Completed Finding Food In The Jungle II

Randal teaches Taz the Universal Edibility Test.

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Syka is a new settlement of primarily humans on the east coast of Falyndar opposite of Riverfall on The Suvan Sea. [Syka Codex]

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Finding Food In The Jungle II

Postby Tazrae on November 30th, 2021, 2:47 am

Timestamp: 20th of Fall, 521 A.V.

Continued From: Finding Food In The Jungle I


Randal smiled, then shrugged. “Okay, first and foremost, don’t leave home without your plant tester. Keep it in your backpack or otherwise on your person when you need it. Because, honestly, it will save you from a whole host of problems. But this knowledge I’m about to teach you is for when you are stranded in the Wilderness without resources… without your kit, your survival gear, and without a way to hunt. Hopefully, you will never be in that position, but it can and might happen one day and I’d rather you be prepared.” Randal said softly, shaking his head.

“So far, Randal, your teachings have given me the best chance to survive. It’s like a toolbox – comprised mostly of ways of thinking – that is full of tools that are making things easier in terms of surviving in the wilds. I appreciate that more than you know because once I know… I know. It’s not something that can be taken away, lost, or left behind like a plant tester.” Taz said softly, reaching out to grip his upper arm for a moment.

“Okay… right. That’s a good way to think. Remember, you can live up to a third of a season in the wild without food. You’ll grow weaker, but you will manage. Water is a whole different story and one we’ve covered. I’m confident you can get water in the Rainforest. You’ve learned well and taken to the lessons like a witch of Caiyha’s. But you’d be a whole lot more comfortable with food. Just because you can live without it, doesn’t mean you need to. Lack of food can cause your thoughts to muddle, your energy to wane, and your critical thinking to be flawed. The biggest killer in the jungle isn’t a rogue ashta or a panther, but a poor decision.” Randal added, truthfully meaning that.

“So, you are saying there are ways without a plant tester to identify edible plants in the wilderness?” Taz asked, curious. She wondered if it was a magic or some other skill.

“Exactly. And it's not even a magic or something you do through auristics. It’s a method, Taz, and I’m going to teach you today.” He said with a smile… then beckoned for her to follow. Taz skipped to it, following along with him enjoying how many of their walks involved just wandering through the jungle, exploring new places, and seeing new things. “The problem with the jungle is, there is species upon species upon species. It would be impossible to catalog them all or even make thorough enough notes to actually identify them clearly through sketches or even dried samples. Thus, you can’t determine whether or not a particular thing you try to eat will make you sick or not. It’s virtually impossible. And please understand its far better to go without food than to poison yourself. Remember that.” Randal said firmly, then looked thoughtfully at Tazrae.

“I’ve noticed….” Taz said, looking curiously at the plants all around her. “Mimicry is a real issue in the jungle. Plants look like each other. And they don’t always have signals for poison like say caterpillars who are brightly colored do. Everything here is various shades of green; everything.” Taz added.
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The goal of learning is not to shield old views against new facts, but to revise old views with new facts. Ideas are possibilities to explore, not certainties to defend. "


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Finding Food In The Jungle II

Postby Tazrae on January 13th, 2022, 3:37 am

“Not to mention…” Randal added. “… that some parts of various plants are edible and some parts can be toxic. So, in one plant you might be able to eat the leaves, but the roots are toxic. Or… in many cases the tubers are edible but the green tops you can actually see above ground are toxic.” He added, throwing out those examples. “Rhubarb is like that… and you cook with that a lot, Tazrae.” He pointed out, causing Tazrae to smile.

“I knew that… but it didn’t register… you know? That something familiar and delicious, could potentially kill me. And I imagine poisoning out here in the wilds is the last thing people need when they are lost or on their own.” She nodded, understanding the larger picture Randal was trying to paint in his mind. “So, you said there was a test? A universal edibility test?” She said, wrapping her tongue around that. It sounded intriguing, but it was something she was willing to learn if it meant giving herself a better chance of surviving in the jungle. Tazrae would never say ‘getting out alive’ because Falyndar was vast and there was potentially no ‘getting out’ involved. Once you were here, you had to embrace the jungle or be eaten alive by it as a foreigner. That meant accepting all its downfalls, from insects to mud, to constant rain showers and understanding the abundance all around oneself.

“Sure… and it's not an easy test. It’s called the universal edibility test. It requires you to break down the parts of a plant and test them individually over a period of twenty-four bells. In a survival situation, you don’t want to go through this if you have one or two plants available to eat. Eating potentially dangerous plants you have no more of is just flat-out stupid. Don’t risk your life on something that won’t sustain you. You skip it and find something else near you that’s growing in abundance that’s worth the time and effort. You need to come into the test clean, with a clear system. That means fasting from all food and drink besides water for eight bells before you start the test. If you are stranded or lost in the wilds without any food, this shouldn’t be an issue.” He added, glancing at Tazrae as they walked.

