Eating within a 100-Mile Radius: How to Become a Locavore

Doesn't eating local sound great?

There are dozens of reasons — each one of them worthy — to eat local, but this may be the best one: Ingredients frequently travel some 1,500 miles to get to your table, according to a website called 100-Mile Diet: Local Eating for Global Change. That takes a tremendous toll on the planet.

In an attempt to really eat local, a Canadian couple decided to spend a year only eating food that was grown or raised within a 100-mile radius of their Vancouver home. They established the 100-Mile Diet and website and have recorded their experiences in a series of stories on their site.

Reading through them (and they make for fascinating reading) I learned a great deal. For instance:

  • Vegetables need to be canned and dried to prepare for the winter, and that includes making up vats of sauerkraut.
  • Eating out is practically impossible. (For a year!)
  • Forget about coffee, tea, green tea, chai, orange juice (and pretty much any other kind of juice), lemonade, martinis, etc., etc.
  • Dessert consists of locally grown berries and honey; cake, chocolate and pastries become a distant memory.

I support the concept, and anyone who's brave (and crazy) enough to attempt this. If you're curious about trying it out, there's a Getting Started page full of suggestions on the website. Newbies might want to start with the basics.

For me, it sharply focused the reasons I could never eat 100 percent local. (My total disinterest in canning the autumn harvest barely makes the list.)

The real reasons: Hmm...sushi, pizza, Mint Milanos, my spice rack, pomegranate juice, Thai food, Ben & Jerry's, cheap red wine, and the list goes on. And on....

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