Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Caveat Ramps

I'm glad that more and more people are eating fiddleheads and ramps, and thereby realizing that not all food comes from supermarkets. But fiddleheads and ramps may not be glad that people are eating more fiddleheads and ramps.

I'm an advocate of using (by which I mean eating) nature in order to appreciate it, hence my fascination with wild edibles. However, different plants require different harvesting techniques to ensure sustainability.

For instance, picking an apple doesn't have much of an impact on the plant, but uprooting the tree does, and essentially that's what happens when you, or whoever you pay to do the do the dirty work for you, harvests a ramp. As this article from the Globe and Mail says, "eating a nice sized bulb could be the equivalent of dining on an old-growth cedar, since a bulb could be 18 to 20 years old."

Which isn't to say that people shouldn't eat ramps - they should - they just shouldn't eat all the ramps. Let's not have another cod here.

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