Fallen Fruit and Other Free Foods

Usually, when diabetics talk about free foods, it is the foods that we can eat without fear of making our blood sugar go all wonky without worrying about proportions.

However this is about food that is literally free.  These guys had such a great idea.  They have created a website that documents all of the great edibles that are available in their LA neighborhood, either in parks are growing out into public areas.

This isn’t a new idea at all.  My grandparents, children of the Depression, had their own backyard garden as well as grape vines that wouldn’t die.  The grapes weren’t very good but my grandmother turned them into jelly every year.  They also picked fruit and nuts from the trees of anyone who didn’t want their bounty and would let them in the yard.  Those fruits also became jams and jellies and the nuts went into pies.

We are starting to think about food in this way again.  Now that the price of transporting our groceries has become so outrageously high, we are thinking about eating fresh, and local.  And we are remembering not to waste our bounty.

San Antonio has plenty of non-cultivated edibles growing on each block.  My work has me visiting homes all over town. Pecan trees are very plentiful out here, as are citrus fruit trees and other fruit trees, even pomegranates (my colleagues fight over who is going to visit the houses with pomegranates).  Because rosemary loves hot, dry weather many places landscape with it so it grows in massive quantities all over town.

As an experiment, I brought my camera on my walk down the street to pick up the mail and found two edibles in that short distance. (A year ago it would have been four.  The great freeze of 2007 killed my neighbor’s orange tree and my chili pepper bush). On my block alone we have


I did some reading on nopales and  was thinking that their fiber content would make them very GI friendly.  Then I found this article, which shows how adding nopalitos to your diet can lower the postprandial gylcemic response of diabetics.  Just adding the nopalitos to their breakfast, not even substituting it for something else.  Pretty cool, huh?


Pears, yum.  There are several hanging over into the public area by the mailboxes.  But I need to make friends with these people and gain access to their backyard.  Pear butter, anyone?



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