Touring a land where the 100 mile diet is meaningless

April 30, 2011

Gail is a locavore; someone who eats food provided by local producers, growers and suppliers. She promotes local products in her classes and radio shows and uses local products in her recipes whenever possible. The extreme end of locavorism is “100 mile dieting” which means that all products must originate within 100 miles of the consumer. One hundred miles has become the defacto measure for eating local although the phrase “local” is as loose as a politician’s credibility. For Edmonton and many other parts of the planet this means a very limited diet in the winter and early spring. It also means that products like coffee, bananas and many spices are as unwelcome as water leaks in a submarine.

As consumers we have become used to a diet that includes “seasonal” fruit and vegetables all year round. Everything that can be grown is “in season” somewhere in the world and is shipped out in huge containers on ships, trucks and airplanes. Often California is seen as the villain when foodies discuss food providence issues.

But down here in California the argument falls apart. It is hard to be extreme when almost everything is local and seasonal all year round. Citrus fruits in your front yard yield fruit all year round and everything from almonds to zinfandel are available from roadside stands operated by farmers and cooperatives.

Farmers markets are operated in every village year round and specialize not only in local but also organic and wholesome. I suppose that Canadian sourced products like Maple syrup is demonized down here.

It has become very confusing to beat the locally sourced drum while walking through what at home is considered the demonic centre of all things non-local.

That’s what I am thinking about.

Jon Hall

Learn more about the book and fund.

linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram