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Science

TikTok star shares the lost art of foraging, and the videos of what she eats are eye-opening

TikTok star shares the lost art of foraging, and the videos of what she eats are eye-opening

Alexis Nikole Nelson shares foraging videos with her millions of TikTok fans.

We live in a unique time in human history, when most of us have absolutely no idea how we would feed ourselves if we didn't have grocery stores or restaurants to rely on. Sure, some of us know how to garden and some people know how to farm, but most of us would either starve or kill ourselves eating something poisonous if we were left to our own devices to find food in the wild.

Sad, but true.

The art of foraging is totally unfamiliar to most of us, but there's a lot we can learn from those who do it. Alexis Nikole Nelson has made her TikTok channel an educational—and entertaining—exploration of the abundance that's all around us, if we know what to look for.

Nelson has gained a following of millions, making and sharing videos in which she reveals various wild plants and fungi she forages and how she eats them. And it is wild.


Ever heard of curly dock crackers? Or curly dock at all? Maybe you have, but I'd venture to guess most of us haven't. But now we have, and now I want some.

@alexisnikole

WE LOVE A FREE SNACK #learnontiktok #tiktokpartner #curlydock

Nelson's knowledge is vast. She grew up with parents who were outdoorsy and started learning about wild, edible plants at a young age. She forages in her own yard, in parks and in the woods, where she finds all different kinds of mushrooms.

"It's like Disney World, but full of plants and much cheaper food," Nelson told NPR. "You walk in and you see this very vibrant ecosystem that we are a part of. And there's something so fulfilling about it, right? You're just like, I pulled this out of the ground, and now it's sustaining me! So I look into natural spaces and I just see wonder."

Each of her videos is fascinating, full of free food finds from the forest. And they're entertaining as heck.

@alexisnikole

🐔🌳!!! #LearnOnTikTok #TikTokPartner #foraging

"Don't die!" she always jokes at the end of her videos. It's a real warning, as eating wild plants and fungi can be a risky business if you don't know what you're doing.

@alexisnikole

My first time cooking the tender new growth of Resinous Polypore and it SMACKS!! #foraging #resinouspolypore

But there are plenty of books on wild edible plants that can help you distinguish between perfectly edible and deadly poisonous, and Nelson often explains the difference between certain lookalikes.

Nelson is a vegan, but she managed to make some "acorn bacon" that actually looks like bacon.

@alexisnikole

ACORN BACON 🥓 🐿 #foraging #acornbacon

Apparently it doesn't taste like bacon, though. C'est la vie.

Kelp is used in lots of cuisines around the world, but it's not super clear how it gets from beach to brunch. Nelson shares some insights as she makes kelp chips.

@alexisnikole

SEAWEED WEEK ep2: Kelp Chips! 🌊#LearnOnTikTok #TikTokPartner #Seaweedweek

Nelson's bio says she's a "Black forager" and she says that distinction matters.

"Any time you are moving through a space that is not yours, the color of your skin can very easily come into play," she told Kitchn. She said she gets a lot more questions like "Where are you gathering? Whose land are you on? Is that a park?" than her white, male foraging counterparts. "I also get my knowledge questioned a whole lot more," she said.

In one of her videos, she explained more about why it's important for her as a Black woman to be sharing her foraging experiences, from the history of trespass laws to the fear of lynching in outdoor spaces to the fact that she knows what it feels like to be the only person of color involved in an activity.

@alexisnikole

Reply to @morganw425 (please don’t go being mean to the commenter, sweet beans ❤️ I said my piece and I think the conversation can close with that)

Highly recommend following @AlexisNikole on TikTok. You'll definitely learn something new and have a lot of fun learning it.

@alexisnikole

Now is the best time for rose hips imo!! 🌹 They get sweeter and softer as winter goes on!

Identity

Celebrate International Women's Day with these stunning photos of female leaders changing the world

The portraits, taken by acclaimed photographer Nigel Barker, are part of CARE's "She Leads the World" campaign.

Images provided by CARE

Kadiatu (left), Zainab (right)

True

Women are breaking down barriers every day. They are transforming the world into a more equitable place with every scientific discovery, athletic feat, social justice reform, artistic endeavor, leadership role, and community outreach project.

And while these breakthroughs are happening all the time, International Women’s Day (Mar 8) is when we can all take time to acknowledge the collective progress, and celebrate how “She Leads the World.

This year, CARE, a leading global humanitarian organization dedicated to empowering women and girls, is celebrating International Women’s Day through the power of portraiture. CARE partnered with high-profile photographer Nigel Barker, best known for his work on “America’s Next Top Model,” to capture breathtaking images of seven remarkable women who have prevailed over countless obstacles to become leaders within their communities.

“Mabinty, Isatu, Adama, and Kadiatu represent so many women around the world overcoming incredible obstacles to lead their communities,” said Michelle Nunn, President and CEO of CARE USA.

Barker’s bold portraits, as part of CARE’s “She Leads The World” campaign, not only elevate each woman’s story, but also shine a spotlight on how CARE programs helped them get to where they are today.

About the women:

Mabinty

international womens day, care.org

Mabinty is a businesswoman and a member of a CARE savings circle along with a group of other women. She buys and sells groundnuts, rice, and fuel. She and her husband have created such a successful enterprise that Mabinty volunteers her time as a teacher in the local school. She was the first woman to teach there, prompting a second woman to do so. Her fellow teachers and students look up to Mabinty as the leader and educator she is.

Kadiatu

international womens day, care.org

Kadiatu supports herself through a small business selling food. She also volunteers at a health clinic in the neighboring village where she is a nursing student. She tests for malaria, works with infants, and joins her fellow staff in dancing and singing with the women who visit the clinic. She aspires to become a full-time nurse so she can treat and cure people. Today, she leads by example and with ambition.

