Food Security

Gather: Foraging as a Pathway to Food Sovereignty and Food Security

This online book is an attempt to flesh out ideas around how foraging can contribute to food security and food sovereignty, at a local community level.

Unfortunately, I fear wild edible plants are being marginalised to serve only the diktats of affluent markets.

It is also to clarify where I personally stand on the subject of commercial foraging.

Commercial foraging is a mixed bag of contentious issues

There are many commercial foragers with good hearts, who put the ecosystem and their communities first, while earning a small revenue for their time, knowledge and expertise.

While for others, it is business as usual. Pillage as much from the Land and to hell with the consequences. Resource extraction for individual profit by any means necessary.

Those who say this is not happening are in denial.

Yet, I know there is a better way.

If we are to see wild edible plants integrated back into our local food systems and the culture at large, then all it takes is a bigger imagination than the status quo currently wants you to have.

To paraphrase herbalist, Laurel Luddite:

‘A community of people who are responsible for their own health and able to gather or grow their own food and medicines, is a hard society to rule.’

I have travelled extensively, documenting and recording wild food plants’ traditional and local uses in indigenous cultures. My work has taken me to Africa, India, SE Asia, Europe and the USA.

And I have sat with traditional cultures observing and learning how they incorporate wild food plants into their local communities and economies, without plundering their regions biodiversity that supports all life.

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