Making A Meal By The Seashore
If I ever had a choice about where to be stranded starving, I would choose the seaside. Apart from the possible problem of finding fresh water, the ocean provides us with an abundance of culinary possibilities.
There are no poisonous seaweeds. Out of the thousands of seaweed varieties in the world, none have proved to be deadly to humans. Now I’m not saying they taste nice and are easy to get down but they will not kill you. The edible seaweeds that we find in supermarkets have usually been boiled, tenderized and then dried to leave them in an edible state. But if you are dying of starvation, you may find that you are less fussy and more inclined to chew your way through some tough weed that you find on the beach as it may just sustain you until help arrives.
Some varieties of seaweed can act as a laxative so it is best to just consume this marine vegetable in small amounts until you figure out the effect it has on your body.
The other exciting thing about ocean environments is that there is usually a wide variety of shellfish available on the tidal rocks by the shoreline. These are in the form of mollusks clinging to the rocks and are generally submerged in high tide and exposed at low tide.
These shellfish can be cracked open and eaten raw and will provide a good source of protein. They can also be placed in their shell on a fire and when the shell opens up, they are ready to eat. It is better to cook them if you can but in the event that you haven’t been able to get a fire going, they will suffice raw.
Cockles are also a good meal and can be found by standing where the waves are hitting the beach and twisting your feet into the wet sand. As you sink, you should be able to find the cockles with your toes and dig them up to eat. Sometimes you will accidentally unearth a crab hiding in the sand. You will know this because they will give your toe a good sharp nip. Don’t be scared, just dig in and grab the crab. They are better eating than the cockles.
Now the obvious one that I have left out here is fish! Fish are great food and very tasty but unless you come prepared with a fishing line and hooks or a spear and some goggles, your chances of catching a fish are very slim. You will be expending a lot of effort for very little gain. It is a very hard task to catch a fish in the ocean without the proper tools and your time and energy would be best-spent gathering food in rock pools and along the shoreline.
WARNING – The Ocean has been more polluted by humans than the rest of the planet. It works furiously to clean out what we are dumping into it daily. Much like the trees are the lungs of the earth, the seaweeds filter the toxic waste out of the ocean in an effort to cleanse it. Shellfish also filter such waste. Please don’t try to eat the raw produce of the sea in populated areas as it can make you sick. This edible advice is for severe survival situations only where your choice of food is limited and you are well away from civilization.
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