John Kallas is one of the foremost authorities on edible wild plants and other foragables -- almost all of which are naturalized from European origins or native to North America. Volume 1 of his book series, Edible Wild Plants, focuses on important, abundant wild plants of our European ancestors. Traditional foods; edible wild plants foraged from around their homes, villages and local regions.
John learned about wild foods through formal academic training and over 35 years of hands-on field research. In 1975 John did a six-month vagabonding trip through Europe. He planned to supplement his diet with wild foods, hoping to save some money during his travels. In preparation, he took college courses in wilderness survival, nutrition, and edible wild plants. John spent his time in the European countryside, traveling on old back roads and through small villages where tourists did not travel. In these areas, people were still practicing traditional foodways and some foraging. In the process of traveling, He met locals who invited him over for dinner or to stay with them a few days. John routinely asked the food preparers if they knew of and used any wild foods. They almost always did and gladly showed him what they knew. After studying in this way for months, John was getting all of his vegetables from wild plants.
John has a doctorate in nutrition, a master's in education, and degrees in biology and zoology. He's a trained botanist, nature photographer, writer, researcher, and teacher. He's taught thousands of people about wild foods, given hundreds of wild food presentations to a wide variety of groups, assembled a comprehensive wild food library, and documented hundreds of wild foods in photographs and notes. Between newsletters, magazines, academic periodicals, and the Internet, John has published over 100 articles on edible wild plants. In 1993, he founded the Institute for the Study of Edible Wild Plants and Other Foragables along with its educational branch, Wild Food Adventures. John's company is based in Portland, Oregon, USA, where he offers regional workshops, and multi-day intensives on wild foods. John travels the rest of North America conducting field research, training special groups and organizations, and speaks at conferences and universities. Dr. Kallas begins the first of the Wild Food Adventure series of books with "Edible Wild Plants: Wild Foods from Dirt to Plate." The series is designed to provide readers with in-depth practical information they cannot get anywhere else. Books in the series are designed to be substantial in content, authoritative, easy to use, cleverly written, and fun to read. Rich with photographs, they will give the reader the tools to be successful early and often at identifying, gathering, and dining on the plants covered.