On Thursday, March 12th, 2020 – the day after the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 an official pandemic – toilet paper sales soared 734% compared to sales on the same day one year prior. There was a huge shortage for weeks on end, they were just gone from stores.
It was surreal that toilet paper, of all things, was what people were freaking out about when confronted with a pandemic. It showed just how wholly unprepared and ill-equipped most of us are if things really did go south, and we couldn't just do Amazon delivery or Uber Eats.
It makes you question what freedom really means in the context of being so reliant on institutions that were breaking down all around us in real-time. How fragile society truly is when the supply chain is disrupted.
It's made many of us want to live more independently in this "new normal" world. To expand our gardens, perhaps raise chickens, and just be less reliant on everyone and everything.
Our guest today is going to show us how there is a lot more food right all around us than we realize, literally even in our backyards right now.
And going to dive into that with Dr. Mark Vorderbruggen. Mark is a chemist, ethnobotanist, author, speaker, and foraging expert. He has a Masters in Medicinal Chemistry, a PhD in physical organic chemistry from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
For over 18 years he worked as a research chemist in the oil industry using his knowledge of natural products to develop environmentally-friendly replacements for traditional oil field chemicals.
In 2008 he started what would become one of the top foraging websites online, Foraging Texas, and has since become nationally recognized as an expert in wild edible and medicinal plants. In 2016 he released the book "Foraging", published as part of the popular Idiot’s Guide series under Penguin Random House.
Currently, he is the co-founder of Medicine Man Plant Co, where Mark has applied his decades of research and experience as a chemist to formulate blends of these traditional medicinal herbs and mushrooms with the most scientific backing.
Some of the topics we dive into are:
Music by Kirby Johnston – check out his band Aldaraia on Spotify