New Interest in Wild Forest Products in Europe as an Expression of Biocultural Dynamics

K.F. Wiersum*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


In Europe, interest in wild forest products is increasing. Such products may be interpreted in a biologicalsense as deriving from autonomously growing forest species or in a biocultural sense as reflecting dynamics in human
living with biodiversity through re-wilding of earlier domesticated species. In this article I elaborate the idea that the new interests reflect biocultural dynamics. First, I identify these dynamics as involving both domestication and re-wilding and characterize these processes as involving biological, environmental, and cultural dimensions. Next, I present a comparative
review of two approaches to re-wilding forest production in the Netherlands: meat production from new types of natural grazing systems, and food production from plants reintroduced to the wild. The first approach is based on the stimulation of naturally occurring ecological processes andthe second on the stimulation of new forms of experiencing bio-cultural heritage. The examples demonstrate that the new interests in wild forest products involve both a return to earlier stages of domestication in an ecological sense and a new
phase of acculturation to evolving socio-cultural conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)787-794
Number of pages8
JournalHuman Ecology
Early online date25 Oct 2017
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017

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