Friday, May 25, 2007
Fallen Fruit - Saving Good Food
I just finished The Omnivore's Dilemma, by Michael Pollan (Penguin Press 2006). This book is a must-read for anyone interested in food, sustainability, the environment, and so on. I learned a lot about how food is wasted, and how to be a less wasteful eater. Anyway, towards the end of the book, he mentioned the legal principle of 'usufruct' in the context foraging food either from public places or where fruit was going to waste. I like this idea - that if others are allowing something perishable to go to waste, then you may have the right to take it and use it yourself - very interesting. In that context, he gave a footnote to this site: fallenfruit.org. The website is devoted to the idea of foraging fruit in the city (of LA, but they would like to expand their mission across the U.S.). I am very taken with the politics of this idea (I like any idea that keeps private property in its proper place), and the fallen fruit website is very much worth looking at, including the manifesto and maps. There are some apple trees on the edge of a public recreation center a five minutes walk from my house, which I noticed last Fall, and which did have edible apples growing on them. And then, walking my dog, I've discovered an old empty house lot that I think has apple trees. This Fall I am definitely going to go back, pick a bunch, and put up apple sauce. So now what I need to find in the trash is a good old fashioned apple picker! What fruit do you have growing near you that you can collect?