Gathering wild edible plants for food is becoming a lost instinct or birth right. What once was an activity for basic survival has now become an "art" or to some a scary unchartered territory.
I must admit that I am very intrigued by gathering wild edible plants for my own health benefits, but my lack of instinct and understanding keeps me from venturing very far out my back door for my next snack or meal. (I did venture a little though and recently made dandelion juice!) Fears of eating something that could make me deathly ill are valid reasons, but how did we get so far away from where our ancestors began?

To venture into learning about wild edible plants, also takes learning about those that are not. Even with that said, there are those plants which most of us undoubtedly know at a glance and which for the most part cannot be mistaken, like dandelions for instance.

Dandelions? Ya, those pesky weeds are edible, and actually more nutritious than most greens normally eaten. An elder friend of mine told me her family use to eat dandelion salad all the time when she was younger. I was tickled pink when I learned that, because now my yard seems like a gold mine!

Last year my husband learned that a weed we had been trying to get rid of in our garden was actually one of highest essential omega-3 plants that you can eat...purslane. Needless to say, we now value that "weed" very highly too!

The first thing that is strongly advised when beginning to forage for wild edible plants is to get a handy field guide. Caution should still be heeded before hastily putting anything in your mouth, because there are some plants that look alike but have very different properties.

Other great ways to learn about wild edible plants are to take field classes that go on nature hikes, join a club or make friends with a skilled enthusiast who is willing to teach you.

Even though it might take a little extra time in learning how to find wild edible plant food, it is a very valuable thing to know.

Some very good reasons to learn about and gather your own wild edible plants are...

*They are highly nutritious and often times have more nutrients than domesticated plant sources.

*It's more economical than purchasing all of your plant food from the grocery store.

*They have great medicinal properties. Plus, if you use lots of herbs for health, gathering your own can be very beneficial for potency and monetary reasons.

*They can add variety and fun to your diet.

*It can be a great healthy hobby.

*It's a life saving skill in case you would need to survive in nature.

*It's a wonderful way to get connected with nature and learn about the world around you.

So, perhaps when your dandelions start peeking their yellow heads up in your yard, instead of trying to eradicate them, you might just think twice and decide to gather them up for that night's supper. And maybe overtime, we can regain some of those lost food survival instincts and pass them on to the next generation, so that we can become a healthier, less dependent society.

Just perhaps ;0)

Author's Bio: 

Kelly Hoffman is a natural health enthusiast and owner and author of Visit her natural health library for more great information. Follow the yellow brick road to the improved health you deserve.