Foraging for Fun and Nutrition

Walking is great exercise, but it can also be an opportunity to gather nutritious foods. Nutrition Diva talks with foraging expert John Kallas about wild foods that you can find even in urban neighborhoods.

Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS
1-minute read
Episode #627

Walking has many benefits, everything from strengthening your bones and muscles to brightening your mood. And with a little guidance and practice, walking can even improve your nutrition.

Whether you walk in urban parks, suburban neighborhoods, or forest trails, chances are that edible plants are growing along your route. Learning to find and identify them can turn a walk into a fun and nutritious treasure hunt. 

John Kallas is the author of a multivolume book series called Edible Wild Plants, and the owner of Wild Food Aventures outdoor school in Portland, Oregon, where he oversees a wide range of research and educational programming. John has degrees in biology, zoology, education, and nutrition, and a lifelong passion for wild plants. He joins the Nutrition Diva podcast today to talk about the art and science of foraging.

In our conversation, John shares:

  • Why someone with regular access to a supermarket (or farmer's market) might go looking for edible wild plants
  • The best types of environments for beginners to forage in 
  • Plants you probably didn't realize were edible
  • The nutritional value of wild foods
  • Safety concerns
  • Tips for successful foraging

Click the player above to hear the entire interview.

You can learn more about John's research, educational programs and books at WildFoodAdventures.com

The Quick And Dirty
  • Foraging is a fun and educational activity that you can do virtually anywhere.
  • Although wild plants can be nutritious and delicious, it's important to learn how to recognize edible species and avoid those that may be harmful.
  • Seek out a knowledgeable guide (or guidebook) to the plants in your area.

About the Author

Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS

Monica Reinagel is a board-certified licensed nutritionist, author, and the creator of one of iTunes' most highly ranked health and fitness podcasts. Her advice is regularly featured on the TODAY show, Dr. Oz, NPR, and in the nation's leading newspapers, magazines, and websites. Do you have a nutrition question? Call the Nutrition Diva listener line at 443-961-6206. Your question could be featured on the show.