For most of us, harvesting forest mushrooms and plucking nettles off the ground sounds like either a Man vs. Wild scenario or an ultra-luxurious pastime. But for René Redzepi, the acclaimed chef of Copenhagen's Noma, it's something we should all be doing more of. During the World's 50 Best Talks, the chef announced that he's launching a new app to make foraging for your own food an everyday activity, Eater reports.
The app, named Vild Mad, has been in development for the past four years, and guides users through various seasons and environments, helping to identify wild plants that are edible. (It should be noted, there's a gentle disclaimer that it's not liable for when you accidentally ingest a lethal mushroom; there's also a button labeled, "Did You Eat Something Poisonous?") All of this is just one part of the chef's larger initiative to promote foraging not just as a pastime but as a life skill.
"Knowing your ABCs in nature, the flora and the fauna, the patterns in the landscape, and the rhythms in the seasons is as important, we believe, as learning math, learning to read, learning to write — especially today when people think cacao milk comes from brown cows," Redzepi says.
Vild Mad, which is available now on iOS and Android, promises it's possible to harvest your own food, even if you don't live in a stunning Nordic landscape. Aside from foraging guides for those living by the ocean, in open land or in a forest environment, there's a dedicated section for city dwellers, where you're invited to skim the edges of sidewalks for items like wild strawberries and sorrel. It can all seem far-fetched, especially in concrete jungles like New York (we doubt we're going to find wild parsnips in Times Square), but nonetheless the experience is incredibly educational. Even if digging through the salad bin at Whole Foods is the most you'll technically ever forage, the app breaks down harvesting your own food during those brief times you leave the city into a realistically easy idea—which is Redzepi's goal, right?
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