Plenty: Eating Locally on the 100-Mile Diet

Plenty Eating Locally on the Mile Diet The remarkable amusing and inspiring adventures of a Canadian couple who make a year long attempt to eat foods grown and produced within a mile radius of their apartment When Alisa Smith and Jame

  • Title: Plenty: Eating Locally on the 100-Mile Diet
  • Author: Alisa Smith J.B. MacKinnon
  • ISBN: 9780307347336
  • Page: 149
  • Format: Paperback
  • Plenty: Eating Locally on the 100-Mile Diet

    The remarkable, amusing and inspiring adventures of a Canadian couple who make a year long attempt to eat foods grown and produced within a 100 mile radius of their apartment.When Alisa Smith and James MacKinnon learned that the average ingredient in a North American meal travels 1,500 miles from farm to plate, they decided to launch a simple experiment to reconnect with tThe remarkable, amusing and inspiring adventures of a Canadian couple who make a year long attempt to eat foods grown and produced within a 100 mile radius of their apartment.When Alisa Smith and James MacKinnon learned that the average ingredient in a North American meal travels 1,500 miles from farm to plate, they decided to launch a simple experiment to reconnect with the people and places that produced what they ate For one year, they would only consume food that came from within a 100 mile radius of their Vancouver apartment The 100 Mile Diet was born.The couple s discoveries sometimes shook their resolve It would be a year without sugar, Cheerios, olive oil, rice, Pizza Pops, beer, and much, much Yet local eating has turned out to be a life lesson in pleasures that are always close at hand They met the revolutionary farmers and modern day hunter gatherers who are changing the way we think about food They got personal with issues ranging from global economics to biodiversity They called on the wisdom of grandmothers, and immersed themselves in the seasons They discovered a host of new flavours, from gooseberry wine to sunchokes to turnip sandwiches, foods that they never would have guessed were on their doorstep.The 100 Mile Diet struck a deeper chord than anyone could have predicted, attracting media and grassroots interest that spanned the globe The 100 Mile Diet A Year of Local Eating tells the full story, from the insights to the kitchen disasters, as the authors transform from megamart shoppers to self sufficient urban pioneers The 100 Mile Diet is a pathway home for anybody, anywhere.Call me naive, but I never knew that flour would be struck from our 100 Mile Diet Wheat products are just so ubiquitous, the staff of life, that I had hazily imagined the stuff must be grown everywhere But of course I had never seen a field of wheat anywhere close to Vancouver, and my mental images of late afternoon light falling on golden fields of grain were all from my childhood on the Canadian prairies What I was able to find was Anita s Organic Grain Flour Mill, about 60 miles up the Fraser River valley I called, and learned that Anita s nearest grain suppliers were at least 800 miles away by road She sounded sorry for me Would it be a year until I tasted a pie From The 100 Mile DietFrom the Hardcover edition.

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    One thought on “Plenty: Eating Locally on the 100-Mile Diet

    1. Sarah

      I should begin by disclosing that I was, from minute one, hugely troubled by the use of the word "raucous" in the title. If it is, indeed, possible to eat in a raucous manner, I don't want to hear about it, much less a year's worth of it. Shudder. You can keep your rowdy, disorderly, strident eating to yourself. One is left to assume, then, that the authors, or a particularly misguided set of marketing people, use "raucous" as do (with great frequency) the college women I work with, who are othe [...]

    2. Jen

      This was similar in many ways to Kingsolver's "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle", in that it is a year-long experiment in eating only local foods. Kingsolver is a much better writer and I enjoyed reading her book more. "Plenty" did, however, supply what I thought was lacking in the other book: realism. "Plenty" documents the difficulties in trying to eat locally: struggling to live without wheat/flour, trying to store potatoes in an urban apartment, staying within a budget(their first dinner cost over [...]

    3. Ivy

      I chose to give this book the rarely (by me) proffered five stars, not because of the brilliance of the writing itself, but because this couple's story was a fine example of ethical frustration, of choosing mindful living while surrounded by overwhelming and seemingly unchangeable insanity. Because they put it out there to enlighten, inspire, and hopefully, make us pause as we contemplate their motivations and the notable efforts of others such as Michael Pollan, Jamie Oliver, Deborah Madisonjus [...]

    4. Rick

      Oh my, the dreaded one-star review. I must say, I went into this book with high hopes and ended up quite disappointed. It seems like a book I would love - a couple around my age living in Vancouver and trying to spend one year living on only food that was grown or raised within 100 miles of their home. In our society these days, this is no easy task. They have predictable adventures trying to find difficult to locate foods (flour, salt, anything but potatoes in the winter, etc) but in the end th [...]

