Donate to The Wildbiome Project. Citizen Science
Have you ever wondered what happens to your body when you eat wild foods? I'm Monica Wilde a foraging teacher. I want to fund blood tests for a citizen science study of 26 people living only on wild food!
Why? Well, during lockdown, I lived for a whole year on the free, wild food found in Central Scotland and did gut microbiome tests. Living entirely off foraged food had a profound impact on my gut microbiome and health - mine and that of my friend, Matt Rooney, who joined me on this unusual diet. Our gut microbes became very responsive to different foods. I returned to a healthy BMI and Matt, a type 2 diabetic, regained pre-diabetic blood status in just 9 weeks.
However, a study of two crazy people doesn't make good science. So now I've been joined by fellow members of the Association of Foragers in a citizen science research study. 26 of us will eat only wild food for 3 months (Cohort A) or just 1 month (Cohort B). They'll be monitored against a reference control of 26 people eating normal shop-bought food. What we want to know is "If you are what you eat, what happens when you add something wild?"
Dan Saladino (The Food Programme, BBC Radio 4) kindly introduced me to Professor Tim Spector who researches the gut microbiome at Imperial College London. He offered sponsorship from ZOE The Human Gut Microbiome Project, to provide the gut microbiome tests and monitor blood sugar levels for The Wildbiome Project. These tests will help assess the impact on microbiome composition and key health parameters of people eating an exclusively wild food diet.
However, it would be a missed opportunity not to also test nutritional status and hormones - to see what else happens in our bodies as we do this. Sadly, scientific testing doesn't come cheap and we need your help to fund further blood tests for the 26 participants. We are also committed to publishing peer-reviewed results in an academic journal, so that many more people can benefit from our insights. This all costs money even though all the volunteers are doing this for free.
Your donation will help this unique opportunity to track the impact of a foraged diet. This study is important as it will make a huge contribution to what we know about the indigenous western human gut microbiome and how significant the loss of wild foods might be for our diet. Please help me raise the funds we need whether it's the price of a pint or a coffee, or a generous corporate gift!
Our first target is £5,964 to buy Nutrition Blood Tests for all participants to do at the start, one month in and at the end of the project. A further £6,636 will purchase Hormone Check Blood Tests, again for all participants. If we go over those targets, anything further would help fund a researcher to write up the results and pay for the submission of the academic paper. Ideally reaching £15,000. I promise that anything surplus will only be used for this project.
You can follow our progress on social media. We're using the hashtags #wildbiome and #thewildbiomeproject or, if you'd like to read more about a year living wild, my book 'The Wilderness Cure' by Mo Wilde is available in bookshops. All my time on this project has been given freely. With thanks to Carlos Hernan who filmed the video.
Please give generously to our project. Make a donation, then go out and enjoy a wild spring salad! Thank you.
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Monica 'Mo' Wilde