Urban Food Foraging! Yep, it’s exactly what it sounds like – foraging foods in the urban areas. As it turns out, there are a lot of edible and medicinal plants that can be foraged by the public in urban areas. Recently, the practice has become so popular that several websites have come out to show you exactly where to get the goods. (1,3)
Falling Fruit is a website is a resource for finding food. This is not some kind of grocery store or farmer’s markets, but growing foods in public urban areas. While free sources of food that would most likely go to waste, smearing city sidewalks, and rotting in public parks, are now mapped out for your foraging pleasure. (1)
Falling Fruit is a volunteer run non-profit organization and anyone can add a location to your map. Not only do they map it out for you, but also strive to connect with organizations that have overflowing harvests to distribute the abundance to those who need it. (2)
Urban Edibles is also a non-profit organization that provides mapping for edible food and medicinal plants, specifically in the Portland, Oregon area. You can search the website based on location, or the type of plant/food you are looking for. With positive plant identification, you can also add new locations where you find wild food growing in the area. Their site also has a section for sharing many information, as well as providing uses and preparations for the many goodies you forage. (3)
Why Foraging is Cool
I can think of several reasons why foraging is starting to become popular. First of all, it’s food, it’s free, and it’s fun! It can be nostalgic for many people as it can bring up many childhood memories of picking apples and berries, as well as making pies with our grandmothers. Another reason why I think it’s great is because it’s a great outdoor activity that allows you to connect with food. You can also enjoy the changing seasons throughout the year.
There are also things to consider when foraging while living in urban areas. You may not know if the plants have been sprayed with chemicals, either by the city or nearby property owner. If the plants are on the side of a busy road, then it’s likely there was some exposure to pollution. It’s always safer to double-check the identification of the plant yourself, even when someone claims it’s safe. So, proceed with awareness and enjoy the possibilities.
Sources for this article include:
Image source: https://flic.kr/p/cruowy