This book came out in 2012, and every year it feels more relevant than it did the year before.
Hank is a fixture in the wild food community, having published half a dozen books on acquiring and preparing wild food. And he operates a blog called Honest Food where he is incredibly generous with his depth of subject-matter knowledge. Sharing recipes, preparation tips, and even responding to specific questions that folks ask in the comments.
Hunt, Gather, Cook easily makes our list of required reading. Hank will open your eyes to a ton of edible plants, fish, and animals that you have likely not yet considered.
Among my favorite quotes from the book:
“What, you may ask, is the big deal with wild food? For starters, wild food lived by its own devices. It was not fed a strict diet of anything. It was not fed. It fed itself. It is free from our dubious husbandry and, in most cases, is the better tor it. Wild plants such as lamb's-quarters or amaranth are so full of vitamins they make spinach look like a Twinkie. Wild fish are universally recognized by eaters and experts alike as tastier than those reared by aquaculture. Why is it that wild salmon, rather than their pale farmed cousins, are so sought after? Taste. Wild game is not legal to sell in the United States, but those privileged enough to eat it know that, when properly prepared, it is infinitely more savory than its domestic counterparts. Anyone who has eaten both domestic duck and a fat mallard from the marshes knows this as a matter of faith. It is also my firm belief that the more diverse our diets are, the healthier we will be. Introducing wild food to your diet goes a long way toward achieving this goal.” -Hank Shaw
“I am not content to merely be a spectator in nature. I feel compelled to play the part humans were born to play. Gathering acorns. Picking berries. Digging clams. Hunting birds. These are active pursuits that bring me closer to nature and make me deeply aware that we are all part of the natural world.” -Hank Shaw
Our aim is much deeper than for you to get a box of food delivered to your house a few times a year, our aim is to invite you into a deeper relationship with the natural world and a healthy, exciting relationship with your food sourcing.
If you're intrigued by the idea of hunting, fishing, and foraging and aren't sure exactly where to start, this is a fantastic resource.