There are several ways to increase the nutritional value of your diet by consuming Forage Foods / Wild foods & Native Foods. Among them are the use of berries, nuts, and plants, which are found naturally in nature. You should know which species are poisonous and which are edible. You should also be aware of local and state laws governing foraging. Taking the time to learn more about the various foods found in nature will help you become more confident and successful.
In addition to picking fruits and vegetables, you can also forage for wild food plants in less traditional places. Public land, parks, and fruit trees can provide the perfect location for you to collect the food you need. In Seattle, the city has started teaching foraging classes and maps the edible plants that can be found in urban neighborhoods. Forage Berkley, launched by the Berkley Food Institute, is a great way to educate your community about foraging plants. The website maps the availability of edible plants in urban areas and offers recipes.
In Australia, many Indigenous people harvest native plants to cook and eat. Some of these foods are toxic and may be harmful to humans or animals. The Outback Pride nursery in South Australia grows native produce for restaurants and caterers. Mike Quarmby, a horticulturist, runs the nursery with his wife Gayle. Broadsheet contacted the Quarmbys because of their interest in native foods and the questions it raised.
Historically, foraging communities relied on wild plants and animals as the sole components of their diets. Today, many of these plants and animals are still used by cultivators, but access to them is decreasing due to increased agricultural productivity and social pressures. As a result, wild foods are often neglected in official estimates of natural resources and food security. If we are to preserve their importance, we need to integrate these two areas into our policies.
Many of these native foods can be used as supplements to the diet of the poor. In some parts of the world, forage food consumption is a vital supplement to the income of households, especially during times of economic hardship. For example, the Tsimane’ of Bolivia consume three percent of what they purchase in the market, but a significant proportion of their food comes from their forest and fresh water. In DR Congo, 90% of harvested fish and bushmeat are sold.
Wild onions are a great example of Forage Foods. Wild onions have a pungent onion-like odor, and can be easily identified. Bulblets are usually teardrop-shaped or half-inch-long. They are harvested in late spring to early fall. They are available in many parts of the United States, including the south. And the best part about them is that they taste great, so they are worth trying!