Foraging is a great way to get free, zero waste kai, as we've previously harped on about. We also love the locality, seasonality and sense of connection that comes with foraging.
Zero waste living brought us to foraging, but the benefits go beyond waste. As soon as we started, we couldn't believe how oblivious we'd been to all the free and nutritious food around us. And how silly we'd been, spending money on certain kai (packaged or unpackaged) that we could easily have gotten for free, fresh and unpackaged, if only we'd known to look.
Being on the road with The Rubbish Trip, on a daily budget of $20, also made us love foraging even more! We try really hard not to support non-organic food practices, which aren't good for us or the planet. But on such a small budget, we had to be pretty savvy about how we said 'no' to non-organics, while still having enough to eat - foraging was a very important part of that savvy-ness!
In this resource, we share an alphabetical list of some of the foraged goodies we've found around NZ, and what we do with these weird and wonderful things. Our goal is to communicate some of the joy and satisfaction that we've gained from this practice, and maybe inspire others to love it too. Scroll through and click on the plants you're interested in - FYI that each of the links will take you through to an Instagram post where you can read more.
If these posts make you want to give foraging a go, just make sure you know what you're looking for. Many plants and fungi in New Zealand are poisonous, so you must be careful. Trial and error is no approach to foraging; it helps to go out with someone who knows what they are doing and/or always to be 100% sure of what you're picking before you eat it. Furthermore, be savvy about where you pick to avoid possible contamination from car pollution or spraying (no one wants a dose of exhaust fumes or round-up in their lovely dinner).
Some great resources to look out for in New Zealand to help you forage are: