Wild food has so many benefits if you know where to look and some basics in knowing what exactly to look for. Foraging is less common but I do notice more people mentioning finding real food in their own back yard. Okay maybe not backyard, but the fact is more people are seeing the benefits of wild food.
I remember reading a national geographic article about the potatoes in Peru having such variety that a balanced diet could come from potatoes alone! Now, in the US and even in Peru, very few varieties are still found and selective breeding is causing fewer nutrients in foods.
Wild blueberries are common where I am from originally. Taking my daughter to pick blueberries for the first time was wonderful! First, when we told her she was going to get blueberries, she fell asleep on the way there. My husband woke her (she was a toddler) and she said “But where’s the store?!”
These statements show how important it is to connect people with real food!
Basics of foraging
- Know your area, if you don’t know it, talk to locals
- Many flowers are edible, including dandelions, roses and violets
- If the area is populated, consider run off from pesticides when you forage
- Tree fruits often are ornamental in many cities – what can you pick to eat?
- Mint, rosemary and more often grow wildly
- Wild nuts and more!
Of course consider property laws and be kind Never take more than you’ll use and don’t “clean out” an area!
Food today is bred and even GMO advocates will say that the food is fine, but USDA indicates that they will breed a plant and spend no time looking at actual nutritional make-up. So, how do we know which phytonutrients we are getting? How can we be sure that the food in the supermarket has the nutrients we need anyway?
We also know that there’s been decline in nutritional value in the past. Taking vitamins with aspertame, artificial colors and worse is not a good option either.
Wild food hasn’t been selectively bred and in undisturbed areas, one can enjoy the food of the past, so to speak.