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I guess it’s true that you do learn something new every day. Driving home from the hospital after sitting with my dad all day today, I’m hunting the XM Radio dial for something lighthearted to listen to and I run across a conversation in progress on Channel 121. The guest begins to discuss the importance of acorns and the best times to harvest and eat them. I assumed they were talking about squirrels, Bear Grylls, or maybe ummm…uhhh (what was that third thing?), when that wacky Public Radio host started asking about harvesting and consuming dandelion weeds. Then the talk took an unexpected and ugly turn as I realized squirrels, Bear Grylls and probably not even Rick Perry would be willing to digest dandelion weeds. “They could not possibly be serious” I thought while I waited for someone to say “Live from New York, It’s Saturday Night!”, but this was no joke. They were discussing some kind of relatively newish movement of foraging for food, berry by berry, nut by nut, and twig by twig by actual real-life, non-caveman 21st century people!
WTH??? Did someone close the Super Walmart and didn’t bother to tell me? How the heck am I going to cook Thanksgiving dinner if I have to hunt and gather my own cranberries before next Thursday? And don’t even get me started on where I'll find the candied cherries for the fruit salad (what tree do those grow on?). The last time I heard of a human being gathering their own food using this process, someone was about to get eaten by the big bad wolf. Hey - I just realized that even the big bad wolf knew foraging was not a sensible idea! What is wrong with these foraging hippy dippy trippys?
I’m all for vegetarians. I get the growing vegan movement. I really do. But I think these well-meaning foraging folks may be one banana short of a bunch. I understand their reasoning, but by the time you gather enough food for one itsy-bitsy teeny tiny meal, you will be enriching the soil of the bush you just foraged from. The kicker of the entire radio show was when the very serious young lady, who I'm fairly certain wears eco-friendly shoes made out of recycled tires, called in stating we were all intended to be foragers. She then proceeded to fondly reminisce how as a child she would journey to her front yard, lay on her stomach and eat grass. I think she may have eaten from the freshly fertilized side.
The only things I forage are the following:
I suppose there are positive aspects of foraging. Snacking would be way more efficient and cost effective. For example, if Hawkeye John gets hungry after mowing the lawn he could just reach for the bagged clippings. Actually now that I think about it, Daddy Owl did say that as a toddler Hawkeye John enjoyed noshing on tree bark every now and again. Maybe this could work for our nest!
Who am I kidding? I suppose just like every other spoiled lazy suburbanite American family, we'll just gather our Thanksgiving dinner ingredients the old-fashioned way - standing in line at the Super Walmart - and call it a day. I think this newfangled movement will have to keep picking their berries and harvesting their hulls without me for now. By the way, if you see the grass eating girl, please be sure and tell her she's invited next Thursday. She can bring the salad.