FORBES WILD FOODS is a Canadian company that supplies wild foods primarily to restaurants and hotels, gift, food, and health stores, and to Internet customers. All our foods are harvested from the Canadian wilderness by trained pickers who practice sustainable harvesting methods – sustainable for that particular plant species, but also sustainable for the pickers, whose livelihood is supported by a thriving source of wild foods, and sustainable for other wildlife. The pickers are usually residents of rural or remote communities who respect the lands that support them. They are Aboriginal people, women, youth, and farmers. Only those wild foods whose survival is not in danger are used. Forbes Wild Foods also works with wild food producers to help propagate rare wild food plants by planting roots and seeds in lands that need remedial attention such as overgrazed woodlots and pastures.
Only the best ingredients and most delicious recipes are used in Forbes Wild Foods products. By their very nature, all our wild foods are organic. The only additives we use to preserve them are other foods: cider vinegar, organic sugar, or fruit pectin. None of our wild foods are subject to artificial colours or preservatives, herbicides, pesticides, irradiation, or created as a result genetic engineering. They are products of nature alone. We make no claims about the many recognized nutritional or medicinal benefits of wild foods, but we do say that they all taste very good.
Each wild food we offer is harvested only where it grows abundantly in its natural habitat and far from any chance of its being contaminated. “We don’t use foods that grow in parklands, conservation areas, near where people live, work, drive or farm commercially so as to ensure they have had minimal contact with any potential sources of pollution.”.
Our harvesters are trained to gather in a way that does not threaten the survival of that plant in any specific location. Most harvesters recognize the importance of playing a stewardship role with the foods they harvest. They know that a healthy, diverse environment is in the best interests of humans and all other living creatures.
At Forbes Wild Foods we feel it is vitally important to stop the urbanization, suburbanization and development of rural and wild areas. This is the key to protecting the environment that has worked well for more than ten thousand years. We are not only losing species, we are losing knowledge and awareness. If you own land you would like to see naturalized, it would be very helpful for you to know what originally grew and lived there. You may be surprised by how much of it is edible. Check the naturalist organizations in your area to see what programs they offer.
To learn more about regeneration, click here.
If you wish to harvest fresh wild plants yourself, there are a number of good books that can help in identifying different species. The Peterson Field Guides are a good resource, particularly Edible Wild Plants and Eastern/Central Medicinal Plants. We also recommend Trees in Canada, published by the Canadian Forest Service. A Natural History of Trees , by Donald Culross Peattie (Houghton Mifflin) covers North America. It is both very informative and delightfully written.
To learn more about identification, click here.