Picking Up Dinner In Your Backyard

Tama Matsuoka Wong, a food forager and author of Foraged Flavor, tells the story of how she went from being a corporate lawyer to finding food and ingredients – for some of the finest restaurants in New York City – among wild plants:

[I]t’s healthy, because you’re outdoors, getting sunshine, breathing in fresh air. I read that spending time in nature reboots your mind—you become more creative. The little time we have outside of work is so goal-oriented for people. “I ran a mile, and my heartbeat went to this,” or “I only ate so many calories today.” I think that makes people unhappy because it’s unnatural. Foraging unwinds all the goals we drive ourselves crazy trying to achieve. You’re doing less weeding, mulching, spraying, mowing. You don’t have to do—you just have to undo. It’s so easy.

To me, we’ve been going after all the wrong things, the things that make you happy for five seconds, and then, you know, you want the next one. I can’t get into all this tidiness—my yard has to look like this, my house has to look like this, my body has to look like this. Let’s change the way we think of what’s beautiful. We’ve gotten everything turned upside down. The things people think are oddball are actually the things that are more real and fundamental to how people lived since the beginning.

Check out her site “Meadows and More” here.