Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, January 22, 2022

MVNews this week:  Page 10

Mountain Views-News Saturday, January 22, 2022 



Common Names: St. John’s bread, Locust, Locusta 

Christopher Nyerges [Nyerges has been teaching ethno-botany since 1974. He is the author of 

“Guide to Wild Foods,” “Foraging Edible Wild Plants of North America,” “How to Survive Anywhere,” 
and other books. He can be reached at] 

The world seems to have a love-hate relationship with the carob tree. 

According to archivist Richard E. White of Highland Park, a large number of the carob 
trees growing around Glendale, Pasadena, Temple City, and other Southland cities, from 
here to Texas, were planted by Seventh Day Adventists in the aftermath of the Great Depression 
and Dustbowl era. According to White, “Years ago, some farsighted Seventh Day 
Adventists planted carob trees around and on the grounds of almost all the Pasadena area 
public schools, apparently hoping that the students would gather and eat this free and 
nutritious food should there be another Depression and a scarci-ty of food. If children 
were encouraged to eat carob instead of candy bars, there would soon be no more litter 
problems under the carob trees and, perhaps, fewer cavities in youthful mouths.” 

Certainly well-intended, though a simple observation shows that very few of the pods are 
being eaten by anyone, let alone children. 

Health-food enthusiasts and authors were advocating carob over chocolate since the 1940s 
at least. The reasons are many. The pods, once ripened, can be picked and eaten with no 
preparation whatsoever (besides wiping off the dust). They are very sweet and chewy, 
though the hard seeds should be spit out. 

Though carob is often compared to chocolate, chocolate and carob are two very different 
creatures. Chocolate’s appeal is the presence of the stimulating theobromine, but raw 
chocolate is bitter. By contrast, carob has 60 percent fewer calories per pound than chocolate 
and lacks any stimulants. Also, the carob pod is naturally sweet. Carob’s natural flavor 
is akin to dates, and the flavor is completely different from chocolate. 

The carob pods are analyzed as having 4 percent protein (4.5 grams of protein per 100 
grams, 20.4 grams of protein per pound) and 76 percent carbohydrate. In addition, carob 
pods contain substantial phosphorus (81 milligrams per 100 grams, 367 milligrams 
per pound) and are extremely rich in calcium (352 milligrams per 100 grams, 1,597 milligrams 
per pound). 

Carob contains none of chocolate’s oxalic acid, which interferes with the body’s ability to 
assimilate calcium. It is rich in A and B vitamins and many other minerals.
Clearly, carob is a superior food that ought to be utilized by more of use.
Unfortunately, many cities have since made war on the carob trees, and have slowly begun 
to cut them down. This is usually a result of planting them in inappropriate spots, such 
as between a sidewalk and street in the urban areas. In such cases, the shallowly-watered 
roots often break sidewalks, and the pods continually fall to the ground, causing people to 
sometimes trip and fall, and then sue the city! 

According to arborist and Pasadena resident Timothy Snider, “When carob trees are 
pruned, they tend to go rotten. And I don’t mean pruned wrong, just pruned. So ideally, 
they should never be pruned. And they should never be planted as street trees, be-cause 
the cities always want to prune them, and they usually do wood butcher jobs, and hack at 
the tree. Then they are even more prone to the sulfur fungus, which tends to eat them out. 
Carob is a good tree, but should be planted in more open areas like parks, fields, farms, 
and graveyards. Remember, the carob in its original state is more of a shrub. They had to 
be trained to be trees, so it is really inappropriate to use carobs as street trees.” 

There was a short-lived carob farm in Riverside County, but it was discontinued be-cause 
it did not produce the quality of carob that is produced in its native home.
The carob tree is native to the Middle East, where the pods have a long history of use as 
food. The trees widely planted throughout Pasadena and the United States all pro-duce 
edible pods, though they are inferior to the commercially grown pods. Most commercial 
carob today comes from Cyprus.
Remember the prodigal son in the Bible? After he left his father’s home, he was hun-gry 
from famine and without money, and looked in the pig’s feed for carob husks to eat (Luke 
15:16). Biblical scholars who focus on the botany of the Bible believe that these husks were 
not corn, as commonly believed, but carob. 

Carob makes another appearance in the New Testament. In Mark 1:16, John the Bap-tist 
is described as eating “locusts and wild honey” in the desert. Although many be-lieve that 
these locusts were the insect relatives of grasshoppers, Thaddeus M. Harris in his Natural 
History of the Bible, suggests that the “locusts” were actually carob pods. 

