Foraging: the ultimate bio-hack, Part one

I am a forager, and I am ready to help change our cultural ideas towards foraging. Currently, it seems to be either some crazy caveperson shit that went out of style millennia ago, cute peasant desperation or trendy yuppies foraging flowers for raw vegan cupcakes. Well. Foraging is actually a deep, dark, self-empowering and abiding source for healing our mind, body and spirit. OK? Powerful. Bam.  Play-based or functional styles of movement and some “natural” or healthier diets, basically eating mostly whole foods and cooking them at home, when integrated flexibly into our modern lives, are both steps in the right direction. Herbal medicine can be a step in the right direction. But a missing link is time spent foraging. Now notice that I did not say hunting or gathering–both of which CAN be part of foraging, but don’t have to be. You can forage for something but choose never to harvest it out of respect for a limited or endangered plant, animal, fungi. Heck, you can forage for cashmere sweaters at the thrift store, wild ducks in a swamp or nice buttocks (look but don’t touch!) at the jogging path. “Take a mental picture, it lasts longer.” Get it? It is the behavior of scanning and seeking, not just the act of harvesting-and I propose that it is a nourishing practice. All movement is a key part of my anxiety management protocol. Herbal medicine is too. But let’s use ALL the tools, people. Here it is: I believe time spent in nature scanning the land for a particular plant, animal, fungi or insect has the potential to support healing in a deep and meaningful way. The action of foraging feeds a part of the brain that we’ve allowed to get a little dusty here. I hypothesize that using our vision like a forager gives back to us a type of healing unavailable anywhere else. It is an antidote to too much time spent in front of screens. Don’t believe me? Try it. Go outside and scan for something. Give it some time, an hour, 10 hours, whatever. Sweep your eyes back and forth across horizons. Learn to identify signifier species. Move up and down varied terrain. Hide. seek. Get too hot or damp, get a freakin bug bite, put something in your basket. It’s play! It’s work! It’s your birthright, baby. And I will say, though I don’t want to, that you probably should not eat anything you haven’t identified or-God forbid-have “identified” with some shitty cel phone photo in a freakin Facebook group. Remember, learning how to forage and identify plants is a life skill and should NOT be farmed out to some strangers who don’t give a rat’s ass about you. In fact, it is part of the medicine! Don’t give away your potential superpower to know plants. Go forth, people, and forage yourself into a brave new you.

Red eft power animal
Red eft power animal
wild Yarrow, cultivated Yarrow
wild Yarrow, cultivated Yarrow

2 thoughts on “Foraging: the ultimate bio-hack, Part one

  1. yes YES yes!! at so many levels, yesssss! it’s the best feeling in the world to be sweating after a while of foraging and then rustle rustle, the cool breeze hustles on over and there lies a creek to lie down and put your face and feet in for a little while . . ..

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