Meet The Michigan Forager Taking Over The Mushroom Side of TikTok
When it comes to mushrooms and other fungi, Michigan is a pretty perfect place to find a wide variety! Of course, morels get a lot of the hype but this Michigan-based forager is taking "the mushroom side of TikTok" by storm with her foraged, fungi finds.
To Start, What Even is Foraging?
You've probably heard of foraging before when it comes to finding food out in the wild and that's basically correct. However, Green America "officially" defines it as "the process of finding, identifying, and collecting edible flora and other food resources in the wild." They also note, "It requires a proficiency in recognizing plant species to determine what discoveries are suitable to eat and what are inedible."
While foraging has always been something anyone can learn and go out into the world around them and do, it still requires a certain level of know-how in order to do it safely. That's where the fine foraging community of TikTok comes in!
Not only do people share how to forage, what to look for and more in the videos that make foraging more accessible and understandable but users also share recipes of what you can make with your foraged finds.
Users like current Michigan resident, Gabrielle Cerberville (@chaoticforager).
How Cerberville Started Foraging in Michigan
Cerberville (she/they) told TASTE Magazine, her interest in foraging first flourished when her family moved to the Pocono Mountains from New York City and she tried her first wild blueberry.
While Cerberville is a composer, pianist and multimedia artist (according to her website), she also uses her TikTok account to showcase her foraging finds here in Michigan as she also attends graduate school at Western Michigan University.
@chaoticforagerFigured it was time to reintroduce myself! ##latinxcreator ##tiktokpartner ##chaoticforaging ##latinxcreated ##casatiktok ##forager ##mushroomedu ##tiktokeducator ##scicomm ##scicommcollective ##foragingtiktok ##ecotok ##mushroomauntie♬ Traveling - Kush Mody
"It started as a video journal and grew into an education channel," they told TASTE Magazine in an article about foraging on TikTok. Not only does Cerberville, a self-proclaimed "mushroom auntie", show other TikTok users how to forage, what to look for, etc. She also teaches what foraged finds are edible versus poisonous, when things are safe to eat, what spores look like and how to forage sustainably and give back to the environment.
@chaoticforager I love getting to teach in person!!! Say hi if you ever catch me on the trail :) ♬ original sound - Gabrielle (she/they)
One of the most notable videos that sparked our interest, was her video on "giant puffball" mushrooms and how to make delicious pizza crust out of ones that are safe to consume!
Puffball pizza! ##latinxcreatives ##tiktokpartner ##ForYouPizza ##casatiktok ##puffballmushroom ##puffballmushrooms ##mushroom ##foragedfood ##mushroomedu ##foragedrecipes ##chaoticforaging ##fallmushrooms ##forager
♬ Electro-Indie - Lynn Standafer
Why and How You Can Forage In Michigan
“I think foraging connects you to a place and time in a way that few other things do,” Cerberville told Green America. “I wanted other people to experience the joy of walking outside and being surrounded by familiar plant and fungal friends."
That's what's so great about foraging, with the right resources, know-how and guides to it, you can literally go out and do it anywhere in the state. Just so long as it is public land, you are good to go.
Nature is for everyone, an idea reflected by Cerberville when she told Green America, "I also think that the foraging community often looks very white and very male, and as a queer Latina woman I wanted to show more representation."
So go forth and forage, you could find something tasty you didn't even know was growing in your own backyard!
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