Can you eat grass to survive?

In this brief article, we will answer the question, “Can you eat grass to survive?” with an in-depth analysis of the grass, how it can be safe to eat during survival mode, what are the possible side effects of eating grass.

Read on to know about the types of grass available in nature, and which type of grass is supported to eat by humans along with its all-pros and cons.

Can you eat grass to survive?

Yes, you can eat grass to survive. According to laws and principles, the grass is edible at the time of survival mode when you have no other choice of edibles. The grass is not toxic to health, it does not affect the health system notoriously. 

Only the problem with eating grass is that the digestion of grass can not be supported by the human’s stomach.

The reason behind not eating the grass

One of the major reasons that can not support grass edibility is that it consists of cellulose. Cellulose is a significant compound that is found in the cell wall of plants and it can only be digested by the Cellulase enzyme, and unfortunately, humans do not have cellulose enzymes in their digestive tract. So, the digestion of cellulose is not supported by the stomach of humans.

This is the major reason behind not eating the grass by humans because due to undigested material humans are unable to extract much nutritional content from grass and even more eating of grass can cause sickness in humans.

How do animals digest grass?

Many animals, such as cows and goats, have specially designed stomach systems that have the capability to digest the cellulose of plants by cellulose enzyme. This breakdown of cellulose inside the animals takes through rumination which is a slow process but an effective one to distort the cellulose. Even animals can eat grass to make energy for their activities.

Is there any type of grass that could be edible by humans?

Many other forms of grass are edible by humans, which are considered safe to eat for humans. These varieties of grass include rice, porridge, corn, and sugarcane.

All these mentioned dietary contents are made from grass. These products rarely have a leaf or stem. So, the nutritional content that can be extracted from these products is just by the seeds.

Types of grass that humans can eat

Natural gluten-free clusters of grass grow mostly in the Southern states of the USA or in the western States. 

Indian ricegrass is also considered safe to eat in respect to nutritional level because it contains both protein and fiber.

The seeds of these products can be ingested in raw form after harvesting them from a mature plant, or these seeds can be crushed into fine powder or flour that could be used in making bread. This type of bread is also termed as one of the survival bread types.


Nutgrass is also known as sedge grass and invasive grass as it spreads unlimitedly, which is the reason for not harvesting nutgrass. Therefore, it is eradicated in spite of having nutritional content and providing health benefits. 

It is also used as a stimulator in eradicating stomach-related disorders and it is also considered a diuretic compound. 

Nutgrass is also known as “World’s worst weed”. Although, like many other weeds, it is safe to eat with a good taste. 

Bristle grass

Bristle grass has a separate identification like it has foxtail-shaped, which is why it is easily identified all over the world. 

Bristle grass has a variety of species in which Setaria and some others are transformed into commercial crops. In some regions like in Asia, one of the types of Bristle grass is named foxtail millet which is annually cultivated just for the sake of human need. 

After cultivation, it is converted into a fine flour form which is being used in preparing sweet puri. Sweet puri is a type of bread that is mostly liked by people of Asia in their breakfast.

Cattails are also one type of bristle grass which provides nourishment and also a good content of water along with shelter.


In this brief article, we have answered the question, “Can you eat grass to survive?” with an in-depth analysis of the grass, how it can be safe to eat during survival mode if we eat it when we will have nothing other to feed, what will be the consequences, what types of grass are available in nature. 

We have described all the possible aspects of grass in human views in respect of safety or edibility.


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.