Conservative Foraging: An Unlikely CollaborationApr.04.2019
Throughout history, people have sought connections with nature. In particular, designers have observed nature, investigated its materials, and abstracted its forms and qualities.
The Garden of Secrets, a collaborative project between TEALEAVES and UBC Botanical Garden, dives into the realm of plant-inspired biomimicry and biophilic design with the goal of celebrating nature beyond its edible, visual and medicinal properties.
TEALEAVES collaborated with Wood*ing duo, Valeria Mosca and Stefano Tosoni, Misadventure Co founder, Sam Chereskin, and Berkeley Open Source Food to create wild and wonderful cocktails. The ingredients were sourced through conservative foraging – a method that Wood*ing uses to investigate invasive wild species.
What is Wood*ing – Wild Food Lab?
Wood*ing – Wild Food Lab was established by Valeria Margherita Mosca in 2010. Today, it is the most important laboratory in the world focusing on the use of wild food for human nutrition. At Wooding Lab we forage, analyze and catalog wild plants, seaweeds, fruits, trees, roots, lichens and musks, along with all that is available in nature and is considered edible and suitable for human nutrition. We also experiment with wild ingredients searching for a true food sustainability that goes beyond the concepts of bio and organic. Our mission is to demonstrate that wild food is an important nutritional and cultural resource, without having an impact on our environment.
What is the story behind your work and inspiration?
Wood*ing comes from the passions of my life: nature, exploration, adventure and food. Kitchens and natural uncontaminated spaces are the places where I prefer to stay and spend time. Studying nature and its infinite possibilities teach me how to spend my life and live and it is always my primary inspiration. Therefore, I consider myself very lucky to be able to work in close contact with the environment, which helps me daily to convey themes for fundamentals such as food sustainability and cooperation with the environment.
What is the idea behind the collaboration cocktail?
Mixing wild ingredients and exploring pairings with TEALEAVES and Misadventure Vodka explains exactly the purpose of my work. Spreading the culture of wild food and respect for the environment by using popular vectors such as gastronomy and mixing. The project we developed with TEALEAVES and Misadventure Vodka was also an investigation into some invasive wild species that could help communicate our research that we called conservative foraging. We have dedicated a part of our work to investigating new forms of collaboration with the environment through the introduction of new gastronomic practices. This focuses on species that disturb or endanger the native biodiversity of a given territory. Eating a plant that disturbs a natural environment means fighting its spread. We have identified two demonstrative species: Carpobrotos Grandi which is very common in coastal areas and Oxalis, a nice yellow flower widespread in the grassy fields of the bay area.
Below are the beautiful, wild cocktail creations born out of the collaboration between Wood*ing, TEALEAVES and Misadventure Vodka.
Learn more about the minds behind Wood*ing:
Valeria Margherita Mosca is a chef, forager and Wood*ing Wild Food Lab director. She has contributed to numerous international congresses of gastronomy. She has been a consultant for Slow Food and University of Gastronomic Sciences – Pollenzo and University of Milan. Valeria has worked closely with several national and international organizations involved in the food and environmental research such as Mountain Wilderness, ERSAF, Legambiente, iNova Food lab – Faroe Islands, Nordic food lab – Copenhagen, Basque Culinary Center – San Sebastian and many others.
After his study in economics and a long career in television and entertainment industry working for large groups such as Sony Television and Discovery, Stefano Toson discovered Wood*ing Lab and its research on wild food for human nutrition. The change of profession has also become a change of life and vision, giving priority to projects aimed at sustainability and the preservation of the natural environment. Stefano is Head of Marketing and Business Development Manager for Wood*ing Wild Food Lab, as well as being responsible for special projects and brand development in Italy and abroad. He currently lives and works in Milan, Italy.
#OverACupOfTealeaves: At TEALEAVES, we believe that the best “condiment” to any cup of TEALEAVES is a story to tell and wisdom to share.