I SEE FOOD EVERYWHERE
In recent years, there has been a resurgence of foraging for food. The practice of gathering plants and animals has been popularized by top chefs such as Gill Meller, Claus Meyer, René Redzepi, etc. Why, in an era when most necessary things are a few clicks away, do many seek the thrill of finding their own food? There are clear benefits to wild harvesting in the modern world. Not only does it cut the forager’s own food costs, there may be health advantages too. Controlled foraging is one of the most ecological ways of food supply.
This knowledge has been essential for human survival in any period of time. Before the advent of agriculture, the gathering of vegetable food together with the search for animal food was obvious. Later because of the depletion of the land, economic crisis, war or climate change. For many people around the world, wild picking is ingrained culturally and it is an age-old tradition that lives on. Carrying on these traditions brings together family heritage, personal experiences and social connections. The act of foraging connects people to their environment, the traditions of the area, and the practices of their homelands.
I'm a Belgium photographer staying for some time at Rucka Artist Residency. (Here) in Latvia I challenged myself. I learned more about plants, methods of preparing food which have been foraged. Plants we forgot it could be consumed or sometimes rather been unwanted at our property. Edibles which mostly contain more nutritional values than the food we could find in the supermarket. Superfood that can be found in our immediate environment, preventing additional transport pollution. I'm not a herbalist, a nature activist or a cook. Rather a person who comes from a country where the habit of foraging is almost lost. Not to forget, I do have a real passion for eating. Food is a great subject and art can be used as a metaphor to explore daily dietary habits. The mundaneness of food is an easy starting point to explore other matters related to food, such as the perspective of our own lives, our future, science, ethics and climate.