Have you ever thought about what it would be like to leave processed food behind and just live off the land around you? Can you picture a life of fresh local vegetables and fruit instead of pre-packed dinners shipped halfway across the country? It’s hard to believe that it’s even possible today, but getting everything you eat from farms and gardens close to you is the goal of the 100-mile diet. And followers of the local food movement will tell you that finding food growing near you is actually not so difficult – the 100-mile diet could be easier than you think.
What Are the Specifics of the 100-Mile Diet?
Some diets seem more focused on getting you to memorize a bunch of weird rules than on improving your health. There’s only one rule with the 100-mile diet: the food that goes on your plate must be grown within 100 miles of your house. This might seem pretty restrictive at first, at least until you find a couple of nearby dairies or learn where to buy the best local vegetables. But once you’ve figured out some of those sources, you’ll be amazed at the variety of foods you can find in your area.
How Do You Benefit From the 100-Mile Diet?
That variety is one of the unexpected benefits of the 100-mile diet. When the average shopper heads to a supermarket, they tend to buy the foods they know without regard for how far those foods have traveled. When you limit yourself to only the foods that nearby farmers can produce, on the other hand, you begin to notice local vegetables and fruits that you wouldn’t ordinarily think to add to your basket. Fennel, burdock, kohlrabi, mustard green, gooseberry and pluot are just a few of the foods that you might get the chance to discover when you search out local food. That’s right: the 100-mile diet has a way of expanding your palette.
Your health is also bound to improve. Although weight loss isn’t the stated goal of the 100-mile diet, throwing out processed foods that are loaded with sugar, salt and fat and replacing them with fresh fruits and vegetables is a great way to lose a few pounds. Even if you happen to have a snack foods factory near you, the majority of the food you eat will be fresh and full of nutrients. That will mean a healthier, happier you.
The 100-Mile Diet Helps the Planet, Too
Followers of the local food movement will tell you that the greatest benefit of the 100-mile diet is the knowledge that you’re minimizing your ecological impact. We’re all hoping to make the world a better place, but because so many of our actions have hidden consequences, for some people it can be hard to maintain a positive attitude. When you commit to a diet based on local foods, you inevitably end up learning the facts about what you eat. You’ll see where your food comes from and how it gets made, and you’ll be able to rest easier at night knowing that you’re doing your best to live a sustainable lifestyle. You may even end up becoming something of a role model for others.
If you’re interested in starting the 100-mile diet but feel you don’t know enough about the resources in your area, don’t be afraid to start small. Try preparing a single meal using ingredients from a local farmer’s market. Get an idea of the sorts of things you can expect to find on local farms, and start to track the seasonality of the ingredients you love. As you gain more confidence, you’ll be able to move closer and closer to the goal of finding everything you need for your meals within a 100-mile radius of your home. You might even be able to grow much of what you need in your own back yard, and that’s as local as it gets.
Since you’ll be exerting extra time and effort to track down and buy local food – and because some of your resources will be farther away than others – you can save on fuel by stocking up. Buy slightly more ingredients than you think you’ll need for the week, and use BerryBreeze™ to keep them fresher longer. Your BerryBreeze™ machine releases activated oxygen to neutralize bacteