How I grew to become a nettle consuming champion

4 hours in the past

By Rowenna Hoskin, BBC Information

Beth Hodges Beth Jones doing a peace sign at the camera sticking her tongue out to show the brown stained effect stinging nettles have after eatingBeth Hodges

Beth Hodges has defended her nettle consuming world crown

All of us know what it feels wish to be stung by a nettle, however are you able to think about consuming them?

Beth Hodges, 38, from Barry Island ate 19.5m (64ft) of them on the 2024 World Nettle Consuming Championships – making her the reigning girls’s champion two years in a row.

Greater than 30 individuals, from as far afield because the US and the Netherlands took half within the competitors on the Dorset Nectar Cider Farm in Waytown, close to Bridport on 22 June.

Ms Hodges mentioned: “The humorous factor is I’ve by no means gained something – that is the one factor.”

Piles of stinging nettles laid out on the tables ready for competitors to eat

The stalks are reduce into 61cm (2ft) lengths and counted on the finish

Individuals had half-hour to eat as many leaves as attainable earlier than the empty stalks have been counted.

They’re given cider to assist wash down the nettles and relieve the ache.

Ms Hodges mentioned her entry into the competitors final 12 months was not deliberate and had been an impromptu determination – nonetheless, this 12 months she needed to give again the trophy so thought “why not?”.

Earlier than final 12 months, she had by no means eaten nettles.

“I bear in mind making an attempt one simply saying ‘oh my god I am so out of my depth’,” she mentioned.

But the following day she ate 18.3m (60ft) of nettles and gained the ladies’s cup.

On 22 June this 12 months, she took on former world champions and gained once more.

Beth Hodges Beth Hodges with a mouth full of nettles in front of the table of nettles and cider in 2023Beth Hodges

The primary 12 months Ms Hodges took half she ate 18.3m (60ft) of nettles

‘It tastes a bit like matcha inexperienced tea’

“You are given two foot of nettle stems, a pile of them,” she mentioned. “You’ll be able to both choose off the leaves individually or strip the stem – you then get the seeds and all the pieces.

“I used to be form of squishing them so I rolled it and squished it right into a little bit of a burger patty.

“They get actually dry, they’re fairly fibrous, it will get actually exhausting to actually exhausting swallow.

“That is what slows you down as a result of it is wonderful getting it off the stem, it is the chewing which takes endlessly.

“It tastes a bit like matcha inexperienced tea,” she informed BBC Wales Breakfast on Tuesday.

Beth Hodges Beth Hodges (centre) with her thumb up to the camera drinking cider. There are two men stood either side of her and a table of nettle leaves are in front of themBeth Hodges

Ms Hodges mentioned regardless of consuming all of the nettle leaves her mouth didn’t damage

Ms Hodges mentioned :”They offer you cider as effectively, so I used to be dipping it however this 12 months I had plenty of water.”

Regardless of consuming so many nettles leaves, Ms Hodges mentioned it was not her mouth that damage.

“Your arms are simply on hearth, which clearly they might be since you’ve simply grabbed a bunch of stinging nettles – even now I’ve received little bits in my fingers.”

She doesn’t have a sport plan, she mentioned – nor does she do something after to ease the ache.

“I simply experience it out,” she mentioned.

So the query of everybody’s lips is, can she do it three years in a row?

She mentioned she’s going to compete and can attempt to outdo her present document.

The custom dates again to the Eighties and was held on the Bottle Inn at Marshwood, which has since closed.

The championship started when two farmers had an argument in a pub discussing who had the longest stinging nettles of their area.

The longest-nettle competitors finally was the World Nettle Consuming Championships when one of many farmers, Alex Williams, promised to eat any nettle which was longer than his.

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