Noma chef René Redzepi thinks everyone should be a forager, and he has plans to teach them. At today’s World’s 50 Best Talks, the chef announced the launch of Vild Mad, a three-part initiative to promote foraging for wild foods that starts with an app. “Knowing your ABCs in nature, the flora and the fauna, the patterns in the landscape, and the rhythms in the seasons is as important, we believe, as learning math, learning to read, learning to write — especially today when people think cacao milk comes from brown cows,” Redzepi said at the World’s 50 Best Talks, the symposium to mark the World’s 50 Best Restaurants’ 15th anniversary.
Redzepi, along with his nonprofit, MAD, has been working on the “tool for decoding the landscape and all its culinary potential” for the past four years. Danish for “wild food,” the app guides the user through landscapes and seasons, such as the forest in spring or the city in the summer, identifying what is edible and “[inviting] everyone to touch, to smell, to taste, to pick, to cook,” Redzepi says.
Children, especially, Redzepi says, should learn to forage, and as part of Vild Mad, the world’s most famous forager has also developed a foraging curriculum for Danish school children and foraging workshops that will be offered by 50 park rangers across Denmark. “What if our kids, we imagined, were able to stroll through a park and they could pick things like they go and pick cornflakes and candies in the supermarket?” Redzepi explained on stage in Barcelona.
Although the curriculum and workshops are only available in Demark, Redzepi hopes they will serve as a model for other countries. The app, however, is now available on the App Store and Google Play in both Danish and English to encourage foraging the world over.