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Is picking edible weeds off the streets the next foodie trend?

Chef John Farais looks for wild edible weeds that he grows in his backyard in San Rafael. (Devika G. Bansal/Bay Area News Group)

“It can’t get any more local than picking what’s growing on your front step.”

By Devika G. Bansal
Bay Area News Group
July 17, 2017


People have been foraging since long before this country was founded, said Hank Shaw, a forager and chef based in Sacramento and author of the book “Hunt, Gather, Cook: Finding the Forgotten Feast.”

“But it has been growing in the last 10 years because people are starting to mistrust the industrial food system,” Shaw said. “They’re starting to take more control over what they feed their family.”

Stark’s Berkeley Open Source Food project maps East Bay streets where food grows in abundance — and tests the greens’ nutritional value and whether they might be toxic. So far, the team has tested six species of wild edibles — chickweed, dandelions, dock, mallow, nasturtium and oxalis — in selected areas of Richmond, Berkeley and West Oakland. Stark’s team found that the plants were nontoxic and that none of them were contaminated by pollutants or had detectable levels of pesticides.

“The plants were safe to eat if you washed the dirt off,” Stark said.

Read the complete article here.