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Can humans eat grass?

Let us assume that we are a victim of some disaster and we have run out of food supplies. Can we eat grass to survive? In theory, yes – grass is non-toxic and edible. Unfortunately, in practice, eating grass will do us more harm than good.

There are two problems with eating grass. The first is that human stomachs are not adapted to digest raw leaves and grass. As a result, if we eat grass, we won’t absorb any nutrients from it, but only irritate the stomach, which can lead to problems such as dehydration caused by diarrhea. Raw grass can also be a source of germs, which will make our situation even worse. Finally, we may also pick some other plant along with the grass, which may even be poisonous. Animals, such as cows, can eat grass because they have stomachs with four chambers.

The second problem with eating grass is chewing it. Raw grass contains a lot of silica, which abrades the teeth. In animals adapted to eating grass, teeth grow slowly all the time, renewing the worn surface. For us, the dental clinic will be of necessity.

To get the most out of the nutrients in grass, it would have to be cooked. However, this actually is pointless. If we are not in a crisis, we have no need to eat grass, and if we are (e.g. if we have lost our way), we are unlikely to have a pot with us. Well, and even if we did, in the best case we would get a decoction resembling tea and its nutrients would be minimal.



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