Book Review: The 100 Mile Diet

It’s amazing what one statistic and an idea will create. After reading that an average piece of food travels about 1500 to 3000 miles to reach our plate from the farm. A couple on the west coast decided to try and eat local food only from a 100 mile radius of their home for one year. Thus was born the 100 mile diet.

What surprised me most about reading this book was there wasn’t any preaching in it at all. It was merely a record of their year with all the issues that they ran into. Such as trying to find someone who grew wheat within 100 miles of their home and the strains the diet put on their relationship. It also provided some of the benefits of eating more locally such as knowing who grew your food (less concerns about food chain problems), eating with the seasons and the how much better food tastes when it is really fresh. Not to mention giving your local farmers a bigger profit margin rather than giving it to middlemen.

Of course eating this way does have it’s issues. Like you have to plan ahead for the winter and do some canning if you want to eat well in January. Additionally depending on your location you can kiss goodbye eating some foods entirely.

Overall I enjoyed this book a lot and my wife even read it and thought it was an excellent read. So far I haven’t gone off the deep end and said I’m trying it myself, but I’m starting to look at more local food producers and how to work them into my diet. I have to confess I’m a bit amazed at a few things I’ve found so far. Such as Saskatchewan actually has a vineyard and winery (which I’m going to visit while on vacation) and one person has already tried eating just Saskatchewan food for a year and published a resource list.

4 thoughts on “Book Review: The 100 Mile Diet”

  1. For centuries a sign of wealth and stature was the ability to partake of things from far away (tropical fruits come to mind). Now, more and more people strive to eat food closer to home. Funny how things come around.

  2. What is interesting is when you start to look at where your food is coming from and find that most ‘local’ produce is shipped elsewhere. I live near Medicine Hat, Alberta where we claim to have the ‘greenhouse capital of Canada’. I buy local from the greenhouse owners themselves, but when I look in my local supermarkets, most do not carry this produce. I find it so bizarre. I refused to buy potatoes one grocery shop because all of them came from the US – but yet I have Taber, Alberta 100 km down the road.

    If we kept local produce, local – wouldn’t we be eating better; paying less AND helping the environment by lowering emissions from trucks?

    Just a thought…

  3. Shawna,

    You would be eating better and helping the environment, but perhaps not saving any money. The retail price often remains the same regardless of where you buy from the farmers market or the Superstore. The money benefit is mostly for the farmer who gets to keep the increased profit and then can reinvest money back into your local economy rather than shipping it off to share holders in various countries.

    Tim

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