There often seems to be a stigma with foraging that many think these little plants would not be worth the time it takes to find harvest and prepare them for what you get. I mean you can't live off of them can you? You aren't going to get enough calories from wild plants to survive any length of time!
While those are true to some extent, they are not necessarily always true. In a purely nutritional standpoint, yes you could live off of wild edible plants and mushrooms without consuming meat, most likely for an eternity. Now hear me out before you click out and call me crazy. However that is definitely not practical, feasible, or even possible for most if not all of us on this planet. It just means that there are plenty of plants/mushrooms that grow wild that have all of the necessary nutrients to support life, but the amount of work involved in finding, harvesting, preparing, and storing enough of the right ones to sustain you for any length of time is what is impossible.
But what about fats? Or proteins? Or amino acids? Calcium? the type of things people usually associate with animal products however all of these can be found in the wild. Granted a truly abundant source of any one of them may not even occur in your area but; things like nuts which grow from trees are an abundant source of fats, proteins and amino acids. Especially when several varieties are combined. There are plenty of plant leaves that contain protein like clovers, stinging nettles, lambs quarters, and more.
Seeds from plants like curly dock or amaranth, or even quinoa, which have varieties that grow wild almost everywhere. All contain seeds with proteins and some with calcium that can be dried and ground into a flour. Many plants leaves contain calcium, plants like lambs quarters, curly dock and even mushrooms contain calcium. Speaking of mushrooms many wild mushrooms are plentiful sources of proteins and amino acids as well as trace minerals and even vitamins like calcium, vitamin A, magnesium, Zinc, and more.
But Calories, it always comes back to calories. This is where living off of wild edibles falls apart because the amount of calories you would exhaust by foraging and preparing all of these things you most certainly would not be able to replace with just plants. Okay so then what's the point if I can't live off of them? Well you can't live off of any one thing at all anyways so there!
The point is the more plants you know the better chance you have of finding food while your doing something outdoors without having to spend any extra calories "Foraging" or hinking for food. A surprising amount of food can be found right next to trails in parks and forests, and a whole lot in your yard. Or let's say you're in a survival situation. You have enough calories to burn and a lot of things to do. A lot of those things are going to require you to be moving outside where there are plants. More often than not you will be able to pick up a little something to add to whatever it is you are eating that night whether it be a trapped mouse or coon, roasted bear ribs, or even a scavenged can of beans. It then turns into roasted mouse with nettle leaves and acorn cattail bannock, or bear ribs with a maple sap glaze coverd in walnuts with a side oyster mushrooms. Something way more substantial than just plain meat. No wild edibles are not limited to the "wilderness". Wild edible just simply means a plant that has not been domesticated or is not growing under domestication. And many of them exist in cities as well as in the country so whatever your situation adding them to your routine or knowledge base for a desperate situation will prove to be very handy.
Also think of it this way, in a true SHTF situation everybody is going to be hunting and scavenging, most of them will be walking right past pounds of acorns and hickory nuts, as well as dandelions, clovers, lambsquarters, nettles, and some lesser known varieties of mushrooms will probably avoid the fuss too. Which means more food for those ofus who know how to gather it. Well, I'll just garden or grow my own food in a SHTF situation. Okay great, just know that a lot of those "weeds" you're pulling to help your garden crops have a use too, make sure you use them for that to add bounty to your garden. On the other hand if your garden gets raided in the middle of the night and all your crops taken, destroyed or burned, then what?? then you're basically stuck with weeds unless you scavenge or barter, or have some food from last year stored up.
Basically foraging is a way to provide a nice buffer zone of protection in case of hard times, and also serves as a means to make us healthier by physical exercise, getting better nutrition, and is easy on the wallet because it is free! Certainly something that is worth most peoples time to learn and learn well. Many ofthe things you eat everyday can be made with a wild plant, the question is whether or not it exists near you and if you'll find it and be able to use it properly.
Hey guys, I'm Josh. I'd Like to welcome you to the Trillium: WE blog. Here I'll share things with you like wild food meal ideas, harvesting tips, conservation of wild plants, wild plant book reviews, and more! I'll also be including pictures from scrapped videos for entertainment purposes as well. Stay tuned!
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