John has a Doctorate in nutrition, a Masters in education, and degrees in biology and zoology. He’s a trained botanist, nature photographer, writer, researcher
John was born in Dearborn Heights, Michigan. In 1970 an interest in wilderness survival began his quest to know wild foods. Fed initially by Bradford Angier’s 1956 book How to Survive in the Woods and shortly thereafter by Allan Hall’s 1973 book, The Wild Food Trailguide, John seriously began studying and gathering edible wild plants. In 1974, he took his first 30 hours of study in wilderness survival, an introductory nutrition class and an independent study in edible wild plants. These academic pursuits were all in preparation for a 6 month vagabonding trip through Europe. By the end of that adventure, John was getting all of his vegetables from wild plants. Following that learning experience and encouragement from Michigan State University administrators and professors, John began teaching senior-level university classes in edible wild plants. He taught at MSU for 7 years.
John moved to Oregon in 1989 where he continues his research and teaching. Since moving to Portland, he has taught wild food classes at Portland State University, Clackamas Community College, and Wild Food Adventures. As of January, 1994, Dr. Kallas has been running Wild Food Adventures as full time occupation and continues to work on his multi-volume book series.