With the enhancement of technology and modernisation of agriculture, a new tool to help farmers identify, harvest and prepare wild foods from their own backyards has been launched.
It also tackles the impact of invasive species in communities.
The free Savage Kitchen smartphone app uses an interactive global map focusing on five invasive wild food plants, most of which are rampant in most parts of Africa, including Kenya.
Sunny Savage, an internationally recognised wild food forager and author, is the brain behind the new app.
The free mobile app encourages citizen science through local, crowd-sourced plant identification, safe and responsible wild-food foraging, and provides healthy recipes to prepare.
It is available for free download on the App Store (for iOS) and Google Play (for Android).
The release of the Savage Kitchen app provides educational learning modules, photographs, and videos to support the user in the knowledge and identification of five wild and invasive plant species –strawberry guava, butterfly ginger, Spanish needles, wild amaranth, and java plum – commonly found in the Hawaiian Islands and other tropical and subtropical locations.
Using GPS mapping technology and crowd-sourced data provided by users, the app makes it safe and easy for foragers to locate and access these edible plants on a landscape near them.
Users can then utilise dozens of simple recipes to teach foragers how to turn the plants they have harvested into nutrient-rich meals.
“Food is literally growing all around us. I created this app as a bridge connecting people with the most abundantly found wild foods – all of which are highly invasive species – in our ecosystems,’’ said Savage.
He added: “This innovative approach to community land management prepares us to better handle crises like Covid-19, hurricanes, and other unforeseeable challenges.”
Savage terms the app as his gift to humanity and for the health of the planet.