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Alexis Nikole Nelson        

Wild Food Maker at BlackForager; TikTok Sensation

Alexis Nikole Nelson is an environmental science enthusiast and forager, best known for her social media accounts as "BlackForager." Since joining TikTok in 2020, Nikole has amassed over 2.5 million followers and her videos have garnered over 50 million likes. Nikole’s now viral account has been showcasing her immeasurable knowledge of foraging and cooking with wild plants: a sorbet made out of Japanese knotweed (Reynoutria japonica), hairy bittercress (Cardamine hirsuta) turned into lush salads, and common dandelions (Taraxacum officinale) battered and fried like fritters. She studied environmental science and theater at Ohio State University, and often combines her two passions on the platform—where you’ll find her singing original songs about cattails and sassafras.

By sharing excellent foraging tips laced with undiluted humor, Nikole’s intentions were for people to take agency over their meals and make the most of foods that were free and readily available all around; especially after COVID-19 hit American shores and shopping was anxiety inducing. During the early months of the pandemic, Nikole’s TikToks focused on how foraged goods could extend groceries and increase access to fresh ingredients, especially for those living in food deserts. This is precisely why Nikole’s videos are so grounding; in these times, it’s crucial to feel some sense of self-sufficiency and stability.

Amid global adversity, Nikole forages because it reminds her that she’s human—and humans, at their very core, are part of the ecosystem, no matter how much we distance ourselves from that truth.

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