My first priority as a forager is to enjoy the fresh air. Second is a good meal. Third—and not a distant third, mind you—is the inherent health benefits of wild foods. Nature will take care of us if we let her.

Tropical scenes in our corner of the continent are infrequent, but last summer, on one of those bluebird July days, I watched a guy in board shorts, tank top and sandals casually employ a foot pump to inflate a small rubber raft a stone’s throw fr