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39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent TV; educational and informative,
This review is from: Ray Mears - Wild Food [DVD] (DVD)If you missed any parts of this series when it was shown then I can recommend it. Ray Mears' earlier TV series were all about survival skills and battling nature's worst, which is a role that has been developed by people like Bruce Parry and Bear Grylls.
So now Ray Mears has concentrated on how nature can sustain us -- and how our ancestors, living in the UK in mesolithic times, might have managed to keep themselves alive given that they didn't farm animals or manage crops as we do.
Ray Mears uses examples from hunter-gatherers across the world today to see which foods in the UK might have been useful to ancient people. And of course he demonstrates all the skills they would have needed to employ to stay alive; hunting, fishing, preparing weapons and utensils, identifying the right plants, trying different leaves, searching for starch-rich roots. All that was important back when the potato was a foreign food!
This is quite a gentle, humourous series. It's carefully filmed in some stunning locations, and the pace is much less strident and forced than some rapid-fire, rush-rush-rush documentaries. Ray Mears is accompanied by an expert in archeological nutrition, and between them they attempt some bizarre meals and methods of food preparation. Some of them work well... and some of them are awful! And the series is brave enough to show us when things go wrong, too. This is the real world, so when it rains all day we get to see it. It's refreshing that not everything is 100% stage-managed.
My only criticism is that I would have liked to see more detailed information, more of the nuts and bolts of nutrition (especially when some food samples were analysed in a lab). But I guess that might have made it just too heavy going for some viewers.
Overall, thoroughly enjoyable. Informative without lecturing. Certainly worth renting, might be worth buying if you enjoyed Ray's other tv programmes. And would make an excellent gift, too.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent introduction to Mesolithic Europe,
This review is from: Ray Mears - Wild Food [DVD] (DVD)This video is an excellent introduction to Mesolithic Europe, and its "Mesoliths" Hunter-Gatherers, including their Habitat, Mindset, Technologies, & Cuisines. Parallels w/ modern Hunter-Gatherers help reconstruct a Lost Chapter in Europe's History -- one that is especially important, given that ~80% of Europeans' Genes stem from these early, pre-Agricultural, Ice Age Hunter-Gatherers, whose Cultural Identity was completely swamped out, by the incoming Farmers, who colonized the continent from roughly 6000 to 4000 BC.
The Companion Book is also highly recommended, providing valuable additional details, especially about early European pre-History. These products help reconnect w/ "The Ancestors" (as it were).
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another good series - worth having.,
This review is from: Ray Mears - Wild Food [DVD] (DVD)Firstly, I don't really go in for the whole 'I am a survivalist' attitude.
I do think that Ray Mears is an excellent ambassador for primitive living skills/bushcraft or whatever you want to call the type of knowledge that has been around since the very early dawn of man (the stuff that we daft modern folk seem to have forgotten all about!).
I think this is one of my favourite of Ray Mears series.
It's not too difficult, with some practice, to get a fire going and make a shelter in the woodland. What this series shows is, for me, one of the most important and basic necessities of life. Eating.
There is food all around us that is not only very tasty but is also free, aside from the time it takes to pick/pluck it!
We all know that Ray Mears makes it look easy but this series is relaxed, highly informative and having tried quite a bit myself it really is pretty simple to find/do/make the same stuff.
His friend who accompanies him is yet another person who is a walking fountain of knowledge and it would be great to see more like this in the future.
Don't just watch it, get out there and see what's about for yourself!
11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Super,
This review is from: Ray Mears - Wild Food [DVD] (DVD)The series Ray Mears - Wild Food is a great insight into a lost craft, that of looking after yourself without all the modern foods we see now.
It is hard to believe that for most of the time humans have been around our food has been gathered and hunted - and was really wild!
A great series well worth buying.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a double act!,
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This review is from: Ray Mears - Wild Food [DVD] (DVD)I like Ray Mears! There, I said it! He is one of only two interesting swots I ever knew. His mate Gordon the Ethno Paleo Botanist (or whatever it is) is the other one. Neither of them give the impression that you have to be rock hard and eat entrails to get by in the wild, I like that! The Aboriginal women in part one are a good indication of what I am talking about, they fight hard, but they box clever. That is the key.
This is an excellent DVD, not because of the content, which is just fine, but because of the editing and the balance of fact and humour. This DVD appears not to be staged in any way. It is genuinely and subtly funny.
I learned that mud from the Mesolithic Age still looks like mud. Why they were all eating it was beyond me? Must be some extra accurate way of testing mud that I don't understand? I was surprised that somebody didn't say 'tastes like mud!' Not everything that they do is perfect, but it is honest. They spend a lot of time processing brown stuff and grey stuff that looks awful, maybe tastes marginally better than the mud, but it is hard to call.
Gordon is a naturally funny man! He has special nibble that he uses when tasting some weed or crustacean that always makes me smile. When things go wrong and it adds to the content they leave it in. It is a credit to them all that they are comfortable with that and they don't take themselves too seriously.
For all this, the DVD is packed full of useful content. I watch this box set time and time again, quite often picking up on facts that I missed before. This is a good step toward looking at your surroundings a little differently and for the better.
5.0 out of 5 stars Ray Mears at his best,
This review is from: Ray Mears - Wild Food [DVD] (DVD)This series is a brilliant investigation into the wild food our mesolythic hunter gatherer ancestors made use of. Not only do we see Ray, who is an expert in bushcraft, we also get Gordon the scientific expert on ancient foods.
This is a look onto what could have been eaten, how it could have been cooked and in some cases how it's processed to remove toxins. For example acorns are almost inedible due to tanins but they can be processed out by drying, grinding and soaking in a stream before cooking them.
Although there is a lot of time associated to what plants our ancestors used they weren't vegetarians so Ray looks at the hunting side of the hunter gatherer food as well. He documents the process from killing, skinning, preserving (air drying) and then finally to cooking what's left of a red deer in a pit oven helped by some gurhkas.
Again Ray shows the deep understanding and respect he has for nature through word and deed. As he says on more than one occassion we could learn a lot about how we live from our hunter gatherer ancestors when it comes to not over exploiting natural resources and polluting our environment.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent book and well written,
This review is from: Ray Mears - Wild Food [DVD] (DVD)the master does it again,, good reading, you can sense Rays excitement and enthusism. Good pictures. similar in style to richard mabeys' Food For Free. the book has an overall quality feel to it and it has more info than, yes you can eat this, no you cant eat this..
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Ray Mears - Wild Food [DVD] by Ray Mears (DVD - 2007)