Learning to live off the land is something our ancestors have been doing for thousands of years. People only ate what they could collect themselves in the wild such as fruits, vegetables, and a multitude of plants. October 28, is Wild Foods Day a celebration of all that is edible and grows naturally in our surrounding environment. Wild foods are free of preservatives, pesticides, and are untouched by man. That’s why at Workman’s Friend we’re encouraging everybody to take a walk in the woods or forage and pick out their own food. But before you go out there and start sampling everything in sight, there are a couple of rules we need to establish.
Know What You’re Picking
Many plants, wild grasses and fungi are difficult to identify properly. A single misidentified item of food could mean a trip to the emergency room for you or worse. No matter how good you think your wild food identification skills are, make sure you inform yourself prior to venturing out. There are plant ID apps available for Smart phones, but it’s still important to talk to an expert before you go hunting. They’ll teach you the tricks of distinguishing between edible plants and their toxic cousins.
And because you will be out in nature, don’t forget to apply a thin layer of Workman’s Friend Barrier Skin Cream, to your hands. It will protect your skin from the natural oils, thorns, and many other irritants you’ll undoubtedly encounter when foraging.
Learn How to Prepare your Wild Foods Correctly
Some of the wild foods you’ve collected will not be safe to eat until they are properly prepared. That might mean they simply need to be rinsed or boiled. In general, experts advise soaking your wild foods in a vinegar-and-water bath to kill any bacteria before rinsing again. Then it is recommended that you take the time to inspect your wild foods for blemishes, insects, molds, and other parasites. Finally, make sure that you properly prepare your food for eating. That might include boiling stems, removing buds, or scraping off spines. It’s important to remember, just because a plant is edible that doesn’t mean the entire plant is safe to consume.
As with any type of food preparation, make sure to use Workman’s Friend Healing Hand Cream once you’re done. Our restorative lotion infused with soothing natural herbs such as Vitamin E, will restore the moisture to your hands that’s been stripped in the food preparation process.
Understand Where You Can Forage
Many people new to foraging don’t know it’s illegal to pick flowers or harvest plants in National Parks but that it’s allowed in certain state parks. Take the time before you head out into the wild to learn about local laws regarding wild food collection. Each public space will have different rules and the last thing you want is to be fined for collecting wild berries or grasses.
Once your day of foraging is over and you’ve arrived home reach for Workman’s Friend Hand Cleaner with Activated Charcoal. A single use of our powerful dirt and odor remover will leave your hands looking spotless thanks to its infusion of high-grade pumice.