    5. Lucy

      "One man, one woman and a raucous year of eating locally" is the tagline for this book. I'm not sure if I'd describe it as raucous tumultuous maybe, but raucous, no.The book follows Alisa & James as they try to eat within 100 miles of their home in Vancouver, Canada. Their endeavour sees them eat wheat complete with mouse droppings, stink their house out in an effort to make sauerkrat and nearly come to blows over canning of tomatoes.I enjoyed the book a lot and thought it gave a very realis [...]

    6. Karen

      Similar to other titles in that it follows the authors as they challenge themselves to eat locally for a year, this book sets itself apart by going deeper into the history of their area in regard to the foods that once sustained locals and the changes that have occurred to go from local food sources to our now reliance on global food sources. Definitely worth a read!

    7. Quinten

      This book was good, but not as good as Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle A Year of Food Life, which unfortunately for Smith I had read first.The book fails due to a compromise of two opposing styles; the epistolary style of the blog that precedes the book, and the cohesive narrative needed for a full-length book. Smith does not do a great job at this merger, and it's further hurt by the changing in perspective between her and her partner. Instead of a narrative, the book reads more [...]

    8. Christy

      What I liked about this book: I feel like both of the authors, but particularly Alisa, were able to capture the sense of wonder that I have felt about discovering where food comes from and feeling so much closer to it when you know the source. I was never particularly interested in food or where it came from until my husband became a farmer, but now that I regularly (and for some meals exclusively) eat food came from a farm 20 miles away and was picked that very afternoon by Kurt's own hands, ea [...]

    9. Joseph

      I suppose it's always easy to compare like-minded books to one another. Many of the reviews here are tasking Plenty with not being quite in the same league as Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. And it's not. This book is more of a memoir than Kingsolver's, although there are plenty of similarities. But Alisa and James are not farmers, but foragers of a kind, scouring an area of 100 miles in any direction for local food. This book is as much about their mental exercises, and the dou [...]

    10. Lisa

      I remember reading some negative reviews before I read the book but decided to give it a try anyway. I really enjoyed the book. The authors took turns telling their story about how they spent a year eating only the food that could be produced within a 100 miles from their home. I thought it was interesting when the author told little side bits and sometimes I would finding myself thinking - "Wait this is suppose to be about eating local, it's all very interesting but how does it tie in?" - and t [...]

    11. Allie Burger

      I savored every moment of this book. I suppose I feel as though I might be friends with Alisa and J.B. if we crossed paths, so their ideas and insights resonated with me. I enjoyed that it was a project they took on as a couple, and that they went through a reflexive process about their relationship and where they were in their lives throughout the course of the narrative. This book stirred my imagination, as I am passionate about food. I have added going to British Columbia and staying in a cab [...]

    12. De

      These two are pretty funny. They live in BC and decide that they're not going to eat anything that doesn't come from within 100 miles. Naturally along the way they learn to open their eyes and actually see the food that's growing right in front of them (literally) that they never would have noticed. Something we should all be doing. I continue to be amazed at people who will eat whatever greens a restaurant throws into a salad but if you point out the baby dandelion greens growing in their backy [...]

    13. Liz Smith

      Interesting book that makes a person think about how eating foods directly affects the world around us including our own health. I'm wondering if people were to eat food from their own area how many health problems might diminish? Seems like each area of the world provides the nutrients needed to live a very healthy life. Don't get me wrong, I am not yet able to give up bananas and avocado, but I have been making an effort to buy as much food as I can from local merchants.

    14. Rachel Jacobs

      The book was wonderful. I loved following along with James and Alisa as they embarked on a year of eating within a 100 mile radius. I enjoyed the honesty and the raw emotions that this experiment brought forth.I think it is a great read for everyone but particularly those who think it doesn't matter where your food comes from or for those who are disconnected from their food sources.This book will make you want to seek out local options for your food sources and get to know the people you source [...]

    15. Rossdavidh

      Subtitle: One Man, One Woman, and a Raucous Year of Eating Locally.This is basically a book about an experiment. Smith and Mackinnon live in the Vancouver area, and they decided to attempt (in 2005) to subsist entirely on local food for a year. This is the sort of general statement which can mean a lot of things in practice. They decided, for example, that "local" meant 100 miles. They also decided that whatever was already in their cupboard was ok to keep. Meals served to them by friends or fam [...]

    16. Ciara

      lately i have been into reading books where people do weird personal experiments for a year & document them. good thing there is absolutely no shortage of such books, what with publishing companies basically just trawling the blogosphere & offering book deals to anyone who can be edited to appear functionally literate. almost none of these books are really all that great, but i guess i don't read them expecting great literature. i am just attracted to the idea of people subjecting themse [...]

