Friday, April 3, 2009

The 100 Mile Diet Challenge

I have decided to take the 100 Mile Diet challenge. The idea is to eat food grown only within 100 miles of where you live. I like the idea of eating food that is fresh and locally grown -- for all kinds of reasons. I would have one problem though. I am addicted to oranges. I love oranges, and I eat at least one orange a day. Where on earth am I going to get oranges that have been grown 100 miles from where I live? Right away I can see there is going to be a problem.

The idea of local eating began when Alisa Smith and J.B. MacKinnon were visiting their cabin in northern British Columbia in August 2004. Their food supplies were nearly exhausted so to feed their dinner guests they scrounged the surrounding land for food. Their dinner of Dolly Varden trout, wild mushrooms, dandelion leaves, apples, sour cherries, and rose hips, along with potatoes and garlic from the garden, so impressed the couple that once back home, in their Kitsilano apartment in Vancouver, they pursued the idea of eating only local food. ... Wikipedia

When I was growing up on Vancouver Island, we ate only locally grown food. If it wasn't in season, we didn't eat it. Strawberries in December? Goodness, no. But when the strawberries were in season, they were the sweetest, most delicious strawberries I have ever tasted. Fresh fish and other seafood was caught in the ocean that day, and was never frozen. Everyone made their own jams and fruit preserves from the fruit they grew in their gardens. The Christmas turkey was picked out and fattened up months ahead of time. Eggs were fresh from the farms along Cherry Creek Road, and so were the chickens. Many people on the Island still grow their food and produce that way, and there are all sorts of wonderful vineyards there now as well. Lucky for me, some of the best wine in the world is grown within 100 miles of where I live.

In Vancouver, the families who participated in the 100 Mile Diet challenge not only felt healthier and more energetic, they also lost weight. It wasn't the purpose of the diet, but it was an added bonus for those folks who needed to lose weight. I think the 100 Mile Diet is possible to do, if I can just figure out where to get oranges.

28 comments:

Lover of Life said...

Oranges from California right now are amazing! I made a vinegarette tonight with orange juice. The orange was just running with juice. This would be hard for me, too, as Nevada is not quite in the season for growing. However, California is right next door. Congrats for taking this seriously.

introspection said...

Great Idea. I think I will do it too, but first I'll have to check out what is available where. But fun it will be.
BTW, I can send you some organic oranges from Nagpur, India. Simply delicious...!!!

lovelyprism said...

I love home grown food, we're planting our veggies in the garden today! Yay! I preserve tomatoes and peaches every year, but they never make it through the entire winter. So I feel your pain, your oranges are my tomatoes. Lucky for me a local grower grows them year round in a greenhouse. I wouldn't have a clue where you could get your oranges though.

Ruby Isabella said...

That is a fantastic thing to do. On the orange question, why don't you find a local fruit which you don't usually eat but find that you love as much or more than oranges? This will take your mind off oranges.

greenpanda said...

Hmmm I might try that. Souns interesting. But I'm not sure where local vegetarian meat-substitute comes from.......................

Miss_Nobody said...

I love oranges too,but not the all year round ones.I love them only in winter,which is the season here :) You should have Indian Darjeeling oranges.Locally grown food is quite hard to get in a metropolis and there's no space for gardens or orchards.Jams and stuff are thus bottled I haven't had home made jam ever lol I guess we should tart an organic revolution :D

mrsnesbitt said...

Great idea! I too am on a diet right now...my aim is to lose 1 stone by June 7th when we go on holiday!

Lilly said...

I think this is a wonderful concept. Eating healthy local produce and supporting the local community. Thanks for sharing this. I may try the same myself.

EB said...

The big issue for us in doing that would be spices and tea. We can get eggs, milk and meat locally though, and we grow veg and fruit.

KathyB. said...

I could live with this diet..except for the coffee thing....no coffee grown within 100 miles unless I count Starbucks. No?

Hilary said...

This is doable. I'm less than 100 miles from the Niagara region.. otherwise the lack of wine would be a no go! :)

Canarybird said...

I bought that book for my sister's birthday when I was in Canada last summer, because it looked interesting. Unfortunately I didn't have time to read it myself before presenting it to her. I think we already do the 100 mile diet here in Tenerife because we're on an island and live from the locally grown food, wine included. But although coffee beans will grown here, it's not done commercially. I'd miss that.

Sampoorna said...

Interesting challenge indeed.

Kathy's Klothesline said...

Like most everyone I would miss coffee. Look for a greenhouse that would be willing to grow your oranges. I loves apples. I have 3 apple trees and I haven't yet figured out how to preserve a nice crunchy apple to last all year. It makes me really appreciate them when they are fresh off the tree, though. Don't you think we are a spoiled society....we want it all and we want it right now!

Maureen said...

Eating only locally grown food is the foundation of Macrobiotic diets. Cuts down on chemicals for one thing, but it has something to do with the climate's affect on the food as well as your body too, keeping them in harmony. I agree with Ruby Isabella's idea of finding a new local fruit.

Dee said...

That's how I grew up. Father worked hard for $10 a week, On our little farm we had a milk cow, chickens for meat and eggs. Huge garden for fresh veggies all summer and mother canned our winter supply so we never went hungry. I think we bought bread, though, from a bakery truck that came once a week. We were dirt poor, but my sister and I never felt deprived.

