Foraging Alaska: The Quest For Sustainable Food Sources
It all started in 2017 when our founder, Jenn Brown, was working as a private chef aboard Alaskan tourism yachts. During her sea voyages, exploring the natural richness of waterways and forests resulted in unique and incredible culinary discoveries. From fresh caught fish and edible aquatic plants to wild berries, veggies, and mushrooms. Her culinary palette was expanded in amazing ways and this sparked a desire to share these wild superfood treasures with the rest of the world. Jenn decided to put her expertise to work developing familiar pantry staples like salsas, pickles, and sauces, using sustainably harvested and foraged Alaskan superfood ingredients. And just like that Foraged & Found was born, as well as, a meaningful mission.
What Does Foraging and Foraged Foods Mean?
You may already be familiar with the terms organic or non-GMO, but what about “wild-harvested” or "wild-foraged"? According to Wikipedia, "Foraging is searching for wild food resources." They also go on to say, "Instead of buying conventionally grown foods, wild foragers find and harvest food and medicinal plants growing in their own communities."
As a local Alaskan wild food company, community and the environment are of the utmost importance to us. By hand foraging for wild foods like bullwhip kelp, sea asparagus, and other ingredients in their native ecosystem, instead of farming, we help to ensure that the pristine Alaskan wilderness stays that way.
Sustainably Harvesting By Hand
Subsistence seaweed harvesting by native Alaskans has occurred for thousands of years but the commercial seaweed industry is very new and growing fast. Foraged & Found harvests wild-grown sea kelp by contracting with local commercial fishermen. The harvesting process requires a special permit and is only allowed in certain locations, as dictated by the Alaska Department of Fish & Game. Sustainability is paramount to both our business and lifestyle, so we are careful to ensure that only a small percentage of Kelp is selectively cut or “thin” from each natural kelp bed. Every piece is carefully cut by hand to ensure no harm is done to the holdfast (base of the kelp stalk) which is usually encrusted with small-shelled animals, or to the kelp forests and surrounding natural ecosystem.
Foraged & Found loves being part of creating a new fishery in Southeast Alaska, and we are so grateful for the opportunity to draw attention, appreciation and respect to this amazing species! We can't wait to see bullwhip kelp--and so many other types of seaweeds and algae--work their way into the American diet!