80% or more

September 7, 2010 § Leave a comment

I eat the way I imagine many other Canadians eat. My family grocery shops at supermarkets for maximum convenience, buying fruits and vegetables at random among various products at sale prices. But food shouldn’t really be a “product.”

This fall I have the intention of changing my eating habits. It’s difficult because I’m not the one in charge of shopping and it’s not my money paying for food, so I have to take what I can get.

Barbara Kingsolver, in her book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, says that we can. “Cooking and eating at home, even with quality ingredients, costs pennies on the dollar compared with meals prepared by a restaurant or factory… Shoppers who are daunted by the high price of organics may be looking at bar codes on boutique-organic prepared foods, not actually vegetables. A quality diet is not an elitist option for the do-it-yourselfer.”

But there are so many local eating projects out there, and they don’t sound realistic for me or my family. The pioneers of the 100 Mile Diet, Vancouver’s Alisa Smith and J.B. MacKinnon in 2005 ate only food produced within a one hundred mile radius of their Vancouver home. Kingsolver’s family moved to the east of the United States and started to grow their own food, raise their own chickens and turkeys. This is not an option for my reluctant, suburban family. Or myself.

So my own goal is an 80% local eating diet as a compromise. The 20% can consist of food that isn’t local, but it should be ethically and sustainably sourced (think olive oil, chocolate, tea, coffee, etc).

My mom began hurriedly purchasing avocadoes and other exotic fruits and vegetables as she panicked over starting a local eating project. It’s just not realistic for most families to change over their entire diet overnight. I’d like to look at each food group one at a time, researching and getting used to purchasing local and organic.

Starting with fruits and vegetables (at an 80% or more local source) I’m going to find new ways eat more local produce, from individual farmers and markets.



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