OPB’s “Superabundant” explores the stories behind the foods of the Pacific Northwest with videos, articles — and this weekly newsletter. To keep you sated between episodes, we’ve brought on food writer Heather Arndt Anderson, a Portland-based culinary historian and ecologist, to highlight different aspects of the region’s food ecosystem. This week she encourages you to learn a little about foraging for wild foods by introducing five ingredients every Northwesterner should know and offers a recipe for nettle pesto risotto.
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Japan has a long tradition of relishing sansai, or “mountain vegetables”; these seasonal foods like bamboo shoots and butterbur sprouts come from the woods, not the store. But the Pacific Northwest’s coasts, meadows, mountains and forests are also hiding a wealth of gastronomic delights, and even if you can’t make it out to gather your own, we have some ideas on ways to take your culinary experience for a walk on the wild side. Which common roadside weed and garden green can cause kidney stones if you eat too much? Read on to find out!
Small bites: Oregon just says no to single-use Styrofoam, a food cart melting pot and invasion of the oyster snatchers
Freshly picked morsels from the Pacific Northwest food universe:
Styrofoam take-out containers banned in Oregon
OPB’s Dirk VanderHart reports that a bill to ban plastic foam food containers, coolers and packing peanuts has cleared the Oregon Senate and is headed to the House. A previous attempt to ban polystyrene (aka Styrofoam) food containers in 2019 failed, but with different people in the Legislature, the new one has a better chance of passing. If you get take-out often enough to be affected by this, consider bringing your own reusable container, or subscribe to a service like Bold Reuse in Portland or Eco2Go at Oregon State University — just drop off your used container at the designated drop-off bin (it doesn’t even have to be fully washed).
New food cart pod is a win-win for diners
Since last summer, the restaurant