    17. Amber

      This book was the same topic as Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. It was a bit of a different perspective though and I enjoyed that. AMV is about a family that lives on a plot of land and they grow most of their own food. Plenty is about a couple (instead of family) that live in an apartment in the middle of the city (instead of the country with land). They have a small community garden plot that they use to supplement their diet when able to. They take you through their story of trying to find what i [...]

    18. Sally

      Interesting story, written by 2 freelance writers, interspersed with great essays on the history of food. Some favorite quotes:A study in the UK showed that the amount of time people now spend driving to the supermarket, looking for parking, and wandering the lengthy aisles in search of a frozen pizza or pre-mixed salad is nearly equal to that spent preparing food from scratch 20 years ago. Despite eating more than ever before, our culture may be the only one in human history to value food to li [...]

    19. K

      Admittedly, I am plowing through books centered on concientious eating so my opinion is highly relative. "Plenty" isn't the worst of them, but it wouldn't be high on my recommended reading list. The negative: In general I found the writing styles of both authors bland. Never once did I really care about the personal elements of their one-year journey eating local foods. At times their eating philosophy seems extreme just for the sake of being extreme. They go most of the year without wheat, but [...]

    20. Courtney

      Some parts of this book were great: learning about the agriculture of the Northwest and the people who are devoted to keeping it going strong as well as the great (and not so great) meals that this couple came up with because they were forced to think differently.Other parts languished, perhaps because it seems like I've heard it all a million times before: eat locally, food travels 1500 miles or more to get to your plate, we're running out of resources, etc. Somehow it seemed a little trite com [...]

    21. Angela

      I have been wanting to read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver but it wasn't available at the library yet. This one was. Its the same basic idea, the authors, residents of Vancouver, decide that for one year they will attempt to only eat food grown within a one hundred mile radius of their home. A wonderful idea in theory because the reality is each ingredient we eat travels an average of 1500 miles which is absolutely ridiculous. It is probably not realistic for most of us to go c [...]

    22. Chessa

      Quick read about a couple from Vancouver, B.C. who decide to conduct a one-year experiment in local eating. They draw their boundaries with a 100-mile radius of Vancouver and there their adventures begin. Similar in themes to Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, this book is neither so broad in scope (in terms of increasing the reader's knowledge of industrial food systems) nor narrow in menus - they didn't talk toooo much about what they ate on a daily basis, which I for one missed. I reall [...]

    23. Marion

      The 2008 Lake Forest Park Reads book. A memoir of a couple, two writers, who challenges themselves to only buy food grown within 100 miles of their apartment in Vancouver, BC, and their up north lean-to cabin in the middle of nowwhere. They rotate writing chapters. They get real emotional over potatoes, beets, potatoes, tomatoes, more potatoes, onions, etc and have a funny, icky quest for wheat or anything that can be ground for flour. Data is shared from govt agencies, historians, and whole foo [...]

    24. carolyn

      A quick, interesting read about a couple in Vancouver, BC that decide to spend a year eating only foods from within a 100 mile of their home. The average food item travels 1500 miles from where it's grown to where it's eaten. Besides the obvious wastefulness of this system they also discover a community of farms, a connection to the seasons and a far more varied diet than most of us enjoy. It's not preachy or holier than though. The reader learns along with them. It's definitely food for thought [...]

    25. Bethany

      After reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and Omnivore's Dilemma, this book felt a little preachy at times. I really enjoyed hearing about Alisa and J.B.'s personal challenge and how they met the challenge. I think this book would have been amazing if they just wrote about how they came up with their challenge, and their experience with it.I loved their cabin, and the time they ate locally there. I also enjoyed reading about the different farmers and what they grew.

    26. Toby

      What sounded like a really interesting book took a turn for a narcissistic melodrama about two people with SAD who ate a lot of weird local food. I really wanted to like it, but my overall feeling at the end: meh.

    27. Meghan

      Similar to Barbara Kingslover's book but not as good. Each chapter was yet another illustration of how disconnected we are; the problem being that readers of this book probably already know that. I kept waiting for the 'raucous' part of the year of eating local but it never came

    28. Michele

      This book was good and provided good information about eating locally. But, for a great read, I like Barbara Kingsolver's book about the same thing (Animal, Vegetable, Miracle) MUCH better.

    29. Karl

      An easy, interesting read, but after Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle there's not much new here. Depending on how you take to Alisha and James, you may find this enjoyable.

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