Food Foraging the reality of it all

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The foraging movement

Food foraging is the new graze, wild foods are trendy, by the looks of it. All over the internet food foraging sites, channels and courses pop up. This is fantastic, nature respecting people wander out in the bush eating of the land as they nomad throughout the country site…. WAIT….

According to the Garden Drum. 

Foraging is illegal in Australia unless you have a licence. Even public gardens with an interest in bush tucker cuisine still ban foraging on their turf unless you’re part of the wildlife.

As natural as it seems to forage while on a stroll, it just wouldn’t be sustainable if everyone did it. And while the “ten per cent” guideline is a great rule of thumb, the numbers just don’t add up. These days, the areas easily accessed by people are far too susceptible to modern population pressures.

And even with the laws in place, the impact of unlicensed, uninformed, overzealous or downright careless foraging activity has already left its mark. Like when samphire first exploded onto the gourmet scene in Western Australia, chefs would forage along the South Perth foreshore — though they worked with good intentions, their actions put a strain on the local population of this species. This, in turn, impacts the ecosystem around it in the form of salinity, erosion, wildlife food supply, and other conservational concerns.

This is where reality sets in.

On one of the popular telegram channels, the author posted how good it was to teach 1000 people about foraging. Sure it is. Then went on to that it would be great to have everybody teaching another five people, rinse and repeat. 

The utopia where you could have everybody sustaining themselves by foraging. 

I questioned that….. wait for it… got banned (second time), reality is a funny thing if you are in la-la land. 

Foraging the hill site gone wrong ;-).

What if.

We all go Foraging?

Armed with our new knowledge, we all set out into the bush to find breakfast, lunch and dinner. Great fresh air and exercise are good for you. Quickly you will find that many others had the same idea.

It is funny how all “preppers” believe that Hunting or Foraging will replace the supply chain when the supply chain breaks. I guess you will not be by yourself, every person with a bit of knowledge will have the same idea. 

We are like a swarm of loci, stripping the country bare.

The 10% rule protects nature.

Allegedly there is a rule that recommends not to take more than 10%. I often wander in the bush and have not seen a tag saying. “10% was taken from this plant?” How do I know someone took it already? How does that work?

That is something that is not allowed to be questioned atm, not discussed and left up to common sense. Needless to say, it will go like this 100% -10% = 90%-10%= 81%- 10%=…….. down to 0%

Foraging is illegal.

As with everything in AU, there is a law for everything, and Foraging is no exception. In national parks, it is an absolute No-No fines range of $110,000 and up. I say if it is an introduced weed, go for it. Let’s irradicate that, native natural bush tucker… not so much.

You are directly “competing” with native animals and your fellow foragers. As you can see, this new passion for nature and your new profound knowledge of an outdoor supermarket can go pear-shaped quickly. 

If not foraging then what?

Grower digging the garden

Look, I love foraging as much as the next guy, but I do not see it as a core staple. Unless you are nomadic, like moving around, it is also good to supplement your 72hrs, but that is it.
There is no supplement for the medical values, which is fine, but for eating every day, you will find you will run into trouble.

We advocate Postcode Communities, local communities, backyard growers networks and the like. We believe that is where the key is, sharing and caring. Create a network of town-focused producers that will be the only way to survive the long-term future. History now has shown that modern farming is not sustainable. Reliance on others to maintain your local supply chain spells out trouble.

As a member of your local community, you must start growing now, get people rallied around you and become self-sufficient.
Reliance on foraging is just silly. Despite what many channels will say, I can assure you that the masses venture into the woods when the supply chain breaks. It is bound to happen. Foraging is a complimentary food hobby, not the core way to stay alive long term. There will be exceptions, for sure. I view it from a viewpoint that is the reality for many, not having the experience and not being conditioned for it.