Seven Reasons to Forage

A Rewilding Manifesto by Alan Muskat (reprinted with permission)

1. Wild food is FREE You can’t beat the prices. This is one place where you get what you don’t pay for.

2. Wild food is FRESHER, more UNUSUAL, DIVERSE, and FLAVORFUL …than its store-bought, garden-variety descendants.

3. Wild food is HEALTHY It’s not that wild food is so good for you; it’s that anything else isn’t. What’s best for us is what’s natural, and the most natural food is food from nature. Also good for you is the exercise, fresh air, and sunshine that you get outdoors, where “shopping” is a pleasure.

4. Wild food is SUSTAINABLE Agriculture, organic or otherwise, is not sustainable if what you’re growing doesn’t belong there. The only truly local food is food that already thrives in an area, without help, on its own.

5. Wild food is EMPOWERING When you can feed yourself from nature, it’s not just the food that’s wild and free.

6. Wild food is RECONNECTING …both with nature and your foraging forbears. When you take time to eat the neighbors, you rediscover Eden.

7. Wild food is FUN Foraging the original Easter egg hunt, a perpetual shopping spree.

I have gathered blueberries and other wild edibles countless times since my childhood days, but the essential wonder of it remains. Foraging satisfies my needs on so many different levels, both physical and spiritual. It has become my personal touchstone not only with my past but also with the natural world around me. Now, of course, I can and often do supply a litany of rationales as to why my pursuit is a desirable one — anything from personal survival, to improved nutrition, to even a heightened sense of environmental awareness. But all of these reasons come after the fact and serve only to justify what I am already doing. Basically, the reason why I gather wild foods now is the same one that applied when I was a child: it’s fun.

Lee Ann Peterson, Foreword, The Wild Foods Cookbook

Author: OGS

Organic Growers School is a non-profit organization providing organic education since 1993. Our mission is to inspire, educate, and support people in our region to farm, garden, and live organically.