Food in a Desert? 10 Places to Find It

food in a desert feature

Believe it or not, there is food in a desert – if you know where to look. Many deserts are filled with life and a lot of that life can be consumed by humans. That said, even though many deserts are filled with life, there are certainly some deserts that are absolutely barren.

The deserts that we’ll be talking about are the Sonoran Desert along California, Arizona, and Mexico; the Great Basin Desert along Nevada, California, Idaho, Utah, and Oregon; as well as the Chihuahuan Desert along Mexico, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona.

You may not be able to find all of the desert foods I mention in all of the above listed deserts, but there’s a good chance you’ll find one or two. We’ll be talking about some of the animals that reside in some of these areas, not just plants. I’ll mention 5 plants and 5 animals.

early humans testing food

First, some words of caution about any wild edible:

  • Leave some behind for other animals, and for those foods to reproduce.
  • Use proper precautions as needed, such as gloves.
  • When first trying a wild edible, make sure you’ve 100% positively identified it before consuming. Get a wild edibles book of your area and take it with you when outdoors (more on books toward the end).
  • When first trying a wild edible, taste just a little bit at first to see how it may affect you. Just because it’s edible, doesn’t mean you won’t have adverse reactions. Some people may be allergic, or it may upset their stomach, or whatever the case may be. But it could also be perfectly fine. Try a little at a time at first, wait 24 hours and see what happens. Then try more.
  • Make sure it’s prepared properly. Some wild edibles, especially animals, need to be prepared first before eating. Make sure you can properly identify if anything is wrong with it, like unusual spots on an organ or a berry or plant looks diseased.
  • Pay attention to your surroundings. Many plants are eaten by animals. There also could be insects around the plants that could harm you.

Have fun! Identifying wild edibles and hunting wild game is exciting and being prepared is important.

10 Foods You Can Find in a Desert

All sand, hot sun, and no water? Not so fast. Humans have lived in desert-like environments for centuries. There’s food in a desert – if you know where to look.

1 – Cactus

prickly pear cactus

There are many types of cacti, but specifically the prickly pear cactus has a few edible parts. The pads can be eaten. You can even use the pads to boil water inside of it. The flowers can be eaten. Keep in mind, whenever you pick a flower, that flower won’t create fruit.

Lastly, the prickly pear, the fruit of…

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