Friday, September 26, 2008

The 100 Mile Diet

I loved reading The 100 Mile Diet! What a sensational book!

Two Vancouver writers, Alisa Smith and J.B. MacKinnon, began a 1 year experiment to eat only food that had been grown and harvested within a hundred mile radius of their home. Little did they know how difficult this challenge would be. Their goals, which included both health and environmental benefits, were to create a strong connection with their food and the local farmers, ranchers, fishers and vintners who produced it. No rice, wheat, bananas, coffee, chocolate and many other foods we take for granted. Over the year, they lost weight, they argued and got the blues, but they never gave up.

To begin, they ate vast amounts of potatoes, but over time learned to add oysters, salmon, goat cheese, dandelion greens, asparagus, squash, berries, walnuts and more. As the months passed, they figured out how to grow and preserve many foods, and how to create a diet that was interesting, nutritionally sound and delicious! The book is divided into chapters by month and tasty recipes accompany each one, giving the readers a great starting point for beginning their own 100 mile diet.

This book, which began as a blog, has galvanized people across North America. Many, many people are now eating their own versions of the 100 mile diet, and finding out about foods that are produced in their own regions. You can find out who's doing this and what they're eating at the 100 Mile Diet website and blog, found here.

The authors suggest that we don't have to give up everything we're used to, but to take small steps, and maybe eat locally for one meal a day, or one day a week, or at least to be conscious of where our food comes and be more supportive of our local growers.

I've always been someone who made a point of buying local fruit and vegetables in season. I go to the farmer's market, I make my own jam and I freeze local fruit for winter consumption. I'm also a big supporter of local wineries. But, I've been guilty (far too often) of buying strawberries or asparagus in January, not thinking about how far they've come from and what the cost is to local growers, the environment and the nutritional value of the food. 

So, now that I've read this book, I'm going to take small steps and move further in the direction of local eating. I won't be perfect, but I will be better. 

Bon appetit!

1 comment:

Tan said...

One of my favorites, too!