Tag Archives: 100-Mile Diet

Local Lemons

I spent a little time in my community garden this weekend prepping the soil, turning under the rye I planted last fall to fix some nitrogen, blending in a bit of mushroom and some rich, equine manure, and a little weeding.

Later, I chatted with one of the other gardeners, discussing what we thought we could get to grow this year. (As newbie gardeners both, we  know it’s not necessarily what you plant!)

The last thing on our minds was tropical fruit. I mean, even experienced farmers wouldn’t waste time on plants that don’t naturally grow here. Would they?

Well, apparently yes.

Bob Duncan in North Saanich is doing just that, and having great success at that. I’ve often thought that having a 100% local diet is impossible because there are just too many things that have become staples in my diet that would need to be supplemented from around the globe, lemons being one. Looks like Bob has that all under control. See the  story in the Globe & Mail.

With over 300 tree types to choose from, the 100% 100 mile diet just got a little more likely:

  • 200 apple tree varieties
  • Over 80 other fruit trees, including: pears, plums, peaches, nectarines, apricots, cherries, figs, grapes, kiwi, quince and medlar (I don’t even know what that is)
  • Over 30 citrus varieties
  • Over 15 varieties of hardy sub-tropicals, including: pomegranates, persimmons, loquats, feijoa, jujubes, and olives

Now, if he can figure out a way to grow coffee and the occasional banana, we’re all set.

Organic, Local Food Delivery

NOW BC Co-opOne of the biggest challenges to eating more locally is sourcing the food. I’m not a rabid locavore — I love a good latte and savour chocolate on a regular basis, and those habits are not likely to change anytime soon.

I do, however, want the option to eat food from sources closer than farther.

I want to be able to choose the nearer farmer, which might mean a neighbouring province over another continent, rather than limiting my food choices to a strictly limited radius. (Given the state of our food systems, a 100 mile diet a great goal to aim toward, but not attainable at the moment.)

I was very interested to learn of NOW BC from a fellow community gardener. NOW BC is an organic, member-owned food co-operative whose mission is “to build a sustainable local food system by connecting local farms and processors with consumers and building community around sustainable food choices.”

In search of other than the usual fruit and vegetables, browsing the NOW BC product catalogue I find unbleached flour from Chilliwack, lentils from Saskatchewan (and you thought they only produced wheat), hazelnuts from BC, and whole wheat macaroni from Alberta.

You can make a purchase without a membership, food is organic wherever possible, and your purchase is delivered to a depot in your neighbourhood for pick up, keeping costs more reasonable and sustainable. Think of it as an expanded farmers market — those SK lentils might not make it to the Kits Farmers Market on Sunday, but you’ll still be supporting farmers and strengthening our ability to trace where our food has come from.

Now wouldn’t it be even more cool if the bakery at the weekly market made their bread with flour from Chilliwack?

100-Mile Diet Challenge: Week One

I wrote last week about the Food Network Canada’s new series “The 100-Mile Challenge“, based on the local book and food blog “100-Mile Diet”. In a nutshell, participants from Mission, BC take on the sometimes overwhelming challenge of consuming only foods and beverages grown and produced within 100-miles.

In the first week, which takes a look at the lead up time and the first three days of the challenge, participants must go through their pantry and purge everything that does not meet the 100-mile requirement. How much do you think they had left in their fridges/pantries? Not much. One family had yogurt and another had only dairy and some honey. Things they thought would be a shoe-in, like cans of salmon, were more often than not produced in Toronto — far exceeding the 100-mile limit.

The show’s hosts, James MacKinnon and Alisa Smith, the authors of “The 100-Mile Diet”, later took the TV participants to a local farmers’ market to investigate what would and would not be acceptable during the challenge. Many of the participants could not identify some of the food — leeks were a mystery to some.

My biggest surprise while watching the first episode? How little the families prepared for their first day of the challenge. Many had not done any research into what they could eat. One family only ate yogurt and berries for breakfast when they were used to bacon and eggs. Let’s face it, bacon and eggs are local and they absolutely could have indulged had they thought ahead a little.

Missed the episode but want to catch up? Episode one is available for viewing on the web.

Are you interested in trying the 100-Mile Diet but could never give up olive oil (confession: my big two are olive oil and chocolate)? I came across this article in “edible Vancouver” a while back about a 10-mile diet: A 10-Mile Diet Becomes a 10-Mile Banquet. I thought it was a good approach to eating local food while still holding onto a very few “necessities”.

Did anyone else see the show this week? Thoughts?

The 100-Mile Diet Comes to TV

Have you ever heard of the 100-Mile Diet? That’s where participants commit to only eating  foods, including beverages, grown up to 100-miles away from home. Sounds easy, right?

Well, it is until you realize that the staples of most households, such as beer and coffee, are grown nowhere near your house (unless you have a nice little cottage in the Peruvian rain forest).

Food TV Canada is launching a new series this Sunday, “The 100-Mile Challenge“, which follows six families as they challenge themselves to only eat and drink from within the 100-mile limit for 100 days. Yep, 100 days. Where did they find families brave enough to take on the challenge in front of the cameras? Mission, BC, of course!

The show’s site is much more than just an ad for the show. Check it out for recipes, tips, and help finding appropriate foods in your area.