Plumed Serpent_John Farais

John Farais: Food is a Tool for Transformation (ep17)

“We need as a society, really need to consider food as an essential part of our education and living life. And appreciating all the nature that creates that, that supports that, that supports us. And that’s all done just by understanding what you put into your mouth at a deeper level. It’s all about a deeper level. “

john farais

In episode 17 of the Plumed Serpent Podcast I welcome John Farais, Marin County chef and founder of “Indigenous Edibles”, located in the San Francisco Bay area, is a lecturer, cooking instructor, native plant specialist, and food educator.

We talk about food and its many aspects linked to our lives. And that due to our numbers we can literally vote with our forks. We discuss how appreciation impacts the vibrational quality of food from the field to the plate to the people. Why we need to understand food on a deeper level and educate people about all aspects of food. John also describes shortly the process of producing acorn flour and the practical handling of food. We mention also that by experiencing the growth of food and saving seeds, we’re taking back our food sovereignity. And why the holistic indigenous philosophy on nature, spirit and stewardship of land is an inspiration for our present actions. John talks furthermore about the need for transformation, self-exploration and getting clear about ourselves.

Background and contact

John has been cooking with ingredients native to The Americas, for over 10 years. Ask anyone, and they will tell you that John is one of the few, if not the only, Bay Area chefs who specialize in the history, taste, and promotion of California’s, and The Americas’ indigenous, edible plants. John specializes in using ingredients that are native to California, and North through South America in his cooking. He makes his own Acorn flour and forages for Mesquite, Bay nuts, Elderberries, Madrone berries, Nettles and Manzanita berries along with many other native plants.

John has cooked for Carlo Petrini, the creator of Slow Food International, Actor Peter Coyote, Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey, The California Indian Conference and Heyday Books. He has lectured for Slow Food, The Oakland Museum, San Francisco State University, College of Marin, UC Berkeley and California Native Garden Foundation.

John’s long-term goal is to help establish and source from Heritage Foodways. His vision is to promote a just, sustainable, and healthy food system, by sourcing ingredients from farmers who honor the connection of the earth’s well-being to ours.

John’s website: Indigenous Edibles – Ancient Foodways as Medicine and a Tool for Transformation


Plumed Serpent is a podcast exploring our paths to transform oneself and the world through nature connection*.

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