The 100 mile diet “is a term used in American food activism to describe a diet which consists entirely of foods grown and raised within 100 miles of the dinner table”.
People who follow this kind of diet usually cal themselves locavores and it all started with a book called The 100-Mile Diet: A Year of Local Eating, written by Alisa Smith and J.B. MacKinnon, both Canadians. The book posed challenges as well as ‘following’ the couple for a year as they lived the 100 mile diet.
This diet has many advantages. By eating locally, the cost and pollution caused by the transport of food is cut out. Thus, also saving money is part of the deal.
It motivates people to support the local food movement, the surrounding farms, even prolific backyards of neighbors, much of what produces organic products. These farms are usually also small, family run businesses that, along with other farms, ship their products off the market.
This is also a very positive thing for the environment as this style of farm cooperatives cause less pollution. Smaller farms also do use big, fuel driven equipment.
Not only does the 100 mile challenge have to do with farms, but with local businesses as well. Food products, such as jams and bread, that are produced locally is also on your diet food list.
All of this helps to strengthen the local economy and, in turn, create a stronger community.
You can even take this entire idea further by including non-food products. Buying clothes, such as handcrafted upcycled clothing and shoes from local designers can also help. Even going a little bit further, buy only materials made from organic and renewable sources, such as bamboo clothing products.
You can start your own herb and vegetable garden, making you a little more self sustainable. You can use locally produced essential oils to make your own lotions and soaps.
Actually going out and buying the book might help you and give you much needed information. It has challenges as well as great ideas on how to actually accomplish this kind of lifestyle.
If the environmental benefits are not enough to convince you to take on this diet, the health benefits will be.
If you make a point to shop within a 100 mile market, you will mostly buy local and/or organic products, your health and immune system will get a boost and you’ll also be keeping money within the area, making it richer. Also remember that fast-food chains are out – the final food product is made locally, but the food is not.