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A New Foraging Cookbook Shows Us How to Live With Nature

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One of the book’s goals is to inspire people to develop deeper relationships with their local ecosystems so they’ll be motivated to protect those places.

By Tilde Herrera
Civil Eats
April 9, 2024


“I’m not encouraging everyone to go live off the land, but it’s a really great way to get outside and get connected to the cycles of nature,” Finn says. “It can be a magical experience.”

Everyone is born a forager, says Finn, who has also worked as a journalist, author, and speaker. “Little kids love it, then we [grow up], and it doesn’t occur to us. Even if you’re looking at trees laden with fruit, it doesn’t always occur to you that you could go pick that and eat it.”

But once people begin foraging, Finn says it becomes a new way of viewing the natural world, inspiring curiosity and an appreciation for the subtlety of the seasons.

Civil Eats spoke to Finn about her new cookbook, her approach to what she calls ecosystem-based living and eating, and why foraging can be controversial.

In Alaska, the fishing jobs are really hard. Long hours, lots of rain, you’re so tired, but it’s so beautiful out there. Watching the salmon run and watching bears and eagles and seals and everybody fish and hunt for the salmon is like being in this other time and place. And then we’d be back in town, and for fun we’d go pick raspberries, because they’re wild everywhere, and make pies. We’d pull crab pots, everyone would come over, we would boil a bunch of crab, and it was fun. The grocery store had really bad food that was clearly really old and very expensive, but your wild food was free, beautiful, and bountiful.

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