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WorldWild Podcast

 Episode 17  2nd August 2019

The Story of Weeds with Philip B. Stark

Professor Philip B. Stark's recent research into urban foraging (specifically this paper from earlier this year), has delighted foragers and wild food advocates around the world. In the study, taking place across the Bay Area, toxicology and nutritional testing showed that even wild greens growing in highly industrial areas do not take up heavy metals and are safe to eat after rinsing with water. In addition, their relative nutritional value far outweighs that of store-bought greens.


In this conversation, Philip and Miles go further into the weeds of what these results mean for foragers, some incredibly nutritionally-powerful wild plants, the nature of engineering an environment, and how 'the crops of the future are the weeds of today'...

'We've abdicated our power over our own food to a "food clergy" that tells us what's okay to eat and what isn't. I'm pushing for a space where everyone is empowered to say what is and isn't food,'

- Philip Stark, episode 17


About Philip Stark


Philip B. Stark is a Professor of Statistics and Associate Dean in the Mathematical and Physical Sciences at the University of California, Berkeley. He is one of the leading figures in the Berkeley Open Source Food Project and Wild/Feral Food Week which has run annually around the globe for the last five years. The stated aims of the project are: “harvesting the whole farm” and re-incorporating pandigenous ancestral foods to reduce food waste, promote biodiversity, and delight palates across the globe. His studies on urban foraging in the San Francisco Bay Area have been largely inspired by his interest in nutrition, food equity, sustainability, and in what ways wild food – and specifically urban foraging – can contribute to a healthy lifestyle.



Further reading

About the show


We offer a series of conversations to tap into the wildness within ourselves and to uncover what is possible when we do. It is our hope that through the WorldWild Podcast we can contribute to the revitalisation of wild food culture and conversation around the world.


Through people who know their landscapes intimately, we gather the threads to weave a rich tapestry. Piece by piece the vision of a wilder world comes into view. The wild embrace of nature welcomes us back and offers us a seat at the table. A feast, no less!



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