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Welcome to the Foraging Side of TikTok: Where Amateur Mycologists Are Taking Sustainability to a New Level

Mush to think about.

Credit: National Geographic / YouTube

TikTok has inspired its fair share of new trends over the years: dances, memes, and fashion galore has poured out of the social media mogul’s ever-addictive news feed. But now, the newest trends have taken a strange, if not unwelcome, turn. Welcome to the foraging side of TikTok, where people are learning how to gather their own wild food. 

What is foraging?

To put it simply, foraging is the act of gathering edible matter from natural, public spaces. Think wild mushrooms, herbs, and even fruits (if you’re lucky enough to come across them). TikTokers have even started releasing bite-sized guides on how to identify such plant materials that are of a high enough standard for human consumption.


How to identify and harvest wild Lions Mane mushrooms. #learnontiktok #foraging #lionsmane #wildfood

♬ original sound – huntingactor

Why bother?

Foraging is a very old practice that precedes humanity itself. Our primate ancestors were partial to foraging and it’s inspiring that the activity lives on even in contemporary cultures. Not only is foraging a fun way to source fresh food for free (which is always welcome) but it’s incredibly sustainable. As more and more of a spotlight gets shined on the wasteful practices of large retailers, consumers are looking for ways to procure their goods sustainably. Enter: the great outdoors. 

Not only that, but foraging often yields a much more diverse selection of produce than can be found in stores. 

What’s foragable and what isn’t?

The answer will vary depending on your geographical location. If you’re keen to start your foraging journey, you’ll need to find a guide or two localised to your country. And, as always, it’s vital to be careful! For every delicious puffball or lion’s mane you come across, there’s an equal measure of harmful death caps lurking in the shadow of a tree.

Foraging: yay or nay?

It’s fair to assume foraging will only gain more notariety as time goes on. Is this symptomatic of the recent Gen Z-fuelled obsession with cottagecore? Is it just a result of a few thrifty individuals online taking advantage of the natural resources at their fingertips? Is it harmless fun, or a potentially dangerous trend that will open the door for poisoning? Only one thing’s for sure: the TikTok recipes are really making my mouth water.

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