109-From The Wild with Kevin Kossowan

 
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By Matthew Kristoff. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

What makes a forest? Is it the trees? The animals? The plants? The soil? A forest is the connection between all these things. What makes it exciting is all the possibilities it holds. One such possibility is its capacity to feed and nourish us. And it may be one possibility that most people haven’t fully taken advantage of. Kevin Kossowan is passionate about wild food and helping people to see the potential natural places hold to nourish us, both physically and mentally. We talked wild food, artistic expression, perspectives, simplicity, taking advantage of what’s convenient, and much more.

Your Forest Podcast by Matthew Kristoff

From The Wild with Kevin Kossowan

Episode highlight

Kevin Kossowan of the TV show, From The Wild, speaks about using local ingredients to create elevated culinary experiences and develop a meaningful connection with the planet we inhabit.

Resources

Kevin’s website: http://www.kevinkossowan.com/

From The Wild: https://www.fromthewild.ca/

Les Stroud’s Wild Harvest: https://wildharvestfilms.com/

Sponsors

West Fraser: https://www.westfraser.com/

GreenLink Forestry Inc.: http://greenlinkforestry.com/

Damaged Timber: https://www.damagedtimber.com/

Giveaway

Enter YourForest10 at checkout at the Damaged Timber store for a 10% discount!

Enter “yourforest” when you buy Episode 3 Understorey in Season 6 of From The Wild on Vimeo to purchase it for FREE!

Quotes

12.04 - 12.16: “There’s lots of things in life - cookery is one of them - where sometimes the more you keep it simple, the more profound the experience for… folks. The more you intervene, the more it waters it down.”

38.06 - 38.11: “For most of our evolution, our life has been centered around food because we had to.”

41.56 - 42.04: “A danger in scaring people off from that connectivity is implying that every meal you always have has to be some profoundly connective... wild food.”

42.38 - 42.48: “Bringing food connection in your life, I think... shouldn’t be binary, 0 and 1, it should be some type of gradient that... fits well into your life.”

50.04 - 50.09: “Community building isn’t something that we've done a really great job of teaching people how to do.”

57.20 - 57.29: “Corporations are... like service robots. If we ask something different of them, they'll do something different.”

Takeaways

Outdoor kitchen/educational facility (6.56)

Kevin operates on a piece of land in the margins of the boreal forest near Edmonton, to teach people about the life that grows and lives there, and connect them to the food of that area through multi-course chef-made meals. With a wood library, the use of plastic is scarce. Kevin discourages using urban accouterments in this rustic space, and to enjoy the forest as is.

Fine dining in a forest (12.57)

The food served at Kevin’s kitchen is elevated and plated with talent, aimed to make people think holistically about local food and take them away from “bagged food”. This helps them experience a profound connection to the ecosystem, space, and others they are hunting or foraging with. It also reveals many hitherto unknown yet delicious ingredients to play with!

Flavours of the forest (20.48)

Kevin shares that his show, From The Wild, is “very undesigned” since nature’s plan supersedes any other. It documents him and his friends exploring the forest. He laments that food has become too much about convenience, but his show uncovers new ground in food. He has built an extensive knowledge base of local ingredients over 8+ years of filming.

Not wild, just non-agricultural (30.16)

Kevin was exposed to fine dining in Europe and returned home wanting to learn more and expand his skill set. He became involved in the local food movement - writing blogs, sourcing high-quality ingredients, reinventing his cooking, gardening, and hunting. He prefers the word ‘local’ to speak of ingredients found in the community of flora and human and non-human fauna.

Food is life (34.09)

Kevin enjoys the culinary exploration of different seasons and locations in the sourcing of local food. Those food experiences are stacked with “actual memories and visceral life experiences”, which shopping at a grocery store doesn’t provide. There is also a higher level of trust and transparency in the connections developed with local food growers.

You’re missing the meaning (37.59)

Kevin highlights that when we are disconnected from our food, “we give up some power about our confidence in making our way around this planet”. Becoming independent from corporations helps regain inner strength, confidence, and mental health. However, he warns against being a puritan about “wild” food, and that starting small with simple steps is enough, and easy!

What would make you treat nature more kindly? (48.59)

Kevin’s most valuable experience in the world of food has been the community he has formed sharing knowledge and feedback. His passion to connect people to the source of food drives his efforts to take people for foraging walks, outside of his media career, to develop cultural attachments that inform their engagements with the forest and its residents.

Industry impacts nature and the ecosystem (56.54)

Kevin encourages listeners to make better choices as consumers and vote with their dollars to influence corporations to provide differently. By educating ourselves and getting involved with causes we care about, we can make a difference. While forestry has been a conflicted space, he believes, “it is easier for a forester to see the forest for the trees”.

What am I leaving when I’m done here? (1.17.56)

Kevin has a multi-generational ecological approach in understanding the cultural awareness and paradigms his grandparents and other ancestors grew up with and the politically environmental legacy he is leaving his children. His show explores some difficult realities of how humans treat the rest of the planet, and how we are answerable for what we do to public land.

Social responsibility is a moving target (1.33.09)

Kevin acknowledges that what is considered socially responsible changes from time to time, based on the current value system. It is also important to remember that the alleged “big bad corporations” have humans in those seats who are trying to do their jobs. Kevin has also encountered anti-foragers who believe foraging deprives other species of those plants.

Stay connected! (1.40.36)

Kevin believes that connectivity to nature is important to feel inspired to care for it, but how much interaction is good is up for debate. Join him in uncovering many more such issues in Season 7 of From the Wild. Also check out Season 6 Episode 3, Understory, which delves into the forestry world.

If you liked this podcast, please rate and review it, share it on Instagram and Facebook and tag a friend, and send your feedback and comments to yourforestpodcast@gmail.com.

110 episodes