Hello folks who think eating salad after wolfing down an entire pizza is like attending church after committing adultery,

Imagine you and your buddy are hiking on the Appalachian trail, both running a little low on energy, and then you'll stop to have a snack.
Your friend opens a granola bar and proceeds to eat it, while you, with the California blood running through your veins cannot just sit back and see your friend savor the granola bar.
So you proceed to ridicule your friend for eating a bar which was made from ingredients sourced from a third world nation.

To drive your point home that you only eat organic and locally sourced food with a heart, you proceed to munch on the berries from a nearby plant and much of its juicy leaves for some earthy aftertaste.
Nom! Nom! Nom!




A bad decision indeed...
Pokeweed, poke sallet or poke salad is a plant whose seeds, berries and leaves are toxic to both humans and livestock. If consumed directly it makes you sick with symptoms ranging from severe stomach cramps to vomiting, diarrheas, the whole shebang. Historically eating the cooked plant leaves has been a staple for the poorer sections of society in South-Eastern US almost 2 generations ago, so how did they do it?

Just cooking it once won't do the trick, the secret lies in boiling the leaves, then discarding the water. Then boiling the leaves again, then discarding the water. Again boil the leaves then discard the water one last time.
Now it is ready to be consumed. You had to boil it three times to get rid of the neurotoxins, how many folks had to give up their lives before they realized that 3 is the lucky number for boiling the leaves is anybody's guess. Another thing to keep in mind, is that the toxicity increases as the plant matures, so it's better to get em' young.

Anyways, below is a look at how innocent the leaves appear.




Below is a creature that some of you might just intentionally step on one and mutter "Oops! Didn't see that one coming!" if this caterpillar happens to cross your path.
What you might have not realized though is that this is no ordinary creature, some people use it to forecast the upcoming winter weather.

The larva(caterpillar form) of the 
Isabella Tiger Moth lovingly called woolly bear (doesn't that name make you just want to hug it) can be spotted in the fall searching for its overwintering sites, that's when it usually crosses paths with people.

A curator for insects working at the American Museum of Natural History in New York claimed in 1948 that woolly bears can help predict how severe the upcoming winter is going to be.
This is the way it works: The greater the number of rusty brown segments on the caterpillar, the milder the winter will be.
Anyways that is not scientifically true, since siblings can have different color banding variations.

This has not stopped people from celebrating this folklore and festivals are held in multiple cities like Vermilion, Ohio and Beattyville, Kentucky where everything from woolly bear costume contests to crafts, foods and races are held.
I can't use it to predict the winter but I can surely use the video below to know that I am not putting my money anytime soon on this chap for any of the upcoming races.




The woolly bear caterpillar will coil up and play dead if it senses danger. Traditionally, some young adults will do the same after they have graduated and their parents ask if they are going to start searching for a job.

Below is the woolly bear caterpillar version of "No comment" when questioned by a TMZ field reporter if it is going to look for a new job in the midst of the current climate change crisis.


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