100 mile diet

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No, don’t worry, I’m not going to preach about the health benefits of running 100 miles to lose weight (I’m still working on finishing a 5k myself). This diet, unlike Atkins or South Beach, is most likely not on your radar. But first, let me preface the description with a little oration.

The commercial food industry has placed a vast distance between the origin of the food we eat and our plates. The greater that distance and disconnect, the less likely we are to be inquisitive about how corn is turned into Doritos. Since we trust food manufacturers’ production methods, as evidenced by an enormous majority of real estate in a grocery stores being occupied by processed foods, we end up naively believing “enriched ____” is a good thing.

Truth be told, food manufacturers want things this way so money-saving-corners can be cut and physically addictive “tastes” can be engineered in laboratories to make that “home-style” flavor prominent in your boxed dinner via a slew of ingredient you can’t pronounce.

Proactively becoming aware and engaged in reacting to this realization certainly takes time and effort. Although the imperative demand of our attention is inevitable if we hope for optimal health and an ablution of our insides from high-fructose corn syrup and synthetic hormones.

Eating foods separated from you by one minuscule degree, a farmer, is a foreign concept to many. I found a website, 100milediet.org, that takes this concept to the max: exclusively eating foods grown within a 100 mile radius of your home. The website states that,

“When the average North American sits down to eat, each ingredient has typically traveled at least 1,500 miles—call it ‘the SUV diet.'”

Clearly, this also has tremendous environmental implications as well. That’s a high CO2 price tag (not to mention a high $ price tag) to bring your out-of-season berries from down south.

Farmers markets are an excellent way to reestablish what “food” truly means, support local growers, and encourage environmentally sustainable agriculture and business practices. Your kids will also likely develop an interest in what they eat and prefer playing in the dirt from their own mini vegetable garden to digging wash-off tattoos out of frosty-o’s cereal boxes.

Here are some resources to get started:

Locally for Louisvillans:



  • David Deaubrey Tighe on

    This is something In the scope of my studies. While transportation and industrialization make it possible to feed the world — it comes at a cost in quality and health compared to eating local and fresh. At the same time, modernization makes food incredibly abundant and affordable — and we have wonderful choices. I’m all for the 100-mile diet — except from December thru April. If we strictly ate local all year we’d likely get tired of salted pork.

  • Ashley Cecil on

    Agreed David. The mid-west would seemingly only grow icicles in the winter months. Although I remember skimming over “winter gardens” at 100milediet.org. Still a lot of work. I’m all for it though the other 75% of the year.

  • The painting drew me in on this one, and then as I read the article, I remembered reading an article on the same topic in Ode Magazine, not too long ago… http://odemagazine.com/article.php?aID=4080

    (They’ve got others, too; do a search for “local food”, and you’ll get a bunch…)

    It also reminds me of Eliot Coleman, and his book “Four Season Harvest”… he talks about how to grow food of your own all-year-round (and he lives in what, Vermont?)

  • Ashley Cecil on

    Great article (and a great magazine). I’m hearing more and more about local farmers’ produce becoming more main stream. If people thought about the economics of it and the impacts it has, they may be more inclined to adjust their shopping schedule and menus to farmers markets.

    Thanks Adam.

  • Ashley,

    I completely agree. Local markets are the way to go, although
    I do indulge in a doritos from time to time (everything in moderation, right?).

    I think you might like this site: http://www.restaurantwidow.com/

    Lisa covers the markets in the Columbus, Ohio area (I know, a little out of your way).
    She is a excellent writer and provides really great advice on picking produce and fabulous recipes.
    And she takes excellent pictures. check her out.


  • Ashley Cecil on

    Oh my gosh, her blog is making me hungry! Wow. I have a very good friend in Columbus that I visit often. I will definitely pass this on to her and keep it mind the next time I’m up there. Thanks!

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