Maui resident and renown food forager launches free app

The Savage Kitchen app uses GPS and crowd-sourced citizen science to link people worldwide with the edible wild foods available in their own backyards

Photo by Tahiti Huetter
Photo by Tahiti Huetter

Sunny Savage, a Maui resident, announced the launch of Savage Kitchen, a free mobile app that encourages citizen science through local, crowdsourced plant identification, safe and responsible wild food foraging, and provides healthy recipes to prepare.

Savage is an internationally recognized wild food forager and author. The Savage Kitchen app is available today for free download on the App Store (for iOS) and Google Play (for Android).

The first release of the Savage Kitchen app provides educational learning modules, photographs, and videos to support the user in the knowledge and identification of five wild and invasive plant species–strawberry guava, butterfly ginger, spanish needles, wild amaranth, and java plum–commonly found in the Hawaiian Islands and other tropical and subtropical locations around the globe.

Using GPS mapping technology and crowd-sourced data provided by users, the app makes it safe and easy for foragers to locate and access these edible plants on a landscape near them. Users can then utilize dozens of simple recipes to teach foragers how to turn the plants they’ve harvested into nutrient-rich meals. With the focus currently on the Hawaiian Islands for launch, the crowd-sourced, location-based features of the app can work anywhere around the globe.

“Food is literally growing all around us,” said Savage Kitchen founder Sunny Savage. “I created this app as a bridge, connecting people with the most abundantly found wild foods–all of which are highly invasive species–in our ecosystems. This innovative approach to community land management prepares us to better handle crises like COVID-19, hurricanes, and other unforeseeable challenges.”

“COVID-19 has most of the state sheltering in place, so why not learn to harvest healthy wild foods found growing in your own backyard?” asks Savage. “I’m offering the Savage Kitchen app for free because this is a very real solution that will put free food and medicine into the hands of the people in a very short time. We are preparing for the impacts of global climate change, and this is my gift to humanity and for the health of our planet.”

Sunny Savage, founder of Savage Kitchen, is an internationally recognized forager, host of the TV series Hot on the Trail with Sunny Savage, and author of Wild Food Plants of Hawaii (CreateSpace, 2015). Her work–promoting the use of edible invasive species through innovative technology, delicious recipe development, and high quality education–has been called “ground-breaking” by Edible Hawaiian Islands.

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