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Food is usually abundant in a tropical survival situation. In addition to animal food, you will have to supplement your diet with edible plants. The best places to forage are the banks of streams and rivers. Wherever the sun penetrates the jungle, there will be a mass of vegetation but riverbanks may be the most accessible areas.

If you are weak, do not expend energy climbing or felling a tree for food. There are more easily obtained sources of food nearer the ground. Do not pick more food than you need. Food spoils rapidly in tropical conditions. Leave food on the growing plant until you need it and eat it fresh.

There are an almost unlimited number of edible plants from which to choose. Unless you can positively identify these plants, it may be safer at first to begin with palms, bamboos and common fruits. The list below identifies some of the most common foods.

TROPICAL ZONE FOOD PLANTS

  • Bael fruit (

  • Bamboo (various species)

  • Banana or plantain (

  • Bignay (

  • Breadfruit (

  • Coconut palm (

  • Fishtail palm (

  • Horseradish tree (

  • Lotus (

  • Mango (

  • Manioc (

  • Nipa palm (

  • Papaya (

  • Persimmon (

  • Rattan palm (

  • Sago palm (

  • Sterculia (

  • Sugarcane (

  • Sugar palm (

  • Sweetsop (

  • Taro (

  • Water lily (

  • Wild fig (

  • Wild rice (

  • Wild yam (

POISONOUS PLANTS

The proportion of poisonous plants in tropical regions is no greater than in any other area of the world. However, it may appear that most plants in the tropics are poisonous because of the great density of plant growth in some tropical areas.

Information courtesy of the U.S. Army Survival Manual