The Beginner’s Guide to Eating Like a Caveman. Or, perhaps, Eat Free in a Backyard Near You! Both would be suitable alternative titles for Hank Shaw’s part cookbook, part how-to guide, Hunt, Gather, Cook: Finding the Forgotten Feast (2011). I’ll admit, I love the idea of foraging. It entails roaming around outside and eating the freshest, most natural foods available. What’s not to love? (Plus, my nutrition blog is fishandforage.com, which is all about fresh, wild food.)
Once humans invented agriculture, foraging began its decline. Of course, it never died, and if we’re lucky, it never will. Many cultures today still forage as a part of their diet, but by and large we have forgotten much of this skill. Shaw keeps these skills alive everyday through his blog honest-food.net, which blossomed into this book.
The book itself is interesting and useful, but focuses largely on the mental and logistical aspects of foraging and hunting. Doing any real foraging would certainly require a field guide for help with edible plants. Shaw covers a few wild plants that are commonly foraged and provides recipes for these items. A large portion of the book is an introduction to hunting, specifically covering the whys and the hows for a novice.
Overall readers will find a nice primer on foraging and hunting and then preparing your bounty. These means of eating have provided sustenance since the dawn of time and I encourage you to try them. Eating wild, fresh food is the key to health, and Hunt, Gather, Cook might just help you on your journey.