The Botanist Wild a state of mind

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Philip Stark

Philip’s Story

Berkeley, USA

Philip Stark is a wearer of many hats. He’s a Professor of Statistics, Associate Dean of Mathematical and Physical Sciences, and Director of Berkeley Open Source Food (BOSF) at the University of Berkeley in California. Philip is interested in the availability, safety, and nutrition of wild foods. He has focused predominantly on wild greens foraged in ecologically challenged urban environments.

Through his work with BOSF, he strives to increase food equity, sustainability, resilience, nutrition, biodiversity, and gastronomy, increasing the supply of fresh, affordable, nutritious, drought-resistant, low-carbon-impact greens, and providing interesting, delicious ingredients for consumers and chefs.

“I think that teaching people to forage has a lot of value for their lives. It teaches you how to connect with the world in a different way, in a fundamentally human way.”

Philip encourages people to share their skills and knowledge through the BOSF initiative Wild and Feral Food Week which started in 2014. The programme focuses on soil, biodiversity, reducing waste and feeding people well. Their projects include a scientific nutritional assessment of wild foods and weeds from even the most inner-city areas of wasteland.

“It’s about seeing the urban environment as an ecosystem instead of a landscape. You start to see abundance where before it didn’t register. There’s lots of food if you just learn how to recognise it.”

What is wild? Philip Stark - Urban Foraging

The Stark Effect

Philip Stark is a fascinating man. A Dean, statistician, forager and barefoot runner, Philip’s curiosity and passion for doing things differently has let to him setting up the Berkeley Open Source Food project. The project looks at things like nutrition, toxicology, and availability of wild edible greens San Francisco.

Five Fave Feral Foods

Wild and feral food week is an initiative started in 2014 by the University of California Berkeley open source food programme. They are interested in soil, they are interested in biodiversity, they are interested in reducing waste, and in feeding people well.

Orache Jura - feral food

Five short films

Showcasing members of our global forager network.

Film 1/5

Roshuanna Gray

Film 1 / 5
Roushanna Gray

Film 2/5

Vijay Mudalier

Film 2 / 5
Vijay Mudaliar

Film 3/5

Nick Weston

Film 3 / 5
Nick Weston

Film 4/5

Philip Stark

Film 4 / 5
Philip Stark

Film 5/5

Nick Liu

Film 5 / 5
Nick Lui


We’re part of a community of experienced foragers, chefs, and bartenders from all around the world who share interesting perspectives and ideas. If you’d like to know more, sign up below.

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