Get, Grow and Gather

A friend of mine turned me on to the concept of the 3G meal – which involves getting, growing and gathering your food rather than sourcing your meals entirely from the grocery store.

Get refers to harvesting your meat from the wild – venison, fish, squirrel, grouse, wild turkey, rabbit, raccoon, duck, goose, possum, whatever you can legally take. Grow would be home-grown fruits and veggies. Gather would be foods you can harvest from the wild; berries, mushrooms, ramps, wild rice, hazelnuts, dandelions and other greens, acorns, cattail roots, etc.

The premise of the 3G meal is that there is at least one ingredient from each of the three categories to create a complete meal. A truly 3G meal would have ALL ingredients come from the wild, in my opinion, except perhaps the seasonings, but it is completely allowable to use store-bought items in the meal too, as long as the main ingredients are 3G.

I have been trying to serve more 3G meals in my household. The benefits of a 3G meal are numerous. Health-wise, foods grown in our garden and gathered from the wild are organic, unless you use non-organic fertilizers and pesticides in your garden, of course. Wild foods tend to have more useable vitamins and minerals in them, as do home-grown produce, since you can choose when to harvest to take advantage of peak ripeness. Wild harvested meats are leaner, more nutrient dense (higher in protein, iron, omega-3 fatty acids and B vitamins) than domestic livestock and have no added antibiotics or hormones.  Plus, your efforts to get, gather and grow foods provide you with fun, exercise and fresh air.

Your efforts also replace the industrial supply chain to get food to your door and subsequently puts far less strain on natural resources and the environment. You also generally will save money, waste less food, and, importantly, will feel a great sense of satisfaction at providing for your family’s needs.  Of course it takes time to harvest your own food, but even adding a few home grown and hand harvested foods to your table can make a difference. 

A 3G meal of venison (got), wild rice (gathered) and home-grown acorn squash (grown)..

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