Forage Albuquerque

Why forage?

So many reasons! Perhaps one of these will resonate with you:

  • Unique ingredients—Most of the foods listed here are unavailable in supermarkets, making them perfect for adventurous chefs.
  • Nutrition—Wild foods often have a higher concentration of nutrients than their domesticated relatives.
  • Freshness—Nothing you get from the supermarket will be as fresh as the food you can pick today! I find that freshly picked nopales and cherry plums taste notably better than their purchased counterparts, and elm seeds are just little disks of pure freshness.
  • Sustainability—Growing your own food is a sustainable alternative buying it, but foraging for non-native species is even better. You can feed yourself with no additional irrigation water or other resources. Walk or bike to your foraging spot, and even the transport is carbon neutral!
  • Ease—Gardening is hard work. Foraging is easy! You can even save a trip to the store by weeding khardal or verdolagas form your own yard! Though other foraged foods are more time-consuming to process.
  • Cost—It should go without saying: foraged food is free!
  • Connection to land—The more we realize the abundance of the natural world around us, the more we'll care for it. At least, that's what I like to hope.
  • Tradition—Some of our wild foods have been eaten here for thousands of years. Others are recent introductions with long traditions of use in their native homes. Together, they form a contemporary New Mexican ingredient palette that's available nowhere else.
  • Instinct—Humans have foraged since the dawn of our species. It's only a tiny bit of our history that we've relied on agriculture for most of our food. Get in touch with your roots!
  • Fun—It's like a treasure hunt, but the treasure is a treat!

With so many good reasons, to me, it's surprising that more of us don't use the bountiful foods that grow in our neighborhoods. But before you run outside to get started, take a moment to learn about the plants you'll be eating and make sure to be responsible and safe!