Can birdseed be used as food for humans? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I know it may sound odd, but I've seen cracked corn cheap, and other seeds that would be wonderful baked in bread for not only their nutritive content but the taste as well (my sister-in-law served some bread that was commercially made and full of what looked like...bird seed...).

Anyone know if the same issues with regard to animal feed (pesticides, etc.) apply to birdseed? Any ingredients in the usual mix that are toxic?

-- Karen Cook (, September 30, 1998


I just don't think it has a lot of calories. If you want to stock up on something cheap, the better brands of dog food are about $25 a bag. If you get hungry enough, you'll eat it. I'll be stocking up, of course I have a dog.

-- Amy Leone (, October 01, 1998.

Karen, really, if we're reduced to eating animal feed or even canary seed, things will have come to a pretty pass. Surely y2k isn't going to be that bad!

-- Richard Dale (, October 01, 1998.

You have to be kidding? Right? Buy bird food? Some of you people never cease to amaze. Anything to post a message. Why not just scatter the bird food in your yard and shoot the birds as they come to feed. I hear bird eyes are a real delicacy.

-- Bird (, October 01, 1998.

Karen: Eating bird seed is a little extreme, IMHO, but as long as you asked -- not a great idea, definitely bottom of the barrel, both literally and figuratively. Animal feed of all types, including the cracked corn you mentioned, isn't as clean as food prepared for human consumption, meaning lots more stones, dirt, insect parts, etc. Risk of pesticide contamination is higher. For those who care about such things, the imported hemp seed that makes up a large proportion of bird seed mixes is irradiated (to prevent sprouting into evil weed). Definitely a last resort food, right down there with dry cat food and MREs.

-- J.D. Clark (, October 01, 1998.

I knew there was a reason to worry about drying cats.....8<)

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (, October 01, 1998.

Yep, I have had problems drying cats too (at least trying to dehydrate them). Can't get the little buggers to stay in the oven 8)


-- Neph (, October 01, 1998.

Aw, you guys are doing it wrong. You feed the cat bird seed, see, especially the hemp seeds ... Oh wait, that only works on catbirds. Maybe you feed the catbird to the cat .... Didn't Burl Ives have a song about this, something to do with a fly? :)

-- J.D. Clark (, October 01, 1998.

How many pounds of sunflower seeds would you have to eat to get your daily nutrition?

-- Buddy Y. (, October 01, 1998.

Howard Rush in an old book called How to Survive the Coming Bad Years suggested buying hard red winter wheat (after cleaning) at the local grain mill and storing it in large lard cans. You have to drop a piece of dry ice in the bottom of the can and put the lid on loosely for a while, so as to fill the can with CO2 and make it impossible for weevil eggs to hatch. DONT put the lid on tightly at first, you will split the can. Then seal the lid with red sealing wax. A hand flour mill is pretty easy to find, and comes with all kinds of settings from one that will crack corn, to fine cake flour. I always thought you should seal a quart jar full of sugar and a dozen packages of yeast in the can so as to have all the bread fixins together - but thats me. Powdered milk keeps well if you seal it in a mason jar. So do dried potato flakes, dried beans ( any kind ), and smoked country ham will keep for years! Shucks, I never could understand the craze for the freeze dried stuff they want you to buy - down home cooking is what I was raised on. Grow a garden, buy a canner at WalMart and learn to can - my mother did that and fed us most all the time. You can can ( but can you do the cancan? ;}) ) (thats supposed to be a moustache if you must know) almost anything - beets, squash or pickles. Tons of information at the local library or the county agents office. If you can't raise a garden, just go to the farmers markets in the summer and buy what you want to can. Dehydrators do a good job too, esp on fruit. Dried apple pies are good.

-- Paul Davis (, October 01, 1998.

Well, seems to me if you feed your cat (a BIG cat) lots of sunflower seeds and hemp seeds they will simultaneously expand, float in space, and radiate => place resulting expanded cat above solar collector => hook solar collector up to microwave => infinite amounts of power to dry the cat.

