“Superfood” is a buzzword, a hype-machine, the sacred nomenclature of hippies and herbalists the world over. Every year the title is awarded to a handful of novel foodstuffs, labeling them as the new edible of immortality. One year it might be blue algae from a special lake, or an obscure herb from the foothills of Nepal, but one thing is certain: there will be another next year (with even more jaw-dropping benefits, backed by even more internet health gurus).
I’m not trying to claim that all foods labeled as “super” are just marketing schemes dressed up as antioxidant powerhouses. Plenty of them are legitimately beneficial. But the purpose of this site is to explore another possibility in the realm of “superfoods” - that there might be real superfoods growing all around us, free for the taking.
Here in the northeastern United States, we’re lucky to be surrounded by some exceptionally tasty, nutritious wild foods. Even in most cities, parks and hiking trails are readily accessible, and often full of edible species.
However, since our wild foods aren’t as marketable as unpronounceable fruits from Indonesia or mysterious roots from Brazil, they aren’t as well known. This needs to change. If we want to better our health, become closer to our environment, and sample a little bit of self-reliance, foraging is a critical step.
Speaking of steps: hiking a mile or two in nature is a beneficial element of foraging that shouldn’t be overlooked. I’d be willing to bet that a few miles on an dirt trail is immensely more beneficial than sipping a superfood smoothie while watching Netflix. Not to mention the mental relief that can come while scanning the ground for mushrooms or leafy greens. The pressures of modern life often fall from our shoulders as we bend to pluck a ripe may-apple from its wrinkled stem.
I’ll be putting a lot of research and work into this site. My only goal is to provide as much information and inspiration to the aspiring forager, particularly in the northeast US, as I can. Of course, many wild foods covered here have a much larger range than the Northeast. Please feel free to email me with any questions, comments, or suggestions for an article.