She nodded. “Makes sense. If you are testing plants you want nothing else in your system that might give you a false result. And I see the issue about not trusting your life to a tiny plant that won’t keep you alive if you eat the only one around for miles.” She added, filing that away in her mind. Randal was notoriously full of good information. And as they hiked a while, Taz noticed the foliage changing, the underplants and duff changing, and even the environment from beneath different tree to tree changing. There were plants scattered about, sure, but she was looking for a situation like he described… almost a small field of plants or a micro grove under the behemoths above. “So what’s next?” She asked, prompting him as he too seemed to be looking for a good candidate.
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"A mark of an open mind is being more committed to your curiosity than your conviction.
The goal of learning is not to shield old views against new facts, but to revise old views with new facts. Ideas are possibilities to explore, not certainties to defend. "


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Finding Food In The Jungle II

Postby Tazrae on January 13th, 2022, 3:39 am

“Okay, you’re sufficiently hungry. You don’t have your plant tester. You have found the perfect patch of plants to test. It’s time to get busy. First, you need to separate. Select the plant you are going to test then separate it into parts. Each part needs to be tested separately. Some of the plant parts may be edible though… so separate it into one of its five basic parts; leaves, roots, stems, buds, and flowers. Buds can be different than flowers. Remember that. People often forget.” Randal said, then plucked a random plant out of the ground and an identical one right next to her.

Together they broke them into pieces, separating out all the parts he’d listed into the different categories. “Remember doing this, Taz. Hold it in your heart. It might save your life one day.” He added.

Taz plucked another plant, one growing in the same batch that looked identical and frowned at a cyst on one of the leaves. She leaned closer, peering intently at it, and scraped her thumb across it revealing a worm buried deep in the leaf and encrusted. It wiggled under her thumbnail and she frowned. “These aren’t good for the test, are they? Could one of these make us sick even if the plant is edible?” She asked, curious.

Randal nodded. “Exactly. You have sharp eyes, Tazrae. Check all the pieces you separate for works or insects. You want a clean wholesome plant. Don’t just toss away the bugs, but toss the whole plant and select another one that’s pest-free. Also, something you might not know is that worms or other parasites are a really clear indication that the plant might not be healthy or might otherwise be rotting or in its decline. You want the freshest healthiest plants for this test.” He added.

Taz nodded, picking a few more plants and dividing them as he’d shown her. Randal looked on approvingly then nodded when she was done. “That’s enough. The next step, after you collect and divide, is to perform a simple contact test. It's better to remember that if it's not good for your skin, it's not good for your stomach. One at a time, crush only one of the plant parts and rub it on the inside of your wrist or elbow for 15 minutes. Now, this is hard… but wait for eight bells. If you have a reaction at the point of contact, throw out that part of the plant. There is no other reason to test further. Understand?” He asked, emphasizing the whole contact test by demonstrating with the delicate plant’s leaves on the underside of his wrist.

“I get it. Is it easier to test one part first than another? Like are the tubers which look like food … should you test them first or are the leaves most likely to feed you?” She asked, curious, furrowing her brow and trying to decide what made him use the leaves. It wasn’t that the instructions Randal was giving her were complicated, it was if anything that they were oversimplified. Did that mean there was more that could be discerned and better choices made at the onslaught or was it truly random and the luck of the draw? Taz wasn’t sure, but she hoped Randal would add in some insight.

“Tazrae, it doesn’t matter. Take your best guess and try that first.” Randal admonished with a quirk in his smile. Only the young Innkeeper would demand to know more about his thought process when truthfully it was the luck of the draw. And truthfully, his words disappointed, because she wanted to honestly have a better answer than ‘it's random but use your best guess’.
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"A mark of an open mind is being more committed to your curiosity than your conviction.
The goal of learning is not to shield old views against new facts, but to revise old views with new facts. Ideas are possibilities to explore, not certainties to defend. "


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn

"Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows."
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Finding Food In The Jungle II

Postby Tazrae on January 13th, 2022, 3:42 am

“So, I take it while you are waiting for a reaction or not, you want to make sure you don’t eat or drink anything, right? Because I could cause a reaction eating something new while doing a contact test right?” Taz asked, reaching up to awkwardly push a stay curl out of her face. Her hair was caught up in a leather tie, but the jungle always pulled bits of it free.

Randal laughed. “Yes, but don’t forget you can have as much water as you want.” He added, then continued on with the lesson. “If it passes the contact test, you can move on to the cook test. Many many plants are toxic raw, but become edible after they are boiled. Always test how you would eat it… if you do a boiled test, don’t then eat the plant tested raw. Boiling is always the first choice, but containers aren’t always available. You can use bamboo as a pot here in the jungle. I’ve shown you the trick of it already. So you won’t ever be without a container to boil plants in if you are wise and note the bamboo stands.” The Founder added, causing Tazrae to nod.

She remembered the lesson well. Bamboo had natural joints in their lengths and if Tazrae cut one down that was as big as her forearm or bigger around, she could cut one up so that the sections were intact, each ‘join’ acting as a dam inside the bamboo… then if she cut a rectangular opening in the side, laid the bamboo length down parallel to the ground and filled it with water…. If it was green enough, it’d hold and boil water on a spit-like situation over an open fire.

