Born to Eat Wild: An Integrated Conservation
Approach to Secure Wild Food Plants for Food
Security and NutritionThe Mediterranean

In the Mediterranean, WFPs are still common in traditional cuisine and are widely consumed
locally [59,60]. In their compendium of gathered Mediterranean food plants, Rivera et al. [61] identified approximately 2300 different WFPs and fungi taxa in this region alone, of which 1000 are strictly used locally. As part of the Biodiversity for Food and Nutrition (BFN) project, Turkey prioritized 42 wild edible plants for further research [28] out of hundreds of known species [59,62,63], while across Morocco, Nassif and Tanji [64] compiled a list of 246 wild plant species used as food. While many WFPs are only used occasionally or in small regional areas, some are central to Moroccan diets and culinary traditions. Aromatic herbs such as thyme (Thymus spp.), mint (Mentha spp.), and sage (Salvia spp.) are the most widely consumed wild plants; however, they contribute little to the diet in terms of energy (kcal) and nutrients because they are used as condiments [65]. Wild leafy vegetables, on the other hand, are a seasonally important component of Moroccan diets, particularly in rural Morocco where 86% ofPlants 2020, 9, 1299 5 of 36 households reported consuming wild leafy vegetables (WLVs) on a regular basis [66]. Some of the most
commonly consumed WLVs (many of which are also consumed in Turkey and other Mediterranean countries) include mallow (Malva spp.), purslane (Portulaca oleracea), goosefoots (Chenopodium spp.), docks and sorrels (Rumex spp.), fennel (Foeniculum sp. cf F. vulgare), golden thistle (Scolymus hispanicus),and watercress (Nasturtium officinale). They are commonly served as a cooked salad or side dish, eaten in moderate portion sizes (approximately 50 g per meal). Argan oil (Sideroxylon spinosum), capers (Capparis spinosa and C. decidua), acorns (Quercus spp.), and the fruits of the strawberry tree (Arbutus unedo) as well as jujube (Ziziphus jujube), mulberry (Morus spp.), and blackberry (Rubus spp.)are other commonly consumed plant products in this region [64,65