The Cattail has many survival uses. It can help start fires, make mats and baskets, make arrow shafts, insulation from the cold, stuffing for flotation devices, and as a food source.
The pollen, when in season, makes a good food source. The female flower pod, when green, can be eaten like corn.
But, the Cattail rhizomes/stalks are fairly high in starch content; this is usually listed at about 30% to 46%. The core can be ground into flour.
One acre of cattails would yield about 6,475 pounds of flour (Harrington 1972). This flour would probably contain about 80% carbohydrates and around 6% to 8% protein.
The starchy rhizomes are nutritious with a protein content comparable to that of maize or rice.
The leaf bases can be eaten raw or cooked, especially in late spring when they are young and tender. In early summer the sheath can be removed from the developing green flower spike, which can then be boiled and eaten like corn on the cob.
In mid-summer when the male flowers are mature, the pollen can be collected and used as a flour supplement or thickener.
It is not advisable to eat specimens deriving from polluted water as it is used as a bioremediator, it absorbs pollutants. Do not eat them if they taste very bitter or spicy. (Source: wikipedia)
Stay Prepared! Stay Alive!