The tropics have no greater proportion of poisonous
plants than the United States. If youre in doubt about
whether plants are poisonous or nonpoisonous, observe
the habits of vegetable-eating animals, such as birds,
rodents, monkeys, baboons, and bears. Usually the
foods these animals eat are safe for humans. Cook all
plant foods because cooking removes plant poisons
(except those in poisonous mushrooms).
Avoid eating plants that taste bitter. Also avoid
eating untested plants that have milky juices.
Dont let the milky juice contact your skin.
You may eat most animals. However, some, like
mollusks, may introduce parasites into your body,
especially if you eat them uncooked or when they arent
fresh. Crustaceans are almost always edible, but they
spoil rapidly and may harbor harmful parasites. Be sure
to cook the freshwater variety; eat the saltwater variety
raw if you desire.
You have no simple way of telling whether a fish is
edible. That depends on the place in which they live,
their source of food, or even the season of the year.
Often fish that are edible in one area of the world are not
in another. At first, eat only small portions of any fish. If
you feel no ill effects, you can probably continue to eat
the fish safely.
Figure 15-13.Water chestnut.
Figure 15-14.Nut grass.