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A couple of months ago we read an interesting article about the fact that the human body is not really designed for being carnivore. Right. I do not have statistics or numbers to present here, but basically the article claimed that a majority of billions is doing the wrong thing for a myriad of years.
After that article, and even though we were still sceptical about it – after all we were born and raised as meat lovers (my mother ate meat during all her pregnancy and while breastfeeding!) – we became more sensitive towards vegetables and vegetarians alike and we developed some contempt towards meat. We started barbecuing courgettes and eggplant much to the despair of our close friends who had Golden client cards with the local butcher.
At work, we became attentive to the vegetarian colleagues and looked for their advice on recipes and choice of products. Slowly their meals stopped looking eccentric as we actually recognised some of the ingredients. We even started getting familiar with terms such as quinoa, linseed and chia.
Eventually, and even though our minds still craved meat, our bodies felt much lighter (obviously, who has ever heard of getting heavy with a juicy carrot steak or with a succulent tomato Carpaccio!) and healthier.
Races to supermarkets started including a stop at the bio section whose prices don’t always impress us on a positive way. Why products that do not get any fertilisers or pesticides get more expensive than products that rely on extra chemical substances for growing ripe is beyond our understanding (or almost). Still some prices are outrageous and one is easily tempted to pay a visit to the loyal local butcher instead.
Recently two friends took us on a very exciting trip. They told us they would take us to a secret and free, organic supermarket in Luxembourg. We were sure such place did not exist, and if existed, by the time we arrived there its shelves would certainly be empty. They took us to a field and welcomed us to the “free supermarket”, no kidding. We were not prepared to steal any crops and there were actually no crops yet. The field was uncultivated and they started collecting wild dandelion. There were dozens, if not hundreds, of dandelion’s buds and leaves. They explained that besides all the good properties of the dandelion, one could make delicious salads with it. After getting enough for a salad we kept walking straight into the forest. There we stopped for some more products. We collected nettle with which we would make a soup and deeper in the forest they found bear garlic which we would use for a pesto.
That day we only collected dandelion, nettle and bear garlic from Mother Nature. In the meantime, we have been to secret markets more often and, depending on the season, we can bring home mushrooms (obviously, one should only pick the ones one is absolutely sure are edible), nuts, apples, cherries, blueberries, plums and many others. These are all wild and are left on the trees, fields or forests to rotten.
Why are we spoiling these resources that are offered to us by nature? As far as we are concerned, it is by ignorance, because we do not know any longer which plants are edible. It is sad to acknowledge that we have been losing this precious know-how with each passing generation. And honestly, it is about time to come back to the roots and learn all these things…
Dear Madam Valente
This is Guina. Could you please kindly tell me where I can find the wild garlic in Luxembourg.
Thank you so much.
Thank you so much for writing to us. We were with friends (who have a good knowledge of foraged ingredients) in a forest in Leudelange. I am afraid I cannot precise in which forest that was. Please only pick up bear garlic if you are ABSOLUTELY sure you know the plant. Apparently, there is a plant that looks very similar to it, but that is very toxic. Good luck and do let us know if you find it 🙂