There’s a new trend taking over many places across the nation and that is foraging food. People have discovered that they can save a load of money by scavenging for their meals instead of going the more traditional route of hitting the supermarket. While the idea has merit, it might not always be the best choice. However, in some cases it can be a great idea, as long as you do it correctly. Check out these tips for foraging food and then you can decide if it’s right for you or not.
1 Learn First
There are loads of edible plants and they often grow in places like your backyard or the city park. However, there are also plenty of toxic or otherwise dangerous plants out there, so one of the first things you need to do before foraging food in your area is learn. That means you need to learn how to spot safe and delicious plants and avoid eating something that could make you sick or worse. Books from your local library are a great idea, but some cities might offer classes.
2 Explore Your Area
The next thing you can do is to get out there and check out what’s growing near your home. Hike through nearby trails or take a nature walk through a nearby park. With time and practice you’ll be able to figure out where the best stuff grows and when it’s ready to be harvested. As you get better at foraging, you’ll be able to recognize food items from a distance, no matter where you are.
3 Don’t Take It All
While foraging can be a fun and easy way to save money on food and try new and delicious items, you should never carry off everything you find. It’s sort of an etiquette issue among fellow foragers. But more importantly, if you harvest everything it discourages new growth, which means you might not be able to get the same foods in the future. Leaving some behind ensures a new crop regularly.
4 Know Your Seasons
That means understanding when certain foods are in season. Many greens and mushrooms are ready in the spring while other items aren’t ready to harvest until the fall. It’s a good idea to know when foods are in season so you can get the best tasting things available while also preserving the crop for the future. Here's a helpful resource you can take a look at: blog.gourmandia.com.
5 Wash Everything
When you get groceries you probably wash all your produce. After all, you never know who touched it before you bought it. The same is true when you forage for foods. You never know what that food has come into contact with so always, always wash your finds before you eat them.
6 Ask First
Many people won’t care if you pull a few “weeds” from their yard, but it’s always a good idea to ask first. This is also important when it comes to public places like city parks and hiking trails. Talk to the city before you forage anything. Some of these plants may have been treated with dangerous chemicals and you won’t want to eat them. Only harvest items that you have been given permission to take.
7 Learn to Cook It
Finally, it’s nice to know how to cook your foraged foods so that you can get the most out of them. Learn the proper techniques from cookbooks or your foraging class so that you don’t ruin your finds and make them taste bad.
Do you forage? It’s true that a lot of foraged foods contain a wide range of nutrients for good health, but it might feel a bit weird to be caught digging up plants in the park. If you can get past that, foraging can be both fun and healthy. Would you ever give it a try?
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