Somebody I know is starting the 100 mile diet this weekend. Until Thanksgiving, he’s going to try to only eat food produced within 100 miles (160.934 km) from his home in Vancouver. It’s an admirable pursuit. He loves a chore, so I expect he’ll do very well at it.
The purpose, in case you missed it, is to only consume locally grown food, reducing one’s impact on the environment. According to Wikipedia, food in North America typically travels 1,500 miles from farm to plate.
Here on Malta’s smaller island, we’re accidentally engaged in this eating model. Last week we were at the butcher buying some chicken breasts:
JULIE: Where’s your chicken from?
BUTCHER: They’re local. These were killed this morning.
Distance from farm to plate? Probably less than 5 km.
I’m really surprised by the diversity of food that’s locally produced. All of our chicken, fish, pasta, bread, wine, dairy, fruit and vegetables (from fava beans to asparagus, from bananas to watermelon) is local. Some of the canned goods–ketchup, for example–are produced in Malta. Heck, even the Coke I’m drinking is bottled on the main island.
There are certainly some exceptions. Oddly, our Dijon mustard is from Dublin and we’ve got biscuits from Germany. Still, I’d say 90% of our diet falls into a 100-mile radius. That makes me feel slightly less guilty about all the air travel we’re doing. We’re buying carbon credits, but it’s still sub-optimal.