Harris spends a lot of time in his efforts to prove this, adding “It is well known that the insect 
locusts were eaten in the east. And commentators have exhausted their learn-ing and 
ingenuity to prove that St. John ate these insects in the wilderness. But the origins of the 
word “locust” signifies also buds or pods of trees… And everyone must suppose that the 
Baptist lived on a food which nature itself furnished to accommodate his palate.” 
Furthermore, as Harris points out, carob pods have long been called “locusta,” and the 
tree is still commonly referred to as Saint John’s Bread Tree. 

The ripe brown pods can be simply washed, and eaten – being sure to spit out the hard 
You can also remove the seeds, and grind the pods into a sweet flour which can be added 
to cake, cookie, and pancake recipes, adding sweetness and a brown color. 

According to food writer Tony Kienitz, “As anyone who grows these trees will tell you, 
carobs yield a boatload of pods. In springtime, hundreds of six-inch-long, pale-green pods 
tassel each tree. In late summer, these pods ripen to a deep brown and begin raining to 
the ground. The whopping crop is a maintenance burden to some, a reli-gious symbol to 
“St. John’s bread is the colloquial name given to the tree based on the belief that the locusts 
that fed John the Baptist were actually carob pods. Dried carob graces Jewish tables during 
the holiday Tu Bish-vat. During Ramadan, Muslims serve drinks made with carob juice.” 


These two are 
brothers and you 
won't find a more 
friendly, mellow 
duo than them! 
They had been lov

ingly hand raised in a foster home in their first 
few months. Then they were adopted; however, the adopter became very allergic and had 
to return them, but said they are "great, energetic, fun, affectionate, and healthy." These 
handsome boys are very sweet and playful. They will come right up to you, even if they 
don't know you. They love to be petted, too, and will lean right in. Bobby is a tuxedo, Billy 
is all black. They'll be adopted together, because they are besties and always have each other 
to play with if you're not around. See more pictures and videos of them on our website’s 
Teens page. Please consider adopting this purr-fect pair! Just submit your application at 
Lifeline for Pets. 

Pet of the Week

 Two-year-old Dakota is a young and energetic dog wholoves squeaky toys, going for walks, and long games offetch. She’s very smart, and has lots of fun with enrichmenttoys (like egg cartons filled with treats). Dakota would dobest in a home without children or other dogs, and hopesshe can have lots of playtime with her new person!

 The adoption fee for dogs is $150. All dog adoptionsinclude spay or neuter, microchip, and age-appropriatevaccines.

 New adopters will receive a complimentary health-andwellness 
exam from VCA Animal Hospitals, as well as agoody bag filled with information about how to care for 
your pet.

 View photos of adoptable pets and schedule an adoptionappointment at Adoptions are 
by appointment only, and new adoption appointments are available every Sunday andWednesday at 10:00 a.m.

Pets may not be available for adoption and cannot be held for potential adopters by phonecalls or email. 


JANUARY 21 - 28, 2022 

“Unsilenced” is a tale of courage and resilience of an American journalist and a group of 
young Chinese in the face of a state prop-aganda machine 

(Los Angeles, CA – December 20, 2021) Can truth prevail in the face of the most powerful 
propaganda machine? When the Chinese communist re-gime launches a brutal crackdown 
against 100 million citizens, a jaded Ameri-can reporter teams up with a handful 
of innocent students to expose one of the largest human rights violations that continues 
to this day. 

Peabody Award-winning director Leon Lee brings us a feature film that ex-poses how 
lies are fabricated and voices of dissent are crushed by the state propaganda machine. The 
film explores the role journalists play in times of oppression for “journalism can never 
be silent.” 

The film stars Sam Trammell (True Blood, Breakthrough, The Order), and Anastasia Lin, 
Miss World Canada 2015, and an ex-special forces oper-ative turned Taiwanese actor, 
Tzu-Chiang Wang. Zhen Pictures will open Unsilenced theatrically in the United States 
on January 21st. 

Based on true events, Unsilenced follows Wang, a student at an elite univer-sity in Beijing, 
and Daniel, a cynical American reporter, as they attempt to nav-igate the 1999 order 
that banned Falun Gong in China and remains in effect to this day. With the risk of prison, 
torture, and even death looming over them, they must all make sacrifices to protect 
what’s true at all costs. 

Trailer: the film:
Pasadena Show Time: Jan. 21 -28: 




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