February 26, 2024



Orion Aon, founder of Forage Colorado, is a dedicated forager who grew up fishing, hiking, and camping in New Mexico. He started an educational platform to teach aspiring foragers about edible mushrooms and other wild foods after seeing regional interest in foraging activities surge during the pandemic. However, Aon and other experts have noticed that some foraging books are being written by AI and being sold without fact checking or verification, leading to dangerous and misleading information that could put beginners at risk. The books contain simplified and inaccurate descriptions of plants and flowers, and some include pictures of toxic species. Due to these issues, Amazon has taken down some of the AI-generated foraging books and now requires authors to disclose if their books are AI-generated. Aon encourages people to stick with well-known authors and publishers and warns against buying the cheapest or first books available. He recommends foraging experts such as Erica Marciniec of Wild Food Girl and Briana Wiles of Rooted Apothecary for those interested in learning about foraging while avoiding misleading information. Lastly, Aon emphasizes that while AI may be helpful in some cases, it should never be relied on for information about the edibility of wild foods.



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