Smith, A, MacKinnon, JB. 2007. The 100-Mile Diet: A Year of Local Eating. Vintage Canada Pub.

This was one of my favourite readings in recent memory. The change in narrative style between both halves of the relationship was completely endearing to me, but I’ve always enjoyed hearing different perspectives on the same issue. Another thing that kept me turning pages was the fact that it was so utterly familiar. Through their descriptive text I was able to visualize who these people are, and just like watching a movie filmed in a place you’ve been it is very fascinating reading about places you know. On their trek to pick strawberries on the bird sanctuary island it took a while for me to catch on to what I was reading. I’ve read books set in places I’ve been before, but it still shocked me when my brain slowly pieced together that the island they were visiting was actually the same island we saw snow geese while birding on a field trip this year. For me this really drove home the larger message behind this book; we’ve become accustomed to consuming imported goods, whether it be foods, electronics, or even stories. Having the authors visit a place I can easily recall gave me that sense of connection that they mention we’ve all lost to the food we consume daily.

This is a divisive topic in my own psyche, which is pretty rare. All the same, I’ll spend the next paragraph giving you some insight into how schizophrenic my brain can get: Just as they felt alien when first deciding to eat only local foods, part of the inertia I would have to overcome to follow their lead would be that seeming isolation from society at large. It doesn’t take long for me to realize though that I’d much prefer to feel closer to my community than to society at large. The next hurdle is the expense. Thanks to mass production and cheap labour, it is cheaper and more accessible to obtain food that doesn’t reach it’s nutritional potential. Some of it could even be debated to be food at all. I’m not proud of the fact that I eat this stuff, but I apparently prioritize finance and lethargy over my optimum health. What would be ideal is if the change makers would realize how wrong all of this importing and exporting of goods can be and embrace local producers, maybe then it would be easier and cheaper for me to eat locally and better. How pathetic is that though? I need the world to change for me to start making decisions that I know will benefit me and my community in the long run? Maybe I just need to get through this starving student phase of my life, and then I can go out and do things properly. Fingers crossed, because I really respect people who chase what is right even though it isn’t always easy. I hope I grow into someone I could respect.

Enough of that though, let’s focus on thoughts I can share with conviction. While reading through this, not once did I say to myself, “I could never eat like them. I would die without______.” I have no real desire to eat chicken knowing how they are mass farmed, and even more so for beef. The thing I found myself most jealous of while reading though was the fact that they live at the coast. I love seafood, and would quite enjoy to make fresh catch seafood my primary source of protein. It is still possible, but slightly more difficult to do while living in the interior. I suppose the most concrete conceptualization that this book imparted onto me is that I feel like what they have done is my end goal of way of life, but that I’m currently in a holding pattern until specific aspects of my life make that lifestyle more conducive.

Advertisements