For one month I foraged 100% of my food. No grocery stores, no restaurants and not even a garden!
Every. Single. Bite.
Nature was my garden, my pantry and my pharmacy.
Now I’m here to share the story with you and help YOU reconnect with Earth and gain food freedom!
The 9 days of preparation began August 29th, 2022. The month of eating 100% foraged food was September 9th – October 9th (late summer and early fall).
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Learn more about my month of eating foraged food:
It’s the dream of millions. To “live off the land” and never have to take a trip to the grocery store. And through the pandemic more and more Americans have experienced the instability of our food system and desire to break free.
But is it possible to break free? I am here to show that it is.
Filmed and Edited by Daniel Troia
Special thanks to Daniel Troia, Ethan Harris, Carly Fulton, Belle Brown and Sebastiano Pestoni for your support.
Rob Greenfield’s work is Creative Commons and this content is free to be republished and redistributed, following the terms of the creative commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 license. Learn about Creative Commons and see the guidelines here:
Rob Greenfield is an activist and humanitarian dedicated to leading the way to a more sustainable and just world. He embarks on extreme projects to bring attention to important global issues and inspire positive change. 100% of his media income is donated to grassroots nonprofits.
His YouTube channel is a source to educate, inspire and help others to live more sustainable, equal and just lives. Videos frequently cover sustainable living, simple living, growing your own food, gardening, self-sufficiency, minimalism, off the grid living, zero waste, living in a tiny house and permaculture.
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All right Rob what do you want to share With the world Well for the last decade I have been on A mission to break free from Big AG to Never have to go to the grocery store or A restaurant again that's where this Next big Journey began for one month I Decided that I was going to forage 100 Of my food just food that I harvested From the fruits of the Earth in a way Where I was able to reconnect with the Plants while living in harmony with the Earth this is the story of the last Month and I'm elated for you to be here To share it with you Foreign A lot of people have said to me Rob all The food we need is already in the Grocery store why would you even go to These Extreme Measures to to do this and My answer is very simple the global Industrial food system that we depend on For our food it is a destructive food System it is one where every single bite That we take we are taking a bite out of The planet I have a desire to live Deeply connected with this Earth and for Me I find that connection through Foraging but this isn't just about me I Want to help others reconnect with the Earth and by embarking on this honestly Sort of extreme project the idea is to Take you along on this adventure and ask These questions go deeper into our food
And when I say food I'm also talking About my medicine our food is our Medicine so that means no Pharmaceuticals no pharmacies Breaking Free from that as well and finding all Of my medicine growing on the earth as Well believe it or not the preparation For this journey only began nine days Before the month I arrived in my Homeland of the state of Wisconsin and I Started there with no food and as much As I was excited about the fun I had a Lot of work to do I had to harvest my Calories my fat my protein my nutrients Salt herbs spices and I had just nine Days before I was about to have to eat a Hundred percent from the land my work Was cut out for me over those first nine Days and over the entire month I Harvested about a hundred different Foods from the land so my diet was Diverse and diversity is absolutely in My opinion the key to meeting our basic Needs to having a truly healthy and Vibrant diet my focus was to choose the Plants that are Abundantly growing that are growing in Large quantities and that can meet Really my basic needs so number one for Me was wild rice this was my absolute Go-to it's called monomen the food that Grows on water the good Berry and in one Day I was able to harvest 30 pounds of It monomen is an important traditional
Food of the anishinabe people who are The original stewards of the Great Lakes Region where I am from it's one of the Most calorically dense foods that exists It's also one of the most special foods That exists I harvested apples and pears and plums And with them I made really filling and Nourishing applesauce and fruit sauces I Harvested a lot of high vitamin fruits Like aronia berry cherries Autumn Berries and grapes I turned a lot of Them into Fruit juices At the heart of my diet was Greens Packed full of nutrients like Watercress From the Springs where I got my water Weeds like dandelion plantago and lamb's Quarter from Parks and front yards and Stinging nettle from Farm Fields just to Name a few I harvested medicinal herbs for teas Like bee balm catnip mint Goldenrod Mugwort and so much more I harvested Plants that would add a lot of flavor to My meal like Wild Onion wild leeks and Mustard I harvested both edible and medicinal Mushrooms like puffballs and maitaki and Chicken of the woods and medicinals like Turkey tail and reishi I harvested deer That were hit by cars this was one of my Main sources of protein in a way that I Could Harvest Meat that I felt truly Good about I harvested nuts like Hickory
Nuts for making nut milk and black Walnuts and butternut for eating Straight from the shell And I harvested new things and some Things you've probably never heard of Eating like stinky Ginkgo fruits and Roasting up their nuts and I pressure Can the fish that I caught which Actually softened up the cartilage and The bones to be able to eat the entire Body and I even harvested all of my own Water no tap water no chlorine or Fluoride or other chemicals all of my Water came from beautiful Springs and I Found most of these using a website Findaspring.com There was a very common misperception of Me just being out every day and nibbling Off the trees and eating off the ground And having to forage everything that I Would need for that day but that's not How it works if you want to be able to Live off the land the key is storing Your food so my main means of storage Were dehydration this was done both by Dehydrating with the Sun the free energy Of the earth I'm talking about I also Carried an electric dehydrator with me Things like wild rice and nuts and seeds A lot of these can be stored just at Room temperature and then of course There's your cold storage your freezer Or your refrigerator and I carried a Cooler with me and as I traveled to
