Thursday, January 26, 2012

Urban Foraging - Papayas in Fort Lauderdale

I hate to see good food go to waste, especially when there are plenty of hungry people around who'd love to have it. That's why I think urban foraging is a good idea, as long as you aren't stealing, because there's a difference. Depending on where you live, there are several varieties of edibles growing wild all around you. In New York, lots of people forage for wild greens and fruit in the parks, though this is being discouraged. In other cities edibles grow on abandoned and foreclosed properties and are left to rot. This article discusses that problem, which we have a case of right here in Fort Lauderdale, barely a mile from where I live.

Last year the big Borders on East Sunrise by the Galleria Mall went out of business leaving behind a big, ,empty building with an overgrown parking lot. Every time I drive past there I see three papaya trees, two mature and one smaller just loaded with fruit that no one is going to pick and eat and it drives me crazy. What a waste. Someone needs to go get them. They're pretty high up, so you'd need to show up prepared with a ladder and fruit picker unless you want to wait for them to fall on the ground, in which case they'd be rotten and over ripe. You can eat papaya before it's ripe too. It's featured in a popular and delicious Thai salad that is kind of like a slaw. The ripe fruit is good too. It kind of stinks, but it tastes good with a squeeze of lime and is extraordinarily healthful to eat. Papaya contains enzymes that help digestion. It makes an excellent baby food when it's mashed. My baby likes it a lot. So do I.

I hope these papayas (there are at least thirty) don't go to waste. All I can think of when I pass are people going hungry while rats feast on fruit.

No comments:

Post a Comment