Saturday, October 27, 2012

Wild Foods Day

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By Diane Forrest

Many years ago you couldn't run down to the grocery store or restaurant and fill your kitchen or stomach with food.  People would have to go to the woods and lakes for their meals.   This was the hunter and gatherer time period.  These days’ people mostly hunt and gather for enjoyment.  You can tell when hunting season starts because my local newspaper starts publishing pictures of hunters with their game.  My stepson belongs to a hunting club, and when he is home from work, he will take his family to the camp and spend time in the woods hunting for deer to stock his freezer with.  He and his wife hunt for sport, not out of necessity as in the old days.

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Not only are you able to hunt for meat, but you can also find other food in the wild, such as roots and berries, mushrooms and greens.   If you want to go grocery shopping in nature, the first thing you need to know is what is edible, and what is not.  The ability of identifying plants and berries is becoming a lost art much like many other talents passed down from older generations.  Before gobbling up some leaves I would suggest you invest in a book to be able to identify these plants.  Organizations such as the Boys and Girl scouts of America teach how to identify safe plants, you can also check with your local forestry commission.

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Learning about what nature provides is very satisfying and could possibly help you survive if you are ever lost or trapped in nature.  Plants are also useful with medicinal care, and made me think of this story.

I have an earache:
  • 2000 B.C. - Here, eat this root.
  • 1000 A.D. - That root is heathen. Here, say this prayer.
  • 1850 A.D. - That prayer is superstition. Here, drink this potion.
  • 1940 A.D. - That potion is snake oil. Here, swallow this pill.
  • 1985 A.D. - That pill is ineffective. Here, take this antibiotic.
  • 2000 A.D. - That antibiotic is artificial. Here, eat this root.

I was recently watching a segment of Blue Ribbon Hunter.  It's a little video article that is published on every week or so where the host visits different festivals or restaurants across the country.  This episode was about the road kill festival.  The food prepared there was from critters people had hit with their car.  Click here to see the different foods they prepared:
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Today is Wild Foods Day.  Why not spend the day hunting and gathering in the woods or waters in your area.  You will be able to find some food and it will be a lot stressful than fighting the crowds and standing in line at the grocery store, and the foods will be preservative free.

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