She’d tried it out and found that it worked beautifully… if not slowly. “So… how long do I boil the raw plant for? I take it you don’t drop it into the water until the water is actually at a rolling boil?” Taz questioned, knowing Randal hadn’t been specific.

“Indeed. Use a new bamboo for each test boil, get the water at a rolling boil, then boil it for five to ten chimes. Once it's good and boiled, fish it out of the water and hold it up to your lip for three chimes. You shouldn’t feel any kind of tingling, stinging, or burning when you do unless it’s from the heat. Blow on it just to be sure it's cool before it touches your lips. If there’s no reaction, then you can go ahead and test it via the next test; taste. Place the very same piece you boiled into your mouth and hold it on your tongue for another fifteen chimes. If anything happens that’s unpleasant like a foul taste, burning, tingling, go ahead and spit it out and wash your mouth out. Bad taste doesn’t preclude an item from being food, though… and often things taste just fine when we are hungry that we’d normally pass over if we were well fed. Bad taste just precludes the food from being tasty.” He said with a laugh and gestured down to their little collection of plant parts.

“It might take you many days to get to the point to taste things this way. But as ever, Tazrae, patience is what will drive a successful edibility test.” Her teacher added, watching her reaction.
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"A mark of an open mind is being more committed to your curiosity than your conviction.
The goal of learning is not to shield old views against new facts, but to revise old views with new facts. Ideas are possibilities to explore, not certainties to defend. "


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn

"Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows."
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Tazrae
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Finding Food In The Jungle II

Postby Tazrae on January 13th, 2022, 3:43 am

“I get to the point I taste something. Do I then attempt to swallow?” She said with a laugh.

Randal shook his head. “You’d think so, but no. Hold the food item on your tongue and then chew it thoroughly and hold it in your mouth for another fifteen chimes. Don’t swallow, Tazrae. Once again, after chewing it and holding it in your mouth, you might feel burning, tingling, or even your mouth might go numb. Spit it out and rinse your mouth with water. If nothing happens then, you can swallow whatever’s left of that plant. Can you guess what comes next?” Randal asked, watching Tazrae curiously.

Taz gave it some thought and nodded. “There’s a trend here for sure. Once I swallow, I don’t eat anything else for eight bells. I drink water, but nothing else. But if it makes me sick, I feel nauseous or start seeing things… let me guess. I make myself throw up?” She said softly, watching him curiously.

“Yes, exactly. And if you get to the point you must make actually yourself throw up, do it by thrusting two fingers into your mouth and pressing them rather roughly into the back of your throat. Once you’ve vomited, drink a lot of water. If you come out of that with no sickness… you can try actually eating the plant. But there’s a regimented way about doing this as well.” He added, slowing down because this part wasn’t so much common sense as it was something he’d developed by trial and error when first arriving at Syka.

“I understand.” Taz interjected, following him and making mental notes. This progression Randal was describing made sense. It actually made a lot of sense and was something she could remember quite easily.

Randal continued. “Once you get to the step where you’ve eaten that tiny soggy bite of over-chewed leaf or stem or root… and you’ve managed to survive eight hours… go ahead and eat a little. Gather what I would consider a quarter cup of the same part of the same plant and prepare it the same way you did before… boiling, raw, that kind of thing. Then eat that amount the same way you did your test. Follow the same steps… wait eight hours and if at any time you feel sick make yourself heave it up and drink lots of water. But if it's still down after eight hours, then you’ve won some sort of prize because the plant is edible and you can safely eat it in large quantities. Just don’t forget, Tazrae, to be patient.” He said softly, knowing that would be the hardest part of the test.



Word Count: 2706
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"A mark of an open mind is being more committed to your curiosity than your conviction.
The goal of learning is not to shield old views against new facts, but to revise old views with new facts. Ideas are possibilities to explore, not certainties to defend. "


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn

"Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows."
User avatar
Tazrae
Be savage, not average.
 
Posts: 1055
Words: 1501129
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human
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Medals: 2
Mizahar Grader (1) Syka Seasonal Challenge (1)

Finding Food In The Jungle II

Postby Tazrae on January 14th, 2022, 3:00 pm

Grading


Taazrae-

Wilderness Survival +5, Interrogation +1, Logic +1, Socialization +5, Psychology +1

WS: Universal Edibility Test, WS: On Some Plants Some Parts Are Edible, Some Toxic, WS: How To Use Bamboo As A Cookpot, WS: The Psychology of WS, WS: Be Patient
Image
"A mark of an open mind is being more committed to your curiosity than your conviction.
The goal of learning is not to shield old views against new facts, but to revise old views with new facts. Ideas are possibilities to explore, not certainties to defend. "


Garden Beach Syka The Protea Inn

"Listen to the wind, it talks. Listen to the silence, it speaks. Listen to your heart, it knows."
User avatar
Tazrae
Be savage, not average.
 
Posts: 1055
Words: 1501129
Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human
Character sheet
Storyteller secrets
Journal
Plotnotes
Medals: 2
Mizahar Grader (1) Syka Seasonal Challenge (1)


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