Grocery and convenience stores have killed our foraging skills
It really wasn’t that long ago that people would forage for food daily, even here in America. The conveniences of modern life helped people forget the very important skill of locating food. We no longer need to scout berry plots or gather pecans for protein.
Foraging isn’t just about finding free food. What has been lost isn’t just the freshness of freshly gathered food, but a way of life that improved our health in other ways.
Luckily there are people fighting to make sure foraging is not forgotten, fighting to make it a way of life once again. They are working to make foraging better, more efficient, and so easy that everyone can do it.
Here in America and in many parts of the developed world these growing movements to re-incorporate foraging into daily life are gaining traction.A couple examples are the very successful project led by Pam Warhurst of Todmorden, England, as discussed in TED talks. In America there’s the wonderful Project Food Forest in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
We need to be embracing this idea, and supporting, or creating, our own local projects to grown edible landscapes. It benefits us all after all.
Foraging is a Holistic health activity
Foraging feeds your body, mind, spirit, and emotions. All things you good stuff you just can’t find in at a grocery store. When we go out with the kids collecting Mulberries, sweet fruit isn’t all they get.
When we take them foraging they get to experience nature and we’re encouraging biophilia in them. Biophilia is the idea that we are connected with the natural world. In a world of video games, smartphones, and endless apps, biophilia is that much harder to encourage.
Being outside has also shown time and again to positively influence the development of children.A single short walk in the woods has been linked to mental wellness that impacts every aspect of their lives. We aren’t just giving them nutritious food, but teaching them how to relax, how to find their own inner peace, and helping develop their spirits in a technologically charged world.
Then there is the more obvious health benefits, organic untamed fruits, veggies and herbs, and exercise. We are taking our kids for a walk and they’re really enjoying it. It’s nature’s built in scavenger hunt and they relish in finding a new plant and filling their buckets with natural goodness.
My two cents… want well rounded happy energetic kids? Get educated about wild plants, get out there, give them a bucket, and hit the trails and parks.