Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Phillip Elden On Foraging

Phillip Elden

At the start of the coronavirus crisis, many people took to the outdoors as a place of respite. Phillip Elden explains that some of these discovered the fun of foraging. But, what does this mean, and is it safe? 
Q: What is foraging? 
Phillip Elden: Foraging is looking for foods that are not planted for the explicit purpose of human consumption. But, to forage, you also have to know which herbs, roots, plants, and flowers are safe to eat. 

Q: How do you know what plants are safe to eat? 
Phillip Elden: Foraging in the wild is not something one should do without experience. There are many books available on Amazon or at your local bookstore that you can take with you as a field guide to what’s safe and what is not. 
Q: What are some of the most popular items that can be foraged in the United States? 
Phillip Elden: Flowers, nuts and seeds, berries, greens, and mushrooms are all great options and a good first place for new foragers to begin. Fruits are one of the easiest to start with, and wild strawberries, blackberries, crab apples, wild pears, and mulberries are typically plentiful throughout the United States. Oyster mushrooms and chicken mushrooms are also easy to spot with proper research and training. 
Q: What is the difference between foraging for food and foraging plants for medicinal purposes? 
Phillip Elden: There is no difference other than your intent. Many people forage for lemon balm, sage, cannabis, and bee balm to use in homemade medications or healing recipes. No matter what your purpose, always take extra precautions to ensure that what you are consuming is safe.