9 Reasons To Adopt The 100 Mile Diet
Time travel. It’s a thing I’m a little obsessed with, if you have a way – let me know. But when it comes to food, some of the old ways are pretty indicative of what we’re missing today. Because back in the day, there was no trucking food from the coast, not too many imports and certainly – no processed, factory foods. Eating was a matter of what was grown nearby by Joe down the lane and what was in season. Some tastes developed just as ways to enjoy those items later – think homemade preserves! Food was fresh. Food cultivators were part of a whole, integrated and functioning healthy community. It was smart economically, socially and physically. This is part of the “100 Mile Diet” movement, given momentum by two folks who did it for a full year in today’s world and learned quite a bit. Checkout the website and buy the book – 100milediet.org. It’s well worth the time.
Meanwhile, consider the bandwagon for a hop. There are benefits you won’t even expect and many that are seriously entertaining. Promise. And you don’t have to get all granola-nazi about it either, just start with what season from your local farmer right now and build from there. Think of what’ll you get, learn and find.. here’s a few things:
1) Farmers Market Fun. Fresh, full flavored goods that are backed by proud people. What could be better. These folks aren’t growing tough industrial products to ship and last months – they’re offering wholesome, in-season items that you (and your neighbors) ask for – and get this – they’re standing right there to tell you how.
Plus, you get to go see people. Hang out with folks. Talk about the weather with someone who really cares about it. Swap new food exploration stories. The market is a staple of social interaction in most of the world. Join in and enjoy. It’s a great place to browse for people and food.
2) Appreciate The Seasons. We’re spoiled by year round goods with no seasonality. But we’ve lost a lot in the process. (1) Flavor. (2) Confidence and (3) Accountability. Chinese milk chocolate anyone? Right. So forget that if you can. Or keep it in mind…but I’d rather do it for the plus sides. Make an effort to recognize what’s in season and work with it. You’ll find new choices and realize there is a great difference in taste from the year-round offering. You’ll look forward to “raspberry season” with more excitement than you ever thought possible. The flavors will be better, you’ll feel good knowing exactly where the bush was! You might even get to pick them yourself, if you have the time and inclination. I’ve noticed it’s a great way to tire children if you don’t mind the stains.
3) Closer To Your Neighbors. Stop waiting for headlines to find out who lives around you. Get to know who’s out there and what they’re eating. Hey, it’s almost like having a real community. Meet the people, join together. Heck, cook for each other and share recipes. In fact, if you garden – find new people to get load with all that extra zucchini. Yeah, I know. It’s one of those things. This is about reforming what we’ve let go. A sense of knowledge and awareness about each other and the nice planet we’re toasting. Talk. Eat. Share.
4) Vacation at Home. Get out and appreciate the look, smell and feel of having farms and farmers markets around. See new areas of your own state. Checkout the handsome organic farmer and the hot diary maid ( I’m sure they have more equality based titles but I like the way it sounds). Taste new things. There is a variety of everything from vegetables to chicken breeds out there that need to be encouraged as well as the farmers themselves. Not all of these varieties have managed to meet the industrial standards of hardy profitability and are becoming antique rarities. If you don’t get into them, they’ll go away. We’re talking everything from fancy chickens to tomato varieties. And trust me when I say, there are whole pockets of people doing incredible things that you just haven’t run into. Go forth and find them. Bring friends.
5) Save Fuel. Am I insane? Telling you to drive around more? Yeah, gas is pricey… but consider that, according to a real honest-to-god study (seriously-checkout the 100milediet website) regional dieters were actually responsible for 17 times less oil and gas than those eating diets based on shipped foods. It’s beyond just your personal gas tank and related to the cost of big grocery store items, more for the shipping than the food. If you shop more local grown outlets, you skip that expensive stage and your money is spent on flavor more than fuel in the long run. And on supporting important things… like farmers.
6) Save Farms. For many decades, the small farm has been decimated by industrial farming. I grew up on one, I watched them disappear and be replaced with huge corporate farms who use god knows what to ensure a profit on their sturdy, ship-able items. Now, thanks to movements like this, the family farm is making a comeback. Be a part of it. It’s just smarter for you and the future. And it makes for a more natural way of life all the way around. Factory food, grown or processed is not someplace you want to take your kids to explain where food comes from – is it? In fact, it’s not food you want to eat either.
7) Support the Local Economy. Other studies have shown that local money tends to hang around. By keeping it in the area, you’re part of the cycle of enrichment. Yes. See that, a full circle!
Eat Better Food. It’s in the best interest of local farmers to have better produce and foods. They know it. They count on it. And while you explore the options, you’ll probably notice that eating fresher is healthier. You can actually ask a real person what kind of pesticides (if any) they use. These are smart folks who love to talk about what they do. Especially if it helps them continue to do it. Ask questions. Check out community farms and co-ops. This isn’t for hippies anymore – it’s just a natural response to rising food prices, unaccountable contamination, healthier eating and a desire for a more healthy planet as well as community.
9) Equal Opportunity. Anyone can make this effort. It doesn’t have to cost too much. It doesn’t have to be all at once. You don’t have to jump 150% on board today and not eat anything outside the 100 mile limit. But you can look into it more. Stop by a farmers market and just try. I’m confident that over time, you’ll have trouble giving it up. Fresh is a bit addictive. Ask in restaurants as well. Many of them have realized it’s smarter to shop local for better flavor. Talk to people. I’m not the only one out here saying it’s a good idea.