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The Ethnobiology of Contemporary British Foragers: Foods They Teach, Their Sources of Inspiration and Impact

1
Institute of Biology and Biotechnology, University of Rzeszów, Pigonia 1, 35-310 Rzeszów, Poland
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Napiers the Herbalists, 62 George St, Bathgate EH48 1PD, Scotland, UK
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James Hutton Institute, Craigiebuckler, Aberdeen AB15 8QH, Scotland, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor:   Richard A. Niesenbaum
Sustainability 2021, 13(6), 3478; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13063478
Received: 11 February 2021 / Revised: 10 March 2021 / Accepted: 15 March 2021 / Published: 21 March 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Food)
Foraging in the British Isles is an increasingly popular activity for both personal consumption and for commercial purposes. While legislation and guidelines exist regulating the sustainable collection of wild edibles, the founding principles of the British foraging movement are not well documented. For this research, 36 of the most active foraging instructors of the Association of Foragers were interviewed to understand their background, species collected, sources of knowledge, and problems faced during collection. Altogether, 102 species of leafy vegetables, fruits, fungi, and seaweeds were mentioned as frequently used, while 34 species of roadkill animals were listed, mostly for personal consumption. Instructors reported learning from wild food guidebooks, other foragers, or personal experience. Frequent contact among foragers has led to the standardisation of knowledge and practices among them forming a “new tradition”, partly based on old British traditions but modified by influences from other countries and cultures, both in terms of choice of species and processing techniques. Contrary to expectations, foragers rarely reported clashes with nature conservation or forestry managers. The authors argue that knowledge and practice developed by the Association of Foragers (AoF) are sustainable and could be integrated into the British food and nature conservation system. View Full-Text
Keywords: foraging; wild food; ecosystem services; food security; roadkill; wild edible plants and mushrooms; edible seaweed; edible fungi foraging; wild food; ecosystem services; food security; roadkill; wild edible plants and mushrooms; edible seaweed; edible fungi
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MDPI and ACS Style

Łuczaj, Ł.; Wilde, M.; Townsend, L. The Ethnobiology of Contemporary British Foragers: Foods They Teach, Their Sources of Inspiration and Impact. Sustainability 2021, 13, 3478. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13063478

AMA Style

Łuczaj Ł, Wilde M, Townsend L. The Ethnobiology of Contemporary British Foragers: Foods They Teach, Their Sources of Inspiration and Impact. Sustainability. 2021; 13(6):3478. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13063478

Chicago/Turabian Style

Łuczaj, Łukasz, Monica Wilde, and Leanne Townsend. 2021. "The Ethnobiology of Contemporary British Foragers: Foods They Teach, Their Sources of Inspiration and Impact" Sustainability 13, no. 6: 3478. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13063478

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