Cook most birds with the skin on to retain their food value. After plucking a bird, cut off the neck
close to the body and take out the internal organs through the cavity. (NOTE: Scalding most birds makes
them easier to pluck. Waterfowl are an exception; they are easier to pluck when dry.) Wash out the cavity
with fresh, clean water. Save the neck, liver, and heart for stew. Boil scavenger birds, like buzzards and
vultures, at least 20 minutes before you cook them to kill parasites.
Birds eggs are among the safest of foods. You can hard boil eggs and carry them for days as reserve
Save all the feathers you pluck from the birds. You may use them for insulating your shoes or
clothing or for bedding.
Clean and dress the carcass of a fur-bearing animal as soon as possible after death. Any delay will
make your job harder. Cut the animals throat and allow the blood to drain into a container. The boiled
blood is a valuable source of food and salt. Save the kidneys, liver, and heart. Use the fat surrounding the
intestines. All parts of the animal are edible, including the meaty parts of the skull, such as the brain,
eyes, tongue, and flesh.
Crabs, crayfish, shrimp, prawns, and other crustaceans are excellent sources of food. However,
crustaceans spoil rapidly so boil them alive immediately after capture. You can steam, boil, or bake
shellfish such as clams, oysters, and conchs in the shell. Shellfish make an excellent stew when cooked
with greens or tubers.
You can easily catch grasshoppers, locusts, large grubs, termites, ants, and other insects to
provide nourishment in an emergency.
This is a quick way to prepare wild plant foods and tender meats. Roast meat by putting it on a stick and
holding it near the embers of your fire. Roasting hardens the outside of the meat and retains the juices.
Baking is cooking in an oven over steady, moderate heat. The oven maybe a pit under you fire, a closed
vessel, or a leaf or clay wrapping. Pit cooking protects food from flies and other pests and reveals no flame at
You can steam foods that require little cooking, like shellfish. Place your food in a pit filled with heated
stones over which leaves are placed. Put more leaves over your food. Then force a stick through the leaves
down to the food pocket. Pack a layer of dirt on top of the leaves and around the stick. Remove the stick and
pour water to the food through the holes that remains. Steaming is a slow but effective way to cook.
Parching may be a desirable method of preparing some foods, especially grains and nuts. To parch, place
the food in a metal container and heat slowly until it is thoroughly scorched. In the absence of a suitable
container, use anything that holds food or watera heated, flat stone; turtle shells; seashells; leaves; bamboo;
or a section of bark.
Drying preserves food by ridding it of moisture. You can dry plant food and meat by exposing them to
wind, sun, air, fire, or any combination of these. To produce jerky, cut meat into 1/4-inch strips and place it
across grates; allow it to dry in either the wind or smoke until brittle.