Leave it to other shows for titular metaphor and wit: Live Free Or Die is meant to be taken literally. Sure, the show is a window into expert DIY craft-making and life with minimal bathing, but there’s one primarily occupation that takes up the majority of the show’s run-time: finding food. Other interesting pursuits (like tool and building making) are generally related. The cool tools and structures that the back-to-nature folks on the show build are for basic culinary pursuits: spears for hunting, a pen for chickens, baskets for foraging and knives for preparing food.
The “wilders” actually have a diet idealized by paleo-bros and eco-conscious yuppies – everything that the cast eats is organic, farm-to-table, free-range and grass-fed. But where the descriptors remain technically true, the conditions by which they’re obtained and consumed are a little messier. Without refrigeration, most of the meat is eaten on the spot or preserved with salt and turned into jerky. And though most of the fruits and vegetables that the “wilders” eat come from the ground, the cast is often forced to be particularly open-minded and creative to keep themselves full and nourished.
Here’s a list of some of the most…interesting foods that the Live Free Or Die “wilders” have eaten so far:
It’s safe to say that homesteader couple Tony and Amelia are probably one of the only households in American serving up cooked roadkill at night. In last week’s episode, the couple feasted on an unfortunate bobcat prepared with a miso-mushroom side. While hesitant to taste their improvised concoction, the couple found the meat to be rather flavorless. Which, when you’re eating something that was killed on the highway, is probably a good thing.
Yep, goat blood. According to Live Science, technically blood is safe in small doses, and when cooked off it’s not as harmful. But the recipe for “blood pancakes” that Gabe demonstrated in last night’s episode is nonetheless very, very risky. Having properly salvaged most of the meat by drying it out to make jerky, avid recycler Gabe decided that there was one more thing that he could harvest – the blood. This is incredibly obvious, but doing this can be extremely unhealthy and it is a very bad idea – it’s certainly not for the faint of heart.
Gabe tops the list for most, uh, adventuresome eating on Live Free Or Die. When he’s not blacksmithing or fertilizing the area around his property, Gabe likes to hunt and cook rats. As he points out, dining on rats is slightly more common in some cultures, but Gabe’s love for the forrest rodents runs deeper than any culturally-instilled affinity. Need proof? Here’s his folk song about eating rats.
We had to include at least one on this list that is more palatable. In last week’s episode, Thorn explained why chickweed was his typical fall-back food when he can’t catch fish or find meat. Though not as glamorous or tasty as your regular leafy greens, chickweed is typically nutritious, safe and relatively abundant in his stomping grounds.