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Aspen Public Radio is proud to present select lectures, discussions, and conversations from area events and festivals, thanks to a remarkable collection of community partners. Click here to view the full archive. Events are recorded at no cost to the partner and archived here online; select recordings are broadcast on Aspen Public Radio Sunday nights at 7 p.m.

Jessica Catto Dialogue: The Black Forager

This event was recorded on July 9, 2024 at Paepcke Auditorium, in partnership with Aspen Public Radio.

Alexis Nikole Nelson is a forager and an outdoor educator using her platform to yell, sing and celebrate all the edible plants hiding in plain sight! She invites all who will come on the foraging journey of collecting, identifying, and eating wild food. Nelson has also cooked up quite a few awards, receiving the James Beard Award for “Best Social Media” 2022, chosen for the Forbes 30 Under 30 list, chosen as a TikTok Tastemaker, and honored as part of Fortune Magazine’s Creator 25 in 2021.

With 5 million followers joining Alexis on the adventure, she reframes the world of food, asking us to consider tastefully satiating and environmentally sustainable food choices. She also peels back historical layers on African American and Indigenous food traditions that have traditionally been repressed. Whether Nelson is teaching audiences which seaweeds are delicious or turning acorns into cheese, she does so with a song and a smile. Nelson’s comedic lessons and videos direct audiences to freely accessible food options and demonstrations of tasty dishes. While delivered in a light-hearted manner, Nelson’s content has empowered those living in food deserts with greater self- sufficiency–which is no laughing matter. Nelson takes audiences into the woods and to the oceans in search of edible plants to enrich their palates and the planet.

As Alexis would say, happy snacking, don’t die!