Why foraging and gathering are food for the soul
Jan 22, 2020
In the past few years, there’s been a revitalization in the idea of foraging for our daily food.
The practice of hand gathering wild plants and animals for bait, money or the table has long taken place, but more recently top chefs have been popularising the idea, while urban foragers have told of the lengths they go to to find wild food in big cities.
But why, in an age where most things we want or need are only a few clicks away, do many seek the thrill of finding their own food?
Why do local commercial gatherers choose to pursue these ancient livelihoods when there are less arduous alternative careers?
Humans by nature are hunter gatherers and have always collected food for sustenance. Over the centuries we have found many uses for different species collected both inland and along the seashore, including bait, medicines, fertilisers and soaps.
Some research suggests that the Omega-3 fatty acids Homo sapiens gleaned from foraging shellfish on the seashore is what made us more “intelligent” than other human races.
There are clear benefits to wild harvesting in the modern world. Not only does it cut the forager’s own food costs but there may be health advantages too, not least from the exercise involved.
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