Saturday, July 4, 2009

100 Mile Diet

The other day on the Food Network I watched an episode of the 100 Mile Challenge. The show follows a number of families from a B.C. town as they attempt to eat only food that grows within 161 Km of their homes. The challenge is based on a book called the 100 Mile Diet written by James MacKinnon and Alisa Smith which chronicles a year of them eating only food grown and raised within 100 miles (161 km) of their home.

Anyways, back to the show. It was fascinating watching these families struggle the first week or so of not having a morning cup of coffee or tea for example. No oranges, lemons, olive oil, salt etc. It was interesting watching them clean out their pantries and fridge of foods that were not local. The families consisted of foodies that already cooked food from fresh and used very limited prepackaged foods to families that exist on prepackaged foods and are looking to improve their health and well being by feeding their families wholesome real food. Also trying to lessen their footprint on the earth's climate.

Now there is a local 100 Mile Diet Challenge going on right now here in Waterloo Region. The challenge is coming from The Healing Path Natural Centre for Naturopathic Medicine. Our local newspaper will be following some of the families and I am going to check out Healing Path's blog to see how these families are doing.

Watching these people undertake what I think is a difficult path of only eating food grown or raised within 100 miles of their home, made me think of what is in my cupboards, fridge and freezers. What more could I do to lessen my impact on the earth and make healthier choices for my family? I pride myself in buying as much of my food locally as I think I could. I like to know where my food comes from as much as possible. I don't always get to the market, I probably could try a little harder. I get my milk, eggs and meats from Oakridge Acres just outside of town, Cindy and Mark who run the farm and store know me as one of their first customers when they were selling just their beef out of the freezer of their home. Yet I know I have dates from Iran in my fridge, coffee from South America, tea from lord knows where. I probably could do better but being human laziness gets the better of me at times.

I think of Amanda, who can't have dairy or wheat, her Rice Milk comes from the west coast, the rice flour comes packed from the States but where is it actually grown, possibly China? What could she have that is within 161 km of our home for her milk and wheat substitutes?

I applaud these families for stepping up to the challenge, I am not sure if I could. Could you?


Heather said...

I don't know if I could do it either, but I respect those people who do.

I have given your blog an award. Drop by my blog and check it out:

Marissa said...

I read this last night, and thought right away
But then I was thinking about it last night. It would be a tremendous undertaking, but maybe, just maybe we could do it. (I would have to check to see where our flour is coming from...)
Geographically speaking we are smack right in the middle of farm country, so we could use local farmers for our produce (I know of a really good one) Our meat and dairy already come from a local source.
It really is the extras we enjoy and think we could not do without, those would be the hard one to give up.

Deanna said...

I am way too lazy to do this, how terrible is that but what a fantastic idea~