Food supply 101: Unusual sources of food when SHTF
11/19/2020 // Zoey Sky // Views

When SHTF, you must be willing to make sacrifices if you want to survive. And while preppers spend most of their time anticipating the inevitable, plans don't always work out.

If you run out of food supply in a post-SHTF world, don't panic. You can keep your energy up by looking for unusual food sources like wild edible plants and bugs, and you can also look for farms that may allow you to glean. (h/t to

As a prepper, you must be ready for TEOTWAWKI, which will cause massive food shortages. Even if the world doesn't end, a large-scale disaster like a hurricane can still cause a food shortage.

When that happens, what's a prepper to do?

First, stock up on food before it's too late. However, as all preppers know, a food stockpile will eventually run out, especially in a long-term survival scenario.

You may survive longer with a survival garden, but even that doesn't guarantee an endless supply of food. The same can be said for fishing or hunting, which isn't always successful.

Before you face a similar scenario, you must learn about uncommon sources of food when SHTF and how to find them.

Foraging for edible wild plants

Knowing how to forage is a crucial skill for any pepper. This ensures that you know how to find medicinal herbs as well as edible plants that you can use to make a filling meal.

Take the time to read up on common edible plants and learn how to safely identify them in your backyard or outdoors. You should also find out which plants can be eaten raw, which plant parts are edible and how to cook various plants to make them safe for human consumption.


Below are common edible plants that you can forage for:

Learn how to identify and harvest edible bugs

In some countries, edible bugs are part of the local cuisine. Bugs are even being considered as a sustainable protein source for the future.

Below is a list of edible bugs that you can try if you're curious about this unusual food source:

  • Ants
  • Beetles
  • Butterflies and moths
  • Cicadas
  • Crickets
  • Earthworms
  • Grasshoppers
  • Grubs
  • Locusts
  • Rollie pollies
  • Stinkbugs
  • Water boatmen and backswimmers

Survival experts suggest boiling or frying insects. Bugs are tiny, and you might lose most of your harvest if you try roasting insects over an open flame.

Alternatively, squeamish or picky eaters can ground bugs into a meal if they fancy an unidentifiable "buggy" patty.

“Gleaning” from local farms

Always ask farmers for permission if you can enter their property and glean crops left behind so they don't go to waste. You can also offer to barter other supplies or services instead. (Related: A crash course in food choices for long- and short-term survival.)

In a post-SHTF world, farmers might need help harvesting their crops. If you need supplies, volunteer to help them with the harvest in exchange for being allowed to glean once the work is done.

Gleaning can also help prevent food waste. Once you've had your fill of corn or potatoes, use the excess to barter with other preppers.

Even after SHTF, be mindful of where and how you find food. Do not trespass, and ask for permission if you want to forage, glean or hunt on private property.

Sources include:

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