Posted by Tim Stobbs on August 1, 2008
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.