Eating local, Eating for global change
I think leaving a small footprint is so important, it’s also important to buy and eat organic food as much as possible. I also think we should try to eat vegetarian as much as possible too. If our earth gets any more polluted with pesticides and fertilizers for rasing food than having a small footprint won’t even matter. Not eating organics allows the conventional farmer the right to pollute our earth and our bodies.
Eating locally also called the 100 mile diet or Locavore celebrates every aspect of real food. Where it comes from, how it grows and how you can enjoy it. This initiative can set out to create change for something good and something we can all be a part of.
Grassroots grocery delivery services are popping up all over the place. In Vancouver the one that appeals to me the most is SPUD.CA I mean of course one of the biggest appeals for me to sign up was the fact that I don’t have to lug around heavy bags from the supermarket to my apartment anymore. I also liked that they had a vegan recipe section.
There are many reasons why I have decided to sign up for SPUD.CA some of them being. I am doing my part in supporting local farmers (contributing to BC’s sustainability) I am reducing my carbon footprint (no bags, limited imports) I have access to organics all the time. It forces me to explore other foods. There is also a section on your invoice that will tell you how far, on average, your items have traveled and how much less they have traveled compared to the average for a supermarket. (Super Cool) I know it in my heart that I am doing the right thing and I am single-handedly saving the world (ok not really but it’s a start) you know the quote:
“I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.” ~Edward Everett Hale“
Most people who think about food and sustainability are aware of the 100-Mile Diet. While many would love to achieve a 100-mile diet, most of us leave it as an ideal to work toward rather than one we work to achieve. The 100mile diet, under new definition states that all protein and produce must come from within 100 miles. So for source less available such as rice, flour and spices from further afield, this makes a lot of sense. It means that the “fresh” foods, i.e. those that will perish rapidly, are traveling less.
The negative side of eating locally and the negative side’s positive side
It takes a while to become re-accustomed to what’s in season. This means that you can’t eat peaches in winter (unless you take the time to preserve some during that season) Something I am going to try this summer for sure. Also it could make it challenging for international dishes that call for things like mangos and coconut. I say stock up in summer and find a way to preserve.
The positive side of making this shift is that the seasons begin to take on greater meaning. Fall becomes more than “the season between volleyball and skiing.” and you start to look forward to root vegetables, brussel-sprouts and cozy family dinners. There are ways to join in on the 100 mile diet in Vancouver.
Vancouver Peeps check this out
The 100 mile diet Vancouver is providing local resources, FAQ’s, recipes, information. Also a great get started guide. Check out the Why Eat Local? section.
For a larger-scale perspective, thinklocal.ca provides a snapshot of how much milk, beef or salmon Canada imports (that’s right, we import salmon), how far it travels on average and how many grams of greenhouse gas emissions are saved by buying locally. As well as informative articles, the Vancouver based site also has a directory and links for buying locally.
This seasonal food chart is also very useful for priming your taste buds for the seasons (it also works well as a shopping list).
There are some great blogs out there about eating local and being local, like Sarah Eltons Locavore, or the blog Locavore, I like this one. Another interesting one is the Glenbrook North Zero Waste Blog and a good food blog Once Upon A Feast, though it’s not vegan it’s easy to replace the products with vegan ones. I also really enjoyed a film called No Impact Man, though some of his ideas were a bit extreme it gave you perspective on what NOT to take for granted. Hey meat eaters! If you are going to eat meat for peat sakes make it local at least. If you are eating for the 100 mile diet send me your thoughts, Id love to hear from you.
“I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority”
“Shipping is a terrible thing to do to vegetables. They probably get jet-lagged, just like people” ~Elizabeth Berry
I plan to tackle the 100 Mile Diet in July. At first I thought it would be a breeze, because I have a veggie garden and chickens for eggs (I’m ovo-lacto vegetarian). Then I realized that bread is important to me, so I’d need local wheat/flour, local corn/meal, and … local salt?!? Obviously salt will be on my exception list.
So many little things that we take for granted, like olive oil. And salt. It’s already been an eye-opener for me, and I’m looking forward to the awareness of food and food providers that I will surely gain as July goes along.
I’m suggesting to friends who find the idea interesting but aren’t ready to try it yet that they just make a menu for one week and figure out how they’d get all the ingredients locally.
That’s fantastic! Good luck and feel free to share your experiences with us:)