Why You Need to Eat Weeds: Serving Up Wild Foods, Invasive Species + Truth with Sunny Savage

Did you know your average weed found in a densely populated industrial urban area - think Chicago or Oakland - is not only safe to eat, but more nutritious than kale in almost every way?

That’s what new research is saying coming out of Berkeley and what Sunny Savage - a wild foods advocate who weaves a web of appreciation for the wild things - has been teaching and spreading for 2 decades…

In this interview, Sunny shows us how eating One Wild Food Every Day can make a significant impact on your health and the health of the planet. Why invasive species aren't always a bad thing if we can put them on our plates, and steps you can take to begin your wild food nutrition and foraging adventure NO MATTER where you live.

We dive deep into the importance of doing this with your family and children, and how to begin, and Sunny goes deep into looking at our collective and personal addictions,

Sunny’s passion is awesome and has such incredible knowledge on wild foods and how they offer us a powerful tool to reconnect us back with nature with a genetic instruction packet with their intelligence, resilience and adaptability that will save us.

I love any discussion that starts to break down these preconceived notions or programming that we have as a collective and tears that down so we can start reimagining what a new life-giving regenerative world actually looks like. I believe wild foods, foraging and eating weeds is part of this new world. When we begin to look thru this lens we can see just how abundant our world really is... I know you’re going to enjoy Sunny’s fire throughout this discussion!

Show Notes

In this episode, we discuss:

  • How she got into wild foods through her own mom’s interest in herbal medicine and found her soul calling and a deep remembrance

  • Why Sunny was pissed when she first discovered wild foods and how it cracked open an ability to see the world through a new lens

  • Her journey from Antarctica to Hawaii and how the Hawaii islands have practically every kind of ecosystem

  • How Sunny went from growing up in wild rural isolated land to getting her own television show and teaching around the world

  • How Sunny has traveled to every content before she was 30 yrs old and how this exposure impacted her work

  • Her work with wild food plants of Hawaii and running a food truck serving invasive species that’s over 90% local wild foods and 100% organic

  • What is an “invasive species” and why Sunny is educating and literally serving up food for thought

  • Humans as an “invasive species” and how we shape our food and world

  • Why it’s an exciting time to talk about wild foods, and why Sunny says it’s time for a reframe

  • The Energy exchange by picking your own food - ask permission before harvesting

  • Surprising and powerful new research on wild foods within low income industrial urban areas with elevated levels of heavy metals in soil

  • The wild greens in these areas were abundant - more nutritious than kale in all ways and that none of the pesticides were coming through the plants, and how Sunny sees this as the plants evolving

  • These plants are on the front lines of evolution with an innate adaptive intelligence

  • After working with thousands of people helping them wild food, Sunny sees that some people are just better at pattern recognition with plants than others

  • The importance of personal responsibility and steps you can take to begin your wild food nutrition and foraging adventure NO MATTER where you live!

  • Read books. Find a teacher. Join local groups. Sunny lists some of her favorite books and researchers. Always cross reference, double triple check everything

  • How to start eating wild foods - take a small amount, see how you feel. Eat the rainbow. Doctor up your food - get creative! Stay open.

  • You only need to learn 10 plants and they can serve you for a lifetime

  • What is feeding Sunny’s wild that is NOT actually “wild food” and she shares the incredible story of Milarepa - “Act as if you have no cause to be ashamed of yourself

  • Working on her own personal addictions and the importance of looking at addiction in our society

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Connect With Sunny Savage


Savage Kitchen app: It's an interactive mapping system throughout the State of Hawaii for 5 edible invasive plants, and includes recipes/infographs/videos/plant monographs/lookalikes/plant quizzes/etc

Sunny’s book: Wild Food Plants of Hawaii - the first book highlighting foraging in Hawaii since Euell Gibbons’s book The Beachcomber’s Handbook in 1967*

You can eat that -- The gift of wild foods | Sunny Savage | TEDxMaui


Resources + Links Mentioned 

Stark's research "Open-Source Food: Nutrition, Toxicology, and Availability of Wild Edible Greens in the East Bay": https://www.biorxiv.org/content/biorxiv/early/2018/08/06/385864.full.pdf

Samuel Thayer - “The best wild food books out there.” ~ Sunny Savage

Pascal Baurdars cooking with wild foods in socal - techniques and inspiration what can be done with wild foods

Note: Links marked with an asterisk (*) are affiliate links. Making a purchase through these links won’t cost you anything but we will receive a small commission. This is an easy, free way of supporting the podcast and production costs. Thank you!


Wildly Rooted Resources

Sacred Ecology Activation Journey Audio


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