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Darina Allen, founder of the Ballymaloe Cookery School in Shanagarry, County Cork, Ireland. Eleanor Bentall / Corbis via Getty Images

Chefs around the world are using foraged ingredients to add exciting, fresh and eco-friendly flavors to their menus. By searching for herbs, fruits and roots from the wild, they create fresh, flavorful dishes. They also champion sustainable practices, indigenous produce and a sense of adventure. Ultimately, these foraging chefs bring diners unique experiences closer to nature.

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By Jasleena Grewal

Foraging or wandering in search of food and plants, isn't relegated to remote forests and idyllic fields. Edible and usable weeds are abundant in urban environments too. Some are found in common cuisine: Dandelion and stinging nettle are often used in salads and teas. And many weeds are vitamin- and nutrient-rich.

YES! Illustrations by Jennifer Luxton.

Harvesting urban weeds can help us connect better with the natural spaces where we work, live and play. But finding them requires a little technique. Melany Vorass Herrera, author of The Front Yard Forager, suggests carrying a field guide to help identify plants, picking only as much as you need and avoiding areas known for pollution, heavy industry or chemical use (pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers).

Your nearest urban patch may be home to a variety of edible weeds, including some you may never have heard of, like lamb's quarter.

Lemon Balm

Lamb’s Quarter

Chickweed

Plantain

Mallow

This article was reposted with permission from our media associate YES! Magazine.

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