What is Foraging? Learn the Benefits and Basics [Informational Guide]

| Last Updated: March 29, 2021

In order to define foraging, we have to go back to the start of the human race. There are many ways in which this can be beneficial as a source of food. Today there are many people who are taking on this old trend. In the modern world, it can be difficult to find foods without a lot of added ingredients.

Another way in which foraging comes in to play is during a time of crisis. If there is ever a large scale war or weather event, having foraging skills can go a long way in helping a person survive. Here are a couple of ways that foraging can be beneficial and what foods are the safest to eat.

Benefits of Foraging

The best way to define foraging is the search by hand for food in the wild. Not only is it a great way to get food, but foraging is also a good way to get some exercise outside. In the modern world, many people spend less than one hour per week outside.

This leads to a lack of vitamin D in the body. Over the long term, this can lead to depression in many people. Taking on foraging as an alternate way of gathering food is a great way to live a healthy lifestyle.

Foraging is also free in terms of the price to pay to get food. Although it does require some time, there is no cash register in the woods when you find some great berries in the ground.

Anyone who is interested in eating healthy food should consider foraging as well. There are few foods today that do not have some sort of added chemicals. Over time, these outside chemicals can really have a negative effect on the body.

Basics of Foraging

Anyone who wants to start foraging needs to keep a couple of things in mind. First of all, there are many plants that can kill a person if they are ingested. It is vital to do some research on the front end of foraging to prevent a person from ingesting foods that are deadly.

As a general rule, a forager should stay away from mushrooms out in the wild. Although there are some species that are fine to eat, there are too many that can cause a lot of negative effects in the body. One of the best types of food to look for while foraging is fruit.


There are very few fruits that can damage the body. These can include things like berries, persimmons or plums. There are many different types of weeds and grass that have nutrients when cooked.

However, it is difficult to eat enough of these foods to sustain a person in the wild. It is important to find food options that will provide enough calories to provide energy in the body. Anyone who is relying on foraging as their sole source of food is going to have to spend a considerable amount of time each day finding food.

Start Small

Even if you can easily identify a wild plant, it is always best to eat a small amount of that food first. Even if a food is safe to eat, this does not mean that it should be eaten in excess. There are many different plants in the wild that humans do not get exposure to.

Eating too much on the front end can cause a person to get sick or have other side effects. Always make sure to start small when introducing new foods to the diet. Over the long term, a person can start to increase the quantity of foods that they are eating as a primary source of sustenance.

Have a Partner

Foraging in the wild means going in to areas where there is going to be a lot of wildlife. This can be dangerous in many different ways. Always be sure to understand what wildlife species there are in an area. It is not recommended to forage in an area with large game animals.

These would include things like wolves or bears. If you are going in to an area with dangerous animals, make sure that you bring someone with you and have a means of protection. Even if you are injured from a fall, having a partner with you can go a long way towards your survival.

They can also be a great source of information when deciding whether a plant is safe or not to eat. It is always better to have more people with you than less when it comes to foraging for food.

Some people will ask what is foraging when you tell them about your hobby. Instead of getting offended at the what is foraging question, this is a great time to teach them about all of the benefits it offers.

Final Thoughts

Foraging is a concept that has been around since the dawn of man. There have been many people to recently take up this old trend as a way to find healthy food without a lot of outside chemicals. The modern diet and lifestyle is not one that is conducive to long term health.

Anyone who has ever tried to forage knows just how difficult it can be. Safety should be the primary concern when foraging. It is vital to have an understanding of the foods that are being eaten.

Not only can some foods cause sickness in the body, but some can also cause long term damage or death. If you are just starting out, it is best to always be with a couple of people when foraging. Always make sure that you know the area that you are going in to when finding food.

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