Yes! They can either look for wild herbs, vegetables or mushrooms in public parks (with a trained guide, though! you can easily eat poisonous plants if you don’t know what you’re doing) or dumpster dive.
Yeah! you can go through dumpsters and things like that, but you won’t get the same nutrition or freshness or selection that you would in the forest. There are a couple of phenomena that have been occurring in cities. One is the “Freegans.” These people dive in dumpsters and consume wasted food. That’s not really my style, however urban foraging has taken off. There are websites that give you places like the cherry tree on 34th and you go and pick free wild fruit. There is a lot of etiquette involved. You should always ask before picking fruit on someones property, but they are usually happy to not have it rotting on the ground. Check my citation for other ideas and a list of cities that participate in urban foraging.
Its not glamourous but it works, “dumpster diving” is common in many of my friend circles (especially when I was in college!) I was shocked when I saw what my friends were pulling out of the garbage- perfectly good food! Bread, fruits, vegetables, and other goods (those were the main ones though) Once I went to a potluck that served food all taken out of the trash of grocery and health food stores- the food was fresh and delicious. It may seem a little gross but its just SO wasteful to toss out food that is still good. If you’re going to try this, just be careful, most stores do not take to dumpster diving to kindly. That being said, Trader Joes is a great place to try. Also most bakeries throw out wrapped, day old bread. I remember opening a garbage can (after sneaking into the back area of an unnamed bakery) to find the inside of the can pristine and full of packaged bread and pastries.
I recently watched Andrew Zimmern’s, Bizarre Foods, on the Travel Channel. He did an episode in San Francisco where he foraged for food in the city. He was guided by locals who knew where to find food. It was very interesting to see how a simple walk in parks or on the sides of roads could be a source of food. I remember that he was able to find different herbs and greens while literally on the side of a road. The episode is worth checking out.
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