Day Six: The challenge of palatability

Emily preparing rose hips

Identifying, locating and gathering enough wild edibles is only half the challenge of living on them. Figuring out how to process them efficiently and then prepare them in a way that makes them palatable has been an interesting quest.

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3 thoughts on “Day Six: The challenge of palatability

  1. There’s a lot that’s been written lately about how food science (the bad kind) exploits the part of our brains that leaps to attention when presented with stimuli & most of that is around fatty, salty, and sweet foods, because they had a much bigger caloric/nutritional payoff for the effort of collecting them, in a subsistence culture.

    So, I think you’re experiencing a sensation of what it feels like to subsist, and it’s really fantastic & enlightening to follow, since most of us don’t have the cojones to try what you’re doing.

    There’s also a basic issue around palatability: wild foods, in many cases, are “wild” because we never chose to domesticate them, and alter their characteristics to match our taste buds. I went on an Edible Plants Walk with David Winston about 20 years ago, and he did say that you can adequately survive & feed yourself with wildcrafting skills, but you will probably not be doing cartwheels over how delicious everything is, it’s more of a “yay, I am still alive & don’t have the runs” vibe.

    I did learn a lot from your adventures & I’m really hoping you’ll keep doing stuff!

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