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (, October 01, 1998.

Is Paul's dried apple pie similar to the dried cat? How long to you dry the pie before storage? And how much water do you boil the dried pie in to reconstitute it?

BTW, Paul,I think that was Howard Ruff, not Howard Rush. ..........

-- Dan Hunt (, October 01, 1998.

Help me, help me Uncle De... I'm getting confused in all these threads.

How much dihyrogen oxide did you say we have to add to your dehydrated beer to get lots of suds? Can you store the suds in a Foster's tube with hydrated raisens? After you finished washing dishes, how much suds are left over to wash the cat?

If you feed a cat lots of hemp seeds, do you get a hare-raising tale? How do chickens fit in the big scheme of things anyway>

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (, October 01, 1998.

All I know is that if your plan includes eating bird food, you're trying to get away with being too cheap, cheep, cheep, cheep...(somebody put me out of my misery)

-- Uncle Deedah (, October 01, 1998.

Ok, ok, enough already. I'm not trying to be too cheap, but mixed bird seed looks like it would be good in bread! This is no anti-keeping-up-with-the-Joneses thing; I really am serious.

White bread is so...boring, and I'd much rather have something to eat that had some character and taste. I may just have to invest in a 50 lb. bag of mixed grains from Montana at this rate.

Maybe I'll just buy a bunch of bird seed - and feed the birds instead. Harumph!

-- Karen Cook (, October 01, 1998.

Buddy, there are 7g of protein in 1/4 cup of sunflower seeds (or 3/4 cup in the shell.) Also included: 230mg of Potassium, and the following percentages needed daily of Calcium- 2%, Iron- 8%, Vitamin E- 30%, Niacin- 8%, Phosphorus- 25%, and Magnesium- 30%. Oh yea, and Dietary Fiber 2g (more if you actually eat the shell.) :-) OK, so I happen to like to eat sunflower seeds while I read this forum and had the bag handy. I wonder what the shelf life is on sunflower seeds?

-- Gayla Dunbar (, October 01, 1998.

Burl Ives sang: "Jimmy, crack corn, and I con't care. Jimmy crack corn, and I don't care. Jimmy, crack corn, and I don't care, my master's gone away."

BTW, cats hate birdfeed but like birds. Amazing what a little digestion will do. Good luck!

-- Donna Barthuley (, October 01, 1998.

Shelf life of sunflower seeds will depend on how you plant them on the or out of the pot, above or below the dirt, with or without water, in or out of the wrapper....

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (, October 01, 1998.

Wow, Gayla, there's lots of Vitamin E in those sunflower seeds! They grow well in this part of the country too (Mid-Atlantic)! Might have to look into planting some next spring.

-- Beltway Buddy (, October 02, 1998.

Now this stuff is really funny. Thanks for the laugh! BTW...sunflower seeds are also good for sprouting...I think they have to be the raw, unhulled ones. Better start doing some dress rehearsals to igure out what works and what doesn't.

Texas Terri

-- Terri Symington (, October 02, 1998.

Ok, here's prices: Local bird seed store has safflower seeds, 25 lbs, $12 sunflower chips, 25 lbs, $21 millet 25 lbs, $8 cracked corn, 25 lbs, $8

Do I stil sound like a crockpot?

-- Karen Cook (, October 03, 1998.

No, no, no, .... never maintained you were a cracked pot - that would spiil the beans (oops, seeds) and wouldn't be polite.

And a crockpot requires electrons to run, so that's not applicable to you at all, becuase you are well-prepared.

I just think white bread is, well, filling, not boring. If I had holes in my tummy after eating white bread, then I'd feel white bread was boring.

Buy the seed, feed the birds, shoot the birds, feed the cat(s), heat the cat in the microwave,....

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (, October 03, 1998.

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