Wild Food Foraging
Wild food foraging is the gathering of edible plants (leaves, berries, nuts or sap) and fungi that are available in nature and that have had no management to increase their production. Wild foods were once necessary for human survival, but most traditional knowledge of wild food has now been lost as we have become more reliant on a globalised food system.
Many of the plant species that we view as weeds are edible and nutritious but modern farming favours foods that in many cases have been cultivated from their wild ancestors but are easier to grow in large quantities.
Wild food plants and fungi form a part of the rich diversity of species that is vital to the functioning of ecosystems but many of these species are being lost due to habitat destruction and pollution.
We clear away ‘weeds’ to grow crops, yet many wild plants are more nutritious than their cultivated counterparts.
For example the edible wild plant 'fat hen' contains more iron and protein than spinach, and more vitamin B and calcium than cabbage. As with many other wild foods it can also be cooked in the same way as the vegetables we regularly eat
Here we have some wild foods commonly found in and around the Wakefield district:
Most of the fruits, etc. are easily recognizable but please be aware that unless you are certain of what you are picking leave well alone.