In Saga of Ryzom in the starting area (ruins of Silan), there is a series of quests given by Karavan faction, titled “The Study of the Goo” where one is supposed to either loot phials of goo from corrupted animals, or forage (mine) it. Looting is easy enough, but how does one forage for it? I had tried prospecting in several places, but I cannot find anything, plus the damage from Goo exposure would be too high to even harvest one node should I find it.
Iirc I believe you cannot really forage them. As you wrote yourself, killing the goo infested animals (Frippo, Capryni, Ocyx) near the contaminated areas suffices.
On a side note, while being on Silan, for all foraging quests you will have a marker in your compass window showing you where you have to go to. If it's no longer there, right click on your compass menu, select the submenu "missions" and then the mission name, NPC, or in this case the area description.
You definitely do not have to wade into a goo infested area for any mission on Silan. As you have experienced, that is a very unhealthy endeavor, and not survived long enough.