'Rooted in history' - Why foraging is making a resurgence in the city

Living in the suburban streets of Grey Lynn means it's fair to say I don't dabble in a lot of foraging - unless searching through the broccoli at Ponsonby Countdown counts. 

But as our food waste epidemic grows out of control and people seek a more sustainable option, foraging - searching for wild-growing herbs, fruit and vegetables - is becoming more popular. 

There's a Google maps-esque site which shows you where to find the best local edile flora and fauna, and one Huffington Post reporter is even attempting to eat only what he grows and forages for a full year.

But far from a fad controlling how and when we eat, foraging actually is rooted in New Zealand history. 

Our ancestors had the necessary knowledge to identify and prepare wild plant foods. It was crucial to survival. And while some of this knowledge has been passed down through generations, much of it has gotten lost along the way.

These days, most of us would find it hard going to even identify each of the different herbs in our mum's garden.

Bringing foraged ingredients to the dining room table is a passion project for chef Mark Southon of Auckland CBD's O'Connell Street Bistro, who's hosting a twist on your typical five course dining experience on Friday.

The two hour 'Foraged' menu for American Express Resturant Month will be created using wild and native edible ingredients from around Auckland.

"Pretty much everywhere you look you'll find something you can pick and eat. We're going to forage and find some ingredients, then we're going to create a menu around it," Southon told Newshub. 

"What we want to do is to educate the diner on the night. And we want them to go out into the bush and forage," he says, adding he'd love to see diners bring the practice into their own kitchens.

"Have a look and make sure you identify it and you know what it is. Take it home and taste the product, see what the characteristics are and see what it goes with." 

I went along with Southon to pick the ingredients, guided by Auckland Council park ranger Riki Bennett.

Bennett, of Te Arawa and Ngati Porou descent, is gaining popularity for his guided walks where he looks at the forest environment from a traditional perspective. 

Watch the full video to see the foraging expedition.