Thursday, January 10, 2008

100-Mile Diet

Paraphrased from The 100-Mile Diet:

I phoned Rich Pirog, the researcher responsible for the "food-miles" statistic (i.e. our food averages 1500 miles in transit). The explanation for long-distance eating? Cheap oil. Transportation costs are a fraction of the retail price. According to a 2001 study, shipping food nationally uses 17 times more fuel than a regional food system.

More and more, North American consumers eat produce from distant places they will never visit, though they might have easily grown the vegetables in their own backyards. E.g. Imports of strawberries to California peak during that state's strawberry season.
I received a neat book from my sister and bro-in-law: The 100-Mile Diet. A couple in Vancouver chronicle their one year experiment: eat only food from a 100-mile radius. It has helped spawn a new awareness of "food-miles" and the effect on our economy, our health, and our agriculture. It's quite an eye-opener....

Check out a related website here.

4 comments:

K. said...

I've heard of this book. I love the idea, and we are trying to go with local as much as possible. Sometimes it's really hard though, even living here with all the great farmers markets. I figure I'll do the best I can to work on my small little piece, and hope others will too.

North of Nain said...

I haven't read the book, but I saw the couple interviewed on tv and have thought about this a lot. If I was living in a different part of the world I would try and be more selective in my food choices. I do however try to get a large portion of my meat locally. The rest though...well, you know often comes 10,000 miles to get to me.

CaptainCanuck said...

Thanks for the notes gang

When I was home at Christmas, I heard an interview on the CBC where a couple in _Winnipeg_ tried it.

It was infinitely more difficult. They said the hardest part was the social aspect: they couldn't go to dinner with friends or at least couldn't order food.

They said they had no regrets but wouldn't do it again.

Chairman Mom said...

Good stuff. Seriously.

But see if the book has any foolproof ways to keep the bunnies out the strawberries! heh.

S