New Foraging App for Adventurous Eaters

As locally grown, foraged food becomes increasingly trendy, plants like wild ramps are at risk of being over-picked

"Wild Edibles" a new app for aspiring foragers provides a useful tool in identifying wild plants for human picking and consumption.

The app draws on the extensive knowledge of "Wildman" Steve Brill, a well-known forager and environmental educator.

The app includes up to 8 images for each plant with detailed descriptions, photos of similar plants, information on poisonous lookalikes, and medicinal information for natural health.

Techniques and methods for harvesting the plants are also included in the app, which has a free "lite" version. After the harvest, recipes are conveniently offered.

The search function allows the user to search by season, habitat, edible part, and type.

The app covers 165 plants, plus 52 lookalikes, including fruits, nuts, roots, and greens.

As foraging becomes increasingly popular, this app is designed mostly for the novice forager who needs to avoid unintentionally picking a dangerous lookalike plant. For those a bit more advanced, the same company has introduced several sets of foraging flashcards categorized by food type and season.

With the rapidly changing and sometimes confusing food scene, there are several other useful apps for this trying to eat more sustainably.

Seafood Watch offers free recent suggestions on fish and sushi selections.

Locavore uses your phone's GPS (or personal tracking capabilities) to highlight local farms and farmers' markets nearby. The user can then browse the farmer's page to see what is in season, or to search for a specific item.

The free Fooducate app allows users to scan the bar codes of grocery items and then grades it nutritionally. It then offers better alternatives. The rating system is based on the amount of processing put into any item, as well as nutritional content. Not every item in the grocery store is available in this app, but developers continue to add new products, and the app has improved over time.

Whole Foods also offers a free recipe app to help users plan their meals while shopping. It features a shopping list and directions to their stores. Epicurious has a similar recipe app.

Photo Credit: Seth Anderson