Food foraging: Six helpful resources before you begin

For more information on foraging, here are some sources suggested by “Countryman Forager” Kevin Smith:

Kirk Lombard: The fishing and sea forager gives tours and runs a sustainable seafood CSF in San Francisco called Sea Forager Seafood; author of “The Sea Forager’s Guide to the Northern California Coast,” a funny and informative tome on fishing for everything from sardines to seaweed.

“He’s the poet anti-hero of foraging,” Smith said. (

Langdon Cook: A former junk food junkie, Cook got hooked on mushroom hunting after meeting his wife, who is from Eastern Europe.

The Seattle resident now teaches and lectures on wild foods and the outdoors and has written a string of books, including his most recent, “Searching for Wild Salmon, from River to Table.” New foragers will enjoy his first book, “Fat of the Land: Adventures of a 21st Century Forager.” ( and

Hank Shaw: This former political reporter and restaurant cook lives in Sacramento and runs the wild foods website “Hunter Angler Gardener Cook” (, which was nominated for Best Food Blog by the James Beard Foundation.

He has written four cookbooks: “Pheasant, Quail, Cottontail,” “Buck, Buck, Moose,” “Duck, Duck, Goose” and “Hunt, Gather, Cook.”

For hunting: The California Department of Fish and Wildlife offers a Hunter Education Course, a requirement for obtaining a California Hunting License.

Courses are offered statewide by more than 1,000 certified volunteers.

You can also take Advanced Hunter Education and Bow Hunting classes. (

Shellfish safety: To find out whether crab and shellfish are safe to eat, the California Department of Health Services offers a Biotoxin Information line: 800-553-4133.

For example, sport-harvested mussels are quarantined annually along the entire California coast from May 1 to Oct. 31 as a result of naturally occurring marine biotoxins.

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