If you’re in a survival situation amid the wilderness, can you eat grass to survive?
There is no nutritional value for humans eating grass. It will just pass through and you will get no calories because cannot digest.
Although grass is not poisonous, and it is safe to eat, however, that never means it would be suitable for the digestive system that humans possess. In other words, the human stomach is not fit to digest the grass or its equivalent raw hard leaves that cows or other grazing animals can. Also note that cooking it prior does not help.
From the biological viewpoint unlike humans, animals like cows are ruminants and possess a specific kind of stomach containing four chambers that support the digestion of grass.
Apart from the digestion issue, the second major problem for the human to eat grass is that it contains lots of silica, which is abrasive and wears down human teeth. On contrary, grazing animals possess teeth that are adapted to continually re-coating their damaged teeth surfaces, and thereby silica doesn’t affect their teeth.
Because humans cannot digest grass, it gets them almost zero nutritional value from consuming it. So, eating is just pointless to even in a starvation situation. It can do no good to you but likely to end with upsetting your stomach.. This is the reason; you will be recommended not to eat grass even you’re in a survival situation.
The Fact File – Why Man Cannot Eat (Digest) Grass?
In reality, humans intake lots of grass. It’s nearly ¾ amount of foods are consumed by humankind comes from varied grasses, but in the form of wheat, rice and corn. The bits that we eat are basically the seeds but not their leafy stems.
Grass stems and their similar kind of green leafy parts of plants are used as a major part of the diet suitable for animals like cows, horses, sheep, and so on.
The cells that form our bodies are comparatively flimsy, given that they are sheltered by a fragile casing (membrane) made of a thin film fat. In contrast, the cells that plants possess are fairly stronger, while the type of membrane that they own offers a thick layer of protection. These cell walls are made of cellulose, which is a very tough and starchy substance. Human stomachs are not designed to digest cellulose and because humans can’t live off grass.
To be more precise, cellulose is a kind of long molecule and formed by many tiny sugar molecules linking together. Humans need an enzyme is known as cellulase is much needed. Unfortunately, our body doesn’t make cellulase. Interestingly, although cows or other grazing animals don’t make cellulase – the bacteria (that live in their guts) produce this enzyme and supply it to their four-chambered digestive system and this helps them to feed on chewed up grass.
Can You Cook Grass to Make it Eatable?
Well, since cooking vegetables is a proven way to soften the raw foodstuff and make them palatable, what if we can cook it for eating grass!
Unfortunately, there again, you will fail because by cooking grass, you cannot make it more suitable for eating. The problem is that cooking does not support breaking down the cellulose contents of grass sufficiently or make it edible.
Most vegetables that we intake contain a bare minimum amount of cellulose than grass. That is why we can soften raw veggies through cooking and make them digestible. However, we don’t cook vegetables containing more cellulose to transform them from inedible to edible. So, as the cellulose of grass remains unbroken, even after cooking, our stomach cannot digest them and the cellulose enters into our digestive tract and goes out.
If You East Grass – What Happens
Even if you eat grass, it would simply pass through your digestive system and come out as it is – i.e. looking much similar as it was taken by you. As our digestive system is unfit to break down the high cellulose-containing stems of grass – your body would not accept it and it will be extracted out resembling chewed grass in the feces.
How Grass Tastes Like?
According to the experiences of people who have eaten it to experiment what happens – that grass tastes similar to as it smells. It would taste akin to the raw veggies, dry and crunchy.
Will You Get Sick – if You Eat Grass?
It can make you extremely sick even may be severe depending on the type of harmful bacteria, germs, and microbes that often remain fastened to the blades of grass.
Our single-stomached digestive system is not fit to digest it. However, herbivores can perform the process of rumination, which facilitates them in breaking down the high amount of cellulose while their four-chambered stomach and the bacteria from guts help in digestion as well as access the nutrients that they need from the grass.
If we eat grass our teeth will suffer and worn as we attempt to grind the grass leaves containing a large amount of silica (damaging for our teeth)
Since we cannot digest, grass can contribute almost nil nutrients to us. In fact, grass has limited nutritional value, which is why cows consume nearly 30 pounds of grass or hay and spend nearly 12 hours eating them through the rumination process.