Nov 9 ST&T: Edible Insects

Nov 9. Rose Circle Park. Noon.
Please remember water, sunscreen, and comfortable shoes. We are walking about a mile.
Rain Plan: Meet at Monday Night Garage (right next to park)

While American culture embraces aquatic arthropods like shrimp and lobster, an outdated taboo has prevented us from enjoying their terrestrial cousins.  Terrestrial arthropods like sour ants, crunchy grasshoppers, and even creamy tarantulas are delicious and nutritious staples in cuisine around the world.  With 2,000 flavors and textures to play with, cooking with insects can be as fun as it is beneficial to local and global health.  Many insects can be farmed vertically and sustainably, without antibiotics or hormones.  Some can even transform food waste into clean new sources of protein, iron, and calcium.  Curious about broadening your palette?  Join us for a discussion of changing food norms, ancient traditions, and new opportunities.    

Chelsea Thomas is the head of the Amphibian Conservation Program at the Atlanta Botanical Garden.  She studied Environmental Psychology at Oberlin College, focusing on how exposure to nature affects children’s wellbeing.  After college, she became the primary animal caretaker at an educational farm in Canton, GA.  Unsatisfied with the environmental impact and other aspects of most pelleted animal feeds, she began growing edible insects as a safe and natural protein source for pigs and chickens (as well as her pet reptiles, amphibians, and invertebrates).  She soon learned that many humans eat mealworms too and discovered they taste like pinenuts!  Years and several transitions later, Chelsea continues to find the idea of feeding herself and her animals with home-grown proteins exciting and empowering.  She has spoken about edible insects through various Atlanta forums such as the AtlSciFest, Atlanta Science Tavern, Dahlonega Science Cafe, UGA Insectival, WREK, Adult Swim, and Atlanta Magazine. 

Oct 12 ST&T: Nature’s Medicine Chest

Oct 12. Rose Circle Park. Noon.
Please remember water, sunscreen, and comfortable shoes. We are walking about a mile.
Rain Plan: Meet at Monday Night Garage (right next to park)

Of the nearly 400,000 plants on Earth, around 28,000 of them are used in traditional medicine. Each plant tissue is rich in secondary metabolites: a chemical language that allows plants to communicate with other organisms in their ecosystem, defend themselves from harm, and entice pollinators and seed dispersers. Our guest speaker will discuss how this language impacts human pathogens, including antibiotic resistant bacteria, and how these may be leveraged to fuel the development of new medical therapies in the future.

Dr. Cassandra Quave is Curator of the Emory University Herbarium and Assistant Professor of Dermatology and Human Health at Emory University, where she leads antibiotic drug discovery research initiatives and teaches undergraduate courses on medicinal plants, food and health. Trained as a medical ethnobotanist, her research focuses on the documentation and biochemical analysis of botanical remedies used in the traditional treatment of infectious and inflammatory skin disease. To date, she has authored more than 60 publications, 2 edited books and 6 patents. Dr. Quave is a Past President of the President of the Society for Economic Botany, an international society with the mission of fostering research and education on the past, present, and future uses of plants by people. Her work has been profiled in the New York Times MagazineBBC Focus and National Geographic Channel, and featured on NPRNational Geographic Magazine and several major news outlets including the Washington PostThe TelegraphCBS News, and NBC News. Her science memoir, The Plant Hunter, is expected to release in late 2020 with Viking Press/ Penguin Random House.

Sept 14 ST&T: Trees Atlanta

Sept 14. Rose Circle Park. Noon.
Rain Plan: Meet at Monday Night Garage (right next to park)

Enjoy fresh air, new city views, fascinating Atlanta history, and every season of horticulture interest! Come walk the Atlanta BeltLine with an expertly trained Trees Atlanta Docent, Alison Mawle, and learn firsthand about Atlanta BeltLine Arboretum. The walking tour will explore the Westside Trail with a strong focus on the horticultural collections and interesting facts about different segments of the Atlanta BeltLine. A walking tour of the Atlanta BeltLine is the best way to see the progress and be active at the same time!

Wear: Comfortable shoes and clothing.
Bring: drinking water, bug spray, and sunscreen are all highly recommended.