Forage Definition

Forage Definition

Forage (Noun) [Originates in Middle English around the 14th Century, from Anglo-French, from fuerre, foer ‘fodder, straw’; of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German fuotar ‘food, fodder’]: Food for animals especially when taken by browsing or grazing.

Forage (Verb): For wildlife or livestock, it means browsing or grazing grass or foliage. When pertaining to humans, it refers to seeking out and harvesting edible plants and other plant resources, sometimes on a seasonal basis. Because the meaning implies a randomness and lack of any kind of systematic approach to food production, to call a group of people “foragers” as a cultural designation can have a negative connotation, with the implication that such people are more primitive and less organized than agriculturalists. To the contrary, in many cases, people who are described as “foragers,” or as “hunter-gatherers,” have highly sophisticated food production systems, in which they cultivate and manage food species and habitats in systematic ways, and produce predictable, healthy food supplies. On the other hand, in urbanized society, where most people depend upon commercially produced, marketed foods, individuals who have the knowledge about harvesting wild berries, greens and mushrooms, and who prepare meals using wild-gathered ingredients, are often referred to as foragers, in this case with a positive connotation.