Have you ever taken the time to walk around your yard and wonder what really might be there, to eat? Your probably thinking that this is a ridiculous question, that of course you haven’t. Maybe you should! Foraging for wild edibles has many benefits. Variety in diet, saves money on groceries, essential vitamins and minerals, among other things. Let’s go over some of the wonderful and exciting reasons to forage.
Variety in diet:
Many of us are tired of the same variety of fruits and vegetables that you can buy at the store. Mostly it is the same things trip after trip. Potatoes, lettuce, oranges, etc. Instead of plain old iceberg lettuce have you ever tried a spring mix? Notice the difference in texture, variety, and taste? Some of the “lettuce” in that spring mix can be found in your own backyard. Yes, seriously! Dandelion greens for example are a common staple in Spring Mixes. Dandelion greens are full of vitamins such as A, C, and K. They also have minerals. Calcium, Magnesium, and Phosphorous to name a few. These “weeds” are full of nutritional value and add variety to diet.
Saves money on groceries:
Imagine the money that could be saved by foraging for your own wild greens in order to make a salad for dinner. It costs almost nothing! It does however take time, knowledge, and determination. Your backyard probably has Dandelion, Mallow, Purslane, Broadleaf Plantain and other wild greens. Taking the time to learn what these are is invaluable. Imagine picking, for free, a salad from your own backyard or neighborhood. The sense of accomplishment you get feels amazing!
Essential Vitamins and Minerals:
Foraging for food in the wild is an excellent and sustainable way to get your daily vitamins and minerals. Take for an example the dandelion greens discussed above. These greens are loaded with valuable nutrients. One cup of dandelion has 5588 IU of vitamin A. That is 112% of the daily value. There are 19.3 mg of vitamin C, that is 32% of the daily value. 428 mcg of vitamin K which is 535% of the daily value! Imagine how much you could save buying vitamins! Dandelions offer much more in nutritional value than 1 cup of chopped iceberg lettuce. Let us compare. Iceberg lettuce has 361 IU of Vitamin A, 7% of the daily value. 2.0 mcg vitamin C which is 3% of your daily value and 17.4mcg of Vitamin K, 22% DV. The comparison is spectacular. Which would you rather eat?
Foraging in your yard, community, county, can be very rewarding. Besides the nutritional benefits there are the health benefits. Being outdoors and exercising. Get moving and forage!