Isatu

international womens day, care.org

When Isatu was three months pregnant, her husband left her, seeking his fortune in the gold mines. Now Isatu makes her own way, buying and selling food to support her four children. It is a struggle, but Isatu is determined to be a part of her community and a provider for her kids. A single mother of four is nothing if not a leader.

Zainab

international womens day, care.org

Zainab is the Nurse in Charge at the Maternal Child Health Outpost in her community. She is the only nurse in the surrounding area, and so she is responsible for the pre-natal health of the community’s mothers-to-be and for the safe delivery of their babies. In a country with one of the world’s worst maternal death rates, Zainab has not lost a single mother. The community rallies around Zainab and the work she does. She describes the women who visit the clinic as sisters. That feeling is clearly mutual.

Adama

international womens day, care.org

Adama is something few women are - a kehkeh driver. A kehkeh is a three-wheeled motorcycle taxi, known elsewhere as a tuktuk. Working in the Kissy neighborhood of Freetown, Adama is the primary breadwinner for her family, including her son. She keeps her riders safe in other ways, too, by selling condoms. With HIV threatening to increase its spread, this is a vital service to the community.

Ya Yaebo

international womens day, care.org

“Ya” is a term of respect for older, accomplished women. Ya Yaebo has earned that title as head of her local farmers group. But there is much more than that. She started as a Village Savings and Loan Association member and began putting money into her business. There is the groundnut farm, her team buys and sells rice, and own their own oil processing machine. They even supply seeds to the Ministry of Agriculture. She has used her success to the benefit of people in need in her community and is a vocal advocate for educating girls, not having gone beyond grade seven herself.

On Monday, March 4, CARE will host an exhibition of photography in New York City featuring these portraits, kicking off the multi-day “She Leads the World Campaign.

Learn more, view the portraits, and join CARE’s International Women's Day "She Leads the World" celebration at CARE.org/sheleads.


Health

Over or under? Surprisingly, there actually is a 'correct' way to hang a toilet paper roll.

Let's settle this silly-but-surprisingly-heated debate once and for all.

Elya/Wikimedia Commons

Should you hang the toilet paper roll over or under?


Humans have debated things large and small over the millennia, from the democracy to breastfeeding in public to how often people ought to wash their sheets.

But perhaps the most silly-yet-surprisingly-heated household debate is the one in which we argue over which way to hang the toilet paper roll.

The "over or under" question has plagued marriages and casual acquaintances alike for over 100 years, with both sides convinced they have the soundest reasoning for putting their toilet paper loose end out or loose end under. Some people feel so strongly about right vs. wrong TP hanging that they will even flip the roll over when they go to the bathroom in the homes of strangers.

Contrary to popular belief, it's not merely an inconsequential preference. There is actually a "correct" way to hang toilet paper, according to health experts as well as the man who invented the toilet paper roll in the first place.

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Psychologist explains why everyone feels exhausted right now and it makes so much sense

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Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash

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We're about to wrap up year three of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it's been a weird ride, to say the least. These years have been hard, frustrating, confusing and tragic, and yet we keep on keeping on.

Except the keeping on part isn't quite as simple as it sounds. Despite the fact that COVID-19 is still wreaking havoc, we've sort of collectively decided to move on, come what may. This year has been an experiment in normalcy, but one without a testable hypothesis or clear design. And it's taken a toll. So many people are feeling tired, exhausted, worn thin ("like butter scraped over too much bread," as Bilbo Baggins put it) these days.

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Madalyn shared with her colleagues about her own mental health.




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Parker, a web developer from Michigan, wanted a few days away from work to focus on her mental health.

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Aunt is shocked to learn that some people charge their family members to babysit

How much work should someone do for a family member for free?

A babysitter plays with a young girl.

One of the great things about most healthy families is that people can give to one another without expecting much in return. But, of course, everyone has their limits. How much is asking for too much? Regarding loans, money is different in all families, but what about time? Is spending hours babysitting for a family member without receiving anything in return okay?

Kaitlyn Wilson, 27, recently answered this question on TikTok, and the video went viral, earning over 335,000 views.

“I was telling somebody the other day that I watch my nephew for my sister, once a week roughly or just whenever she needs, and they were so shocked that I did it for free,” she said in the viral video. “Like, are other people’s families out here charging them to watch their kids for a few hours? That’s absolutely absurd if they are.”

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People still aren't washing their legs in the shower

Showering is one of those things that you figure everyone has a handle on past the age of ten. It's a pretty simple process that becomes automatic before people are even old enough to need deodorant. You stand under running water, add soap to whatever item you're washing with and then commence to washing. Throw in shampoo, conditioner and maybe a razor a few times a week if you're feeling fancy and you've just completed a process that takes about five minutes.

But there seems to be a question that pops up every so often when it's discovered that in some households, washing your legs isn't part of the showering process. People's reactions range from shock on why someone would skip washing their legs, to confusion on why someone would bother washing them.

The argument for those that consistently skip leg day in the shower is that the soap from their upper body runs down their legs, therefore negating a need to clean them.

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Canva, Raph_PH/Wikipedia

Lily Allen shared how her kids "ruined" her career. She is not alone.

“You can have it all.”

This has been a post-3rd wave feminism promise sworn to women. That you can have a big family, a high achieving career, a fulfilling relationship, a never-ending sense of purpose, no bad hair days, healthy lunches that make themselves, and so on and so on.

But many, many women will quickly dispel that myth. There is still measurable inequality between men and women when it comes to being able to advance in their careers and have children. Even the ones who do seem to “have it all” are the exception to the rule, and likely have sacrificed other aspects of their identity.
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