Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Urban Foraging

A lot of people, when they hear or read the term "urban foraging," think of gathering wild plants from the urban environment. An example is this article from The Telegraph on "Urban foraging: what foods can you find growing in cities?" The author describes walking about with a foraging expert, writing:
Over the next two hours, just in the city centre, we find over 25 edible plants including bay leaves (“Just pick a branch and hang it in the kitchen and let it dry”), rowan and hawthorn berries, crab apples, beech nuts and wormwood – the fragrant plant that is used to flavour absinthe.
Other resources for this type of foraging are:

(But I would also mention this article, which I've cited before, on how harmful foraging can be to the wild plants).

"Urban foraging" also includes scavenging food or other items from dumpsters or, as describes it: "Alternatively known as trash picking, gleaning, dumpster diving, scavenging, salvaging, or curb crawling, urban foraging is the act of recovering useable goods discarded by retailers, schools, homes, businesses, construction sites – really anywhere anyone is throwing away goods that shouldn’t end up in a landfill. Frequently recovered items include clothing, food, furniture, computers, appliances, books, videos, DVDs, office supplies, lumber, tools, toys, umbrellas – just about anything you can buy in a store." The latter site has tutorials and informative articles on how to safely and legally forage in the urban environment.


  1. When I first read this article's headline, I immediately thought of rats and other small rodents as a food source that can be found in most urban and suburban environments.

    1. Yes, the term "scavenging" would have probably been more accurate, but the term the groups use is "foraging" so that is what I went with.


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