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Fail: Portland Chefs Forage (or Steal?) In Private Gardens

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We're all for foraging free wild food--even roadkill--but a group of Portland sous chefs appear to have taken the concept a little too far. A baffled resident recently posted a plea on Reddit Portland for advice on how to stop local sous chefs from foraging in their yard – since, you know, they supposedly built a six-foot tall fence to alleviate the problem and it didn’t work.

“I’ve called the offending restaurants to ask them to tell their sous chefs to stop trespassing, but so far they seem undeterred. I’ve also offered to let them onto my property with my supervision, but they mostly seem to come out while I’m at work so everything can be prepped for their dinner service.”

Seriously. You can't make this stuff up. The post has received over 250 replies and counting, some just as hysterical as the original post (one commenter suggested they “Pee on everything. Then giggle.”).

At first, I had a hard time believing this to be true. I mean:

“Yesterday my neighbor called to let me know she had to help a sous chef who got stuck on top of my fence holding a baggie full of chicory leaves.”


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From the Organic Authority Files

Talk about a potential YouTube sensation. If I had something as ridiculous as this going on in my backyard I’d either make a public spectacle out of the offenders or strike a deal: you can harvest all you want in exchange for me eating FREE DINNERS at your restaurant. I'll bet that would get the restaurant owners' attention in a jiffy.

You'd think Porlandia would be outraged at this obvious theft and trespassing. But many commenters aren’t surprised. In fact, one mentioned they used to work at a restaurant that did just that – took rosemary and other herbs from people’s yards:

“My boss would go and pick some or send one of us.”

Tell Us: Is this just harmless foraging or are these chefs crossing the line?

Related on Organic Authority:

Foraging for Wild Foods: Yes You Can

Posh British Restaurant Foraging for Ingredients

Urban Fruit Foraging 101: Finding Good Free Food In Your 'Hood

Image: roeshad

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