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From farming to foraging

April 27, 2009

With consumers increasingly looking for new ways to save and the growth of vegetable gardens and the like, it appears people want to source food on their own.

Beyond growing is the world of foraging; where people go out into open spaces and harvest food that’s already there. This can be hunting for mushrooms and wild herbs in woods and forests or picking up shellfish and seaweed on the sea shore.

This whole aspect of food sourcing is really interesting because it was a topic widely ignored by people who differed responsibility to grocery retailers and food manufacturers.

Whether it’s growing your own herbs or the extreme of harvesting shellfish on the beach, at any level it’s going to result in a more knowledgeable and informed consumer.

Once someone has experienced growing and finding their own food, they have a changed perspective on the food they buy. On one level they begin to understand concepts around financial margin and economies of scale and also the complexity and footprint involved in providing the food we all eat.

Obviously, vegetable gardens and a few dozen folks foraging aren’t going to eliminate the grocery store, but if you add cooking from scratch and other elements you start to see the emergence of a changed conversation.

Do grocery stores ignore it?

Do they enable consumers to learn more about their food?

Do they play up their benefits of convenience?

Do they reinforce their quality image?

Posted by Ed Cotton

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