Kate Hodges and Marlee Francis lead one writer through the forest on a hunt for indigenous edibles.

As someone who walks a lot and is always hungry, I often pass by an intriguing mushroom or interesting-looking plant and think: “I wonder what that tastes like? Is it even edible?”

Yeah, I am one inquisitive glutton.

Those questions also arise, though, because I’m a strong believer in the increased health benefits and reduced carbon footprints of naturally grown, unprocessed foods. That’s why I frequently shop for things labeled “local” and “organic.”

But there’s a less-expensive, more hands-on — and even radical — ingredient frontier that bypasses common grocery-store labels. Obtaining food this way is embraced by a knowing group of mainstream-skeptical insiders with a taste for untamed nature, adventure and free groceries. These pioneer-spirited people can answer my aforementioned questions because they’re experienced Columbus foragers.

Continue reading G.A. Benton's story on Columbus Alive.