I have to admit roadkill pheasant garnished with cuckoo flower is not bad. A little gamey, perhaps. But not bad. I have eaten pheasant before, and the bird was, of course, already dead. The big difference was in knowing that this bird died recently and randomly. And that was enough to make it hard to swallow. But swallow it I did, and so did the producer and crew working with me. (That was the deal when we set out to do the story.)
Fergus insists he's never gotten sick eating roadkill, though he does take a supplement for worms. The crew and I had no problems either, although none of us are converts quite yet.
It struck me, as we were cooking up our foraged fare, that I would have been perfectly comfortable with the same meal had I not seen all of the ingredients plucked and picked from the ground. There's something reassuring about the packaging and the presentation in a supermarket or at the butcher. And it also struck me that there's probably something bad about that. We should know where our food comes from, and perhaps if we did, we might eat more sustainably (not to mention more healthfully).
But one thing is certain: Fergus the Forager gave us plenty of food for thought.
This report originally aired on March 30, 2007