Wednesday, May 14, 2014


Can I be honest for a second?

Before this class, I did not even know what the verb "forge" meant. In fact, when we were talking about it and discussing the plans to meet at Kate's, I was on my phone, on my dictionary app, looking up forging (yes, without the "a"). The definition of forge on this website was not helpful as it was about welding metals... I somewhat started to panic as I thought I was missing out on some unsaid details about this whole forging thing due to everyone else's excitement because I knew we were not welding anything in a course titled: The Meaning of Food. Turns out, forging and foraging are different. Not only did I not know what it meant, I also didn't even know the correct spelling...
(Remember when we were talking about how being educated on such matters made a big deal? I'm embarrassed to say, this is one of those times.)




In the simplest of definitions, it is the act of searching for food by hunting, fishing, or gathering plant matter.

As it also turns out, I too was excited to forage once I understood the concept of what we would be doing. But the excitement to forage was in no way lasting...

Reason #1 for Dwindling Excitement
When the foraging began, I was worried about poison ivy, which I later decided was the least of my worries when a tick was crawling up my neck within the first 20 minutes... Did I mention the tallness of the grass, the prickly plants, or the trees that had vicious thorns? Yeah, the overall experience started off a little rocky and I just didn't recover.  

Were our ancestors afraid of poison ivy? Was that even a thing?

Reason #2 for Diminishing Excitement
EVERYTHING around me was green and it all looked the same. 
The conversation between Sherill, Ashley and I went something like this for everyyyy single plant we stumbled upon:

Me: Do you see this kind of leaf in the book?
Ashley: No, I can't find it.
Sherill: Let me smell it. Smells like garlic.
Me: Okay. *bites it* ... *doesn't die* ... *adds to bag*

Do you know how irritating that was for an hour? 
And what if we bit down on something that bit back? 

How did our ancestors survive if they were scared to try something new?

Reason #3 for Declining Excitement
Today, we braised some of the tougher, chewy greens we collected and made a salad with the tender ones... this was the most upsetting part of the whole experience because the taste of the greens was so BAD--they made the salad, which I had previously turned my nose up to, taste like a 5-star dining experience, seriously.

Why was this experience a disappointment?


So, the real question: Was it me or was it the food?

I was not born into a foraging society and the lifestyle does not really fit into the way I was raised. Not only was foraging a new thing to me, eating salads and being more healthy are also "newer" to me. Growing up, I was always on the run playing softball, basketball, and soccer all over the tri-state area and fast food was often the way to go. My taste buds did not agree with the rabbit food we were eating and cooking because they are not accustomed to those foods. Believe it or not, we train our taste buds...
The training process can take 6-8 weeks--I trained mine at 9am this morning to be brave and open-minded about what the day would bring, but I certainly did not train them for the taste, but you can bet that I was going to give it a try to get an "A" for the day!! I was successful! #winning

So, the real answer: IT'S ME!!


  1. You made me laugh out loud. Thank you!

  2. That "Mindfully Training Your Taste Buds" article was super interesting! I honestly had never really thought of how our tastes (mostly those of American young adults) are so inclined towards sweets and fats until our little dressing debacle in class today. We ended up adding sugar into the lemon dressing we had made, claiming that we were trying to "mellow out the tartness" but really I think some of us were trying to add in a taste that we recognize to this world of unknown tastes and textures. It's so comforting to know, though, that we can change our tastes any time we choose and that we are not stuck in the same tastes ranges that we established early on in our lives. Thanks for the food for thought! (Pun intended... :) )

  3. I like you views on changing what foods we find to be good. Now I think that the taste of fast food and other fatty foods are good, but other people may not. I actually watched a couple Buzzfeed videos the other day that relate to this. They are pretty funny, and give a good perspective on how taste differ between people.

  4. Man can i relate. I was asking so many people what it meant to forage until I asked my wildlife sister and her definition made me sound like was going to to die! She made it sound like I was going to be on the show "Naked and Afraid".

    It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be considering I thought I would have to catch a snake and kill it on the spot. But I was like you where everything that I looked at was green. I even tried to look up recipes for the food that we had to look for and everything said salad and I am no where near a salad eating girl.

    I think it was because how I am use to living that foraging isn't for me. I am use to my lifestyle. I need my bacon fat and salt and pepper and sugar. I grew up on it. When I drink tea it is more sugar with a dash of tea. But What I loved about it is that I now go around and tell everyone that I see "you know you can eat that". So really do feel like I was on survivor and survived!

  5. The Struggle was real!!!!
    I must say I too was successfully upset! I feel like even though I had the book over night and had a few plants in mind that I wanted to find, I just couldn't be of help.
    I tried and tried, but all the greenery everywhere just ran together.
    If the market culture we have collapsed I would be totally out of luck if I didn't start my own little farm.