Can Humans Eat Grass? [What You Need to Know]

Grass is everywhere. It’s on your lawn, by the road, and out in the forest. Pretty much anywhere with a decent amount of rain. So, naturally, this seems like a good option if you’re hungry and need something to eat – so can humans eat grass?

Yes, humans can eat grass. However, for most grasses, we will not be able to process it in our digestive system. It will come in one end and come out the other. So, what are the grasses that you can eat, and what happens when you eat grass? Let’s find out in this article.

Let’s dive right in.

Yes, people can eat grass but won’t be able to digest grass very well.

This could potentially lead to stomach problems, or you are just pooping out a bunch of mushed-up green stuff – not a pleasant sight.

The grass is almost entirely cellulose which is impossible for our digestive system to digest. You may get a little nutrition from it, as the grass has been used in teas and other foods, but it certainly cannot be eaten for an extended period.

If you eat a diet of main grass, you will probably get sick fast since you’re using a lot of energy to digest the food but aren’t getting much out of it.

If you rely solely on grass, you won’t last much longer than the 30 days you can live without food.

How Much Grass Can You Eat?

For regular grass, it really shouldn’t be a significant source of food.

There are species of grass that are great for you, like cattails, which we’ll get into below.

Overall, foraging other foods would be much better than eating grass since eating a lot of grass might make you sick. 

Although that sick feeling might be better than that starving feeling – you’ll need to decide if that time comes. But often, where there is grass, there is a bunch of food.

If you’re also eating other food, you can eat some grass. It won’t hurt you if consumed in a small amount, but it won’t benefit you in the slightest way. 

Ensure that the surrounding area has clean water and land – pesticides can harm you.

But, surely, some species of grass are healthy – well, there are. That’s what we’re going to cover right now.

What Kind of Grass is Healthiest?

There are 12,000 species of grass in the world – of which only a small portion is actually good for you.

Some of these grasses, like cattails, are much easier to find than others.

Cattails

cattail edible wild plant

Cattails are great grasses to eat. They are grown in much of the US and Australia. 

A fun fact is they have more starch than potatoes which makes them nutritious in that sense.

Young Cattail shoots and roots are edible. The top head part often referred to as cigar heads, are not nearly as nutritious as the rest of the plant – although they make good tinder since they stay dry even in the rain.

Cattail contains things like Riboflavin, Potassium, Carotene, Niacin, Thiamin, phosphorus, and vitamin C. They are so nutritious, they’re actually listed as one of the most nutritious wild plants to forage in our article.

Cattails should not be mistaken for poison iris.

Barley Grass

Barley grass grows in Europe and Asia. 

They are very healthy as well. They contain amino acids and vitamin C. This help strengthen the immune system and repair muscles.

Wheat Grass

Wheatgrass is fairly rare to find out in the wild. But, it’s in locations with plenty of water.

They have often grown in pots actually. They don’t provide a lot of calories, but they have antioxidants such as glutathione, vitamin C, and vitamin E.

Oat Grass

Oat grass can be found in Australia, New Zealand, and South America.

They are one of the healthiest grasses since they are jam-packed with antioxidants. 

Alfalfa

alfalfa grass

Alfalfa can be found throughout the US, including California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Washington, and Wyoming.

They can help alleviate high blood pressure and symptoms of menopause. They also have a ton of antioxidants.

Grass Seeds

Pretty much any grass seeds can be eaten as long as it is cooked. Most don’t need to be cooked, but just to stay on the safe side, you should cook them.

Can You Cook Grass?

Cooking regular grass will not make it easier for you to digest it.

You can cook the above-mentioned grasses, however. Those are good for you.

Cooking regular grass will not make it more edible. Cooking is simply used to make food more likable – it doesn’t make indigestible foods digestible.

So, yes you can cook grass, but it will not do you any good.

Something that looks similar to grass in pine needles and pine needle tea is amazing for you. You can learn how to make it by clicking on our article there.

What Does Grass Taste Like?

Grass tastes somewhat sweet. It will also taste a little like dirt if you don’t properly wash it since it is on dirt.

Edible, digestible grass tastes sweet as well. The grass is chewy, and dry, and has a similar texture to most green veggies.

What Happens When You Eat Grass?

If you eat grass, almost nothing will happen to you. It will go in one end and out the other. You will not feel energized after eating grass, since it probably took more energy trying to digest than the grass gave you.

If you eat a lot of grass, that is when you might become sick. 

Is Eating Grass Lethal?

No, eating grass will not be something that can kill you. However, if you are eating pesticide-contaminated grass or grass that has been infused with some inedible chemical, you may be in some trouble.

It is also possible that there are germs on the grass, so if you were to eat some grass, wash it thoroughly with water.

Other Options

Where there is grass, there are almost always other foods like:

  • Dandelions
  • Berries
  • Lambsquarter

And a lot more! If you want to know more about healthy plants that grow in the wild, click that.

Last Words

So, you can eat grass, but it won’t do anything for you, and if you’re unlucky, it could harm you. But, there are a few species of grass that you can safely digest, like Cattails.

Additionally, there are dozens of plants that grow around grass that are safe to eat.

So, should you eat grass? No, not at all – and overeating will harm you. But can you? Sure, but it won’t help you survive.

Overall, just use your common sense, and good luck with your adventures out there!

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