Book Review: Extreme Food by Bear Grylls

Extreme Food by Bear GryllsExtreme Food: What it is about

William Morrow (publisher) says: “In the tradition of the million-copy-bestseller SAS Survival Guide, former SAS paratrooper Bear Grylls—the world’s most famous survival expert—teaches the necessary skills for eating in the wild.

“There’s no getting away from it; I’ve eaten some pretty extreme things in my time—live tarantulas, raw goat testicles, elephant dung, you name it. In a situation when your life depends on it, you need to put your prejudices aside to keep your stomach filled and your strength up.

Whether it’s mastering the art of foraging and cooking up a tasty feast around the campfire or learning about the more extreme end of wild food (ever tried a scorpion kebab?), there’s a lot to learn when it comes to dinner time in the wild. Extreme Food will teach you all the necessary skills and techniques to get your teeth into meals you might never have thought of as food in the first place—and, crucially, how to recognize plants and animals that might end up doing you more harm than good.

In today’s world, we rarely need to venture beyond the local supermarket and we turn our noses up at the thought of snacking on bugs and grubs. But out in the wild, Mother Nature has provided us with a plentiful supply of nutritious—if not always delicious—food for the taking. And when needs must, we just have to know where to look.

Some of it might take you out of your comfort zone. Some of it might turn your stomach. But it’s saved my life more than once. And one day, it might save yours . . .”—BEAR GRYLLS”

Extreme Food: What I thought

I didn’t read this book, but my son (16) did. He’s isn’t at all the outdoorsy type and doesn’t voluntarily take a walk in the woods. Neither is he much of a reader. But he loved this book!

Over the course of a week or so, he read this book, regularly telling me about his newest findings. “Look at this fish trap! This is how it works!”, “Do you know that this plant is edible?”, “Look how you can make a fire with just X and Y!” And so it went on. He found all the different ways to catch and cook animals very intriguing. It didn’t make him go outdoors and try some of these examples for himself. But the book gave him a whole new way to look at nature. And that is great.

The book starts with the basics: nutrition, how to make fires, how to purify water. Then wild plants and mushrooms are discussed, which you can eat and what you can do with them. Fishing is discussed to some detail: how to make your hooks and rod, the best ways to try and catch fish, and a section about how to cook them. After a short section about edibles from the sea, the book moves on to bigger game: how to stalk and catch larger animals, how to make snares, how to cook and preserve your kill.The books ends with a section on insects and amphibians.

Both for people who never go out in the wild and those who do, this book will give you lots of new ideas about what can be done with nature’s supplies. Even if you never intend to use the knowledge in practice, it’s fun to learn something new, and you’ll never look at nature in the same way again.

Rating: 5 (out of 5)

Number of pages: 272

First published: 2014

I got this book: from the publisher for an honest review

Genre: non-fiction, survival


About Leeswammes
I'm owner and editor at In my free time, I read and review books on my two blogs, Leeswammes' Blog and De Boekblogger.

4 Responses to Book Review: Extreme Food by Bear Grylls

  1. Laurie C says:

    Interesting! I don’t like to walk in the woods anymore (too many tick-borne diseases in our area) and certainly hope my wilderness survival skills are never tested! I’m glad this book found an appreciative reader in your son!

  2. Isi says:

    This is very funny, but I’m not sure if I’m ready to read how to cook, let’s say, insects or whatever other disgusting creatures, haha. I’m glad your son liked it; sounds perfect to raise interest in teenagers, for sure!

    • Leeswammes says:

      Indeed Isi, I’m not sure about the insects either. Still, they are getting a bit more popular now, even with famous cooks, and I think there already are insect burgers. I’m not too interested yet.

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