People suffering from Cornwall’s cost of living crisis are being offered help – a map showing them where they can find and pick free wild food. The community food support map shows people where to find food – from vegan alternatives to bacon to flower heads that can be used to make puddings.
Rame-based social enterprise Family Foraging Kitchen created the map as a source of valuable resources for all and a way to offset the rising cost of living. Company founder Vix Hill-Ryder said: “Despite providing our free classes and food boxes, I felt we needed to do more to help.
“The cost of living at the moment is so expensive that we can no longer afford to go to a supermarket and do weekly shopping. It just doesn’t go that far. Stretching is the way to go – and I can show you how to do this simply with a local hedge”.
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The map shows people where they can find wild food on the peninsula. It describes where you can find “the best dulce” – a type of seaweed also known as sea lettuce flakes – which is a sustainable vegan alternative to bacon.
With the cost of living crisis affecting the nation’s diets, households have experienced a reduction in both the frequency of the meals they consume and their nutritional value. In April alone, we saw more than two million people skip at least one meal because they couldn’t afford or didn’t have access to food.
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Vix added: “It seemed like people were not only struggling here on Rame, but still largely unaware of the number of wonderful services we have on the peninsula, all working to solve the same problem. We can show you where and how to put wild, seasonal, and fresh produce on your plate, but other organizations offer pantries of stable ingredients.
“Some lifesaving foods from big supermarkets that would otherwise have gone to landfill, available on a pay-as-you-go basis. Not to mention ‘gleaning’ – a term some people may never even have heard of We wanted something that connects everyone A resource that we could put in a person’s hands, guide them to the right thing for them, and show them how much help is available.
Others worry that the map will lead to the destruction of hedgerows by commercial foragers. It’s a phenomenon that’s become more common lately, like stripped bear’s garlic beds in Lostwithiel. You can read the story here.
One resident said: “Creating a map, putting it online? I’m very hesitant about that. I feel like it’s something that could very easily get completely out of control. I have no problem what people educate about finding food, but let people go out and find it. Let them go out and look for food.”
However, Vix doesn’t seem to think the map will encourage anyone to over pick an area. She argued: “It’s to give people an idea of the kind of places they can go where things are in abundance. But when it comes to local families and families going out to feed themselves and their kids for free, I think that’s the last real freedom we have left as human beings.
“And people aren’t going to choose an area too much if it’s on their doorstep because it’s a valuable resource that they want to have for life.”