Susan Ellis said...

I loved the Hundred Mile Diet, and read it about a year ago. We haven't tried the actual doing...in the Ottawa Valley, finding any number of food groups is a little tricky during our 6 month (at least) winter.It did however awaken a new curiosity about where our food comes from...a trip to the grocery store is like journey around the world! So I now define "local" as Ontario/Canada/North America...and leave the blueberries from Bosnia on the shelf.

My Year Without said...

I'm excited to look into this book. I've heard of it and I LOVE the idea of eating 100% locally. Living here in the northwest, it will be MUCH easier to do in the summer/fall when all of the crops produce veggies and fruits. I wonder how possible this diet would be during the winter and early spring months...

Thanks for sharing.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

It's a great idea. Also by eating local foods, you reduce your carbon footprint by reducing the need to transport food over long distances.

Arley said...

My Mother lives in AZ and she started a garden a year ago. Nothing to big, green beans, peas, carrotts, and cucumbers. She swares but it and recommended it to Sean and I. Since we will be moving to Cali in about three weeks, one of the first things we want to do is start a garden in the backyard. I also think growing your own herb garden would be fun as well! I think you should go for that diet Jo!!

Starlene said...

Wow, Jo...this is so awesome! I am honored to know you. I wholeheartedly believe in doing all things naturally because naturally inherently is the most efficient when all factors are taken into account. (Somewhere along the line we've started ignoring some factors and enlarging others.) I'm not surprised in the least that such a diet would inadvertently lead to better health and weight loss. After all, it's the way people were meant to live in the first place.

I'm so proud of you!

ps - If I were you, I'd just get the closest oranges you can. You're making an incredible effort; you deserve your oranges. : )

Paula Slade said...

We live in a rural farming area and always buy locally when crops come into season. It's a good way to support our friends and neighbors plus the produce is heavenly! Unfortunately we can't get local oranges either but we more than make up for it with the variety of apples! :)

Jo said...

LoverOfLife, yes, I could not do without oranges. I have some California oranges right now too, and they're wonderful!

Introspection, oh, I know the fruit in India is fabulous -- things we can't even get here!

LovelyPrism, well, that's the good things with greenhouses, is that we can get local produce, thank goodness!

Ruby, oh, heck, maybe I'll start an orange grove here. *heh* We do have palm trees. :-)

Greenpanda, LOL. I heard someone yesterday refer to himself as a "meatatarian".

Miss_Nobody, oh, gosh Indian Darjeeling oranges sound absolutely wonderful!

Denise, good luck! Gaining weight is easy, losing weight is hard. *sigh*

Lilly, well, I am going to give it a try and see how I do. Keep us posted as to how you do as well.

EB, I think the spices and tea would be okay. But for some reason, salt and sugar is not. I have to read the book to find out why.

KathyB, oh, gosh, if I had to drink only Starbucks, I would stop drinking coffee. No, I could not give up coffee. :-) Never!

Hilary, oh, yes, you have great wine there. I think I could give up wine before I gave up coffee, however. Well, let me rethink that...

Sharon, judging from your blog, you have the most wonderful food in the WORLD where you live. Omigosh! Lucky you... :-)

Sampoorna, yes. Well, I'm going to give it a try...

Kathy, omigosh, there is nothing nicer than a fresh apple off the tree. My grandfather had an apple orchard, and the apples were wonderful. Lucky you!

Maureen, yes and it reduces the "carbon footprint" as well. I think it would be much healthier too.

Dee, I have a feeling you were very healthy! Being poor does not mean being deprived -- at all. You were fortunate. :-)

Susan -- me too! If it doesn't come from Canada or the USA, I don't buy it. I have no idea under what conditions it has been grown.

MyYearWithout, well, that will be the challenge, I think -- doing it during the winter months. Of course, there is greenhouse produce, so it may work.

LGS, yes, that does appeal to me. And food is fresher when it hasn't been sitting in a truck for a few days.

Arley, you're moving to California? Omigosh! Lucky you. And yes, that would be the perfect location for a garden.

Starlene, thank you! You know, if you look at the chemicals in processed food, there are things we cannot even pronounce. I sometimes wonder what we are putting into our bodies.

Paula, yes we have lots of farmers markets here too, and the produce is just wonderful when it's in season. Vegetables taste like they're supposed to taste!

Anna Kauz said...

That is so great that you are going to do that! I'm really hoping that once we get moved down to Florida in a month that we can do that too.

That being said, maybe I can come visit it and bring you some... then they're within 100 miles from us, that would count right??

XUP said...

I think the idea of this is to just be more conscious of how far your food has to travel from its source to your table. I don't think any right thinking person is going to expect you to give up ALL your food passions. But there's no need for things like strawberries in February. They don't taste very good anyway

Jo said...

Anna, omigosh, yes!!! Do you have any idea how lucky you are, by the way?

XUP, well, there are restaurants here in Vancouver that serve food grown only 100 miles from Vancouver, believe it or not. I would love to know how they do it.

Leslie: said...

It does sound like a great diet, or food plan, but I really like my fruit fresh in the winter, so...

Anna Kauz said...

Yes, I feel very very very lucky, its always been a lifelong dream to end up in Florida, and we're only 23!!

Keep us updated on how the diet/challenge goes, I'm really interested.