the potential for retaining a renewable food source. The same thing applies to plant foods: don’t over harvest. And whenever you can, herd and plant your own food sources. Trust me, it’s worth the effort to learn these skills, and you’ll be glad you took the time to develop your green thumb before the zombies show up.
Next Week: This looks like food… can I eat it?