The 100 Mile Diet – Book Review and Farmer’s Market Stalking

19 05 2010

As I said a few posts ago this summer I’m going to give local eating a try.  I stumbled across a wonderful book Plenty by Alisa Smith and J.B. Mackinnon.  They have a website for the 100 mile diet that gives some great tips and tricks.   The book is more anecdotal than scientific.    It is simply a young couple (both journalists) that decided to spend a year eating locally.  Chapters alternate between his voice and hers.  They didn’t sugar coat the experience.  There were definite low points and a few really great heart warming high points to their journey.  I really enjoyed the frankness with which they shared both.

I have to be honest, I picked up this book as kind of a guide book for my 100 mile diet experience expecting to force myself to read it.  I guess I was expecting more of a guide book: eat this, don’t do this, this is really bad for the environment, etc.  Instead I found I couldn’t put it down and I was (as with most of my favorite books) disappointed by the ending.

In about two weeks my local eating experiment begins.  Today I pick up our cow.  Poor cow, he is now pounds and pounds of steak, ground beef and ribs.  I have been stalking the stalls of the farmers market asking questions about how to cook new veggies, when other crops will begin bearing fruit, and on and on and on.  This week I came home with Rhubarb and honey.  The honey is infused with vanilla – mmmm.  I’m not a big fan of honey, but I sure love vanilla.  The vanilla seems to cut the strong taste of  the honey enough to make it tolerable for me.  I’ll be preparing the rhubarb for dessert tonight – we’ll see if the kids will eat it!!

I have decided to give myself a few exceptions.  First, I am going to eat rice.   With all the exercise I do I need to get some good carbs and  100 days of corn won’t cut it.  I can’t have any wheat, so I’ll settle for some brown rice.  Second, I have decided to drink coffee.  I’m not a martyr.  Third, I will keep my salt.  I’ll check when we are at the beach to see if I can find locally produced sea salt, if not I’ll get some sea salt and use it.  I’m not going to be too much of a sticker for my ingredients.  If I find local honey that has non-local vanilla bean infused in it, I’m o-k with that.  Finally, I won’t be eating locally for one weekend of my 100 days.  While I am on the road to Quassy I’ll just eat my regular whole foods.  Staying in a hotel and eating on the run just isn’t going to cut it with the 100 mile diet.  I will however add 3 extra days on the end of the 100 mile diet to offset for the 10 Wendy’s baked potatoes I am sure I will eat over 3 days. : )

A few folks have asked how I will be able to do this on a gluten free diet.  This diet (the 100 mile diet) is the purest form of a gluten free diet.  No boxed mixes and genetically engineered food that is not made of wheat but is made to taste like it is.  Just food, real food.  This morning for breakfast I had some local eggs with local spinach and ham (not local – I’m still working on finding that!) scrambled together and wrapped up in a corn tortilla (I think I found a local tortilla maker!  Yay!)  It was suburb!

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