Different places I often use the fridge Or the freezer of where I was staying Next equally importantly was pressure Canning this is how I stored my Venison And my fish so that I had this readily Available for me every day If I had to summarize the whole Experience in just one sentence it is Food is growing everywhere the most Challenging part wasn't finding the food The most challenging part was just Having the time to harvest all of the Food and then even more so to process it People often ask me how many hours per Week Does it take to forage all of her food And I don't have a clear answer to that Because again the key is storing that Bounty And some days it was Zero some days I Was just able to sit back and eat what I Had harvested and some days it was Morning until night Foraging processing preserving and at The end of the day I was completely Exhausted now when I say food is growing Everywhere I really mean it it is Growing in what we consider to be the Wild or nature but it's growing in our Front yards it's growing in our Backyards it's growing in our city parks It's growing along the sidewalks it's Growing out of the sidewalks it is Growing in very large populated cities
It's growing in the rural areas the Small towns it really is growing Everywhere and I harvested it from all Of these places except the interstate I Do not harvest my food from the Interstate Except maybe an occasional deer When I set out on this journey I did not Set out to prove that this is a diet That's best for the world or even best For me and so that is a reasonable a Reasonable question was I able to meet All of my needs and the answer is yes But maybe not yes So calories no problem I was absolutely Able to get enough calories the the Vitamins and the minerals absolutely Feel like that was there the protein Absolutely was there but where I lacked Was fat I was not able to get enough fat And this fat it created the caloric Density to have really filling meals and So because I had enough food it was just Hard to eat enough I did lose some Weight So over the month I lost about five Pounds and if you think about it that's About what you would expect no ice cream No junk food no alcoholic beverages I Myself am a fan of eating relatively the Same meals day after day after day I Will say that I struggled with Flavor and that really changed on day 19 When I harvested my salt and all of a
Sudden I tasted all these flavors inside Of the pot that were there the whole Time But I just couldn't taste them and the The salt just absolutely brought it out And then day 27 is when I made some Hickory nut oil and you add that oil and That salt the herbs and the spices to The wild rice and the Venison and the Fish broth and then it was hard not to Say oh my gosh with every single bite So by day 27 I really had that truly Complete meal and I have to say that's Exciting because with just nine days of Preparation and then just a few weeks Into it I was able to meet all of my Needs in a truly nourishing delicious Joyous way I know some people see me and they say Oh look at this white guy running around Forging all of his food not very Important and I completely understand That in the world that we live in today And all of the challenges that we're Dealing with I really want to share Again that I do have a lot of privilege And that includes The amount of time resources energy that I have to be able to do something like This the reality is is that I wouldn't Be doing this unless there was a much Bigger picture behind this Whole immersion and what it's really About is it's about reconnecting with
Earth so as I was traveling across the Country immersing in this project I was Also leading plant walks and helping Others to learn the foods that are Growing freely and abundantly all around Them people from all walks of life Coming out to learn the basics whether It was Central Park or the capital in DC Or in Chicago Philadelphia Across this region I brought people out To help them reconnect reconnect with The Earth because if we can find our Food growing around us and we can Reconnect with our community we don't Need capitalism and consumerism and I Believe this is part of overcoming Colonialism colonialism is all about Removing us from the land removing us From our community removing us from Sovereignty over our bodies and our Health and part of foraging is it's About reconnecting to this and it's About taking the power back so in these Plant walks I introduced people to a Dozen or so different easy to identify Foods and medicines that are growing all Around us in our cities and in the Countryside and I shared with the basics Of foraging how to identify plants how To know which ones are safe to eat how To forage in a way that is ethical and Sustainable and also how to reconnect With the people that have been the Stewards of this land for thousands of
Years and where this knowledge that we Have today exists from them today we're On we're foraging on Stolen land land That is here it is what it is today Because of genocide that happened but Still continues to happen here in what We call the United States also called Turtle Island and so I think it's a Really important thing to acknowledge That and acknowledge the land that we're On because if we're out foraging and We're connecting these plants but we're Not connecting to the history of this Land that's a pretty big important part Of equality and justice and regeneration Of our Earth and Community now with that Being said one of the most common things That I hear is well Rob if everybody Wanted to forage their food nature would Be destroyed overnight the truth is That is not what would happen because Think about it if the whole world Decided that they wanted to start Connecting with the land and harvesting Their food and creating relationship With these plants what we would have is A revolution of the Mind a revolution of The way Society wants to interact with This Earth and that to me is what a Forager does When I look back at this chapter this Month of foraging all of my food I feel The power and the connection to the Earth that we can all experience
To know that I can go out and I can meet All of my basic needs as a human without Money Without corporations and to be able to Do it in a way where I'm giving back to The Earth That's the power that I want to Experience not power over anything but Power with these plant and animal Relatives and when I look back at the Last decade of Breaking Free from Big AG From this Global industrial food system I feel excitement Because although I just finished this Month of foraging all my food I think it's more or less still the Beginning stages it was just a month I'm ready for a year I'm ready to see if I can meet all of my needs Harvesting the food that is growing Freely and abundantly abundantly from The land And doing it for an entire year I think that's what's next Thank you for still being here with me Dear friends it means a lot to be Sharing this journey with you and Sharing this Thing that I am so incredibly inspired And excited about and so if you want to Break free from the global industrial Food system and you want to create food Sovereignty in your communities and you Want to live a life of deep joy and
Health and happiness then I really Encourage you to keep coming back here And also my website is a great resource Of information so subscribe to this Channel if you haven't already and you'd Like to if you want to see this video Get out into the world comment that Helps the algorithm like it and of Course share it with the friends the Family the people in your life who you Want to help break free from the global Industrial food system and find Freedom In connecting to the plants that are Growing freely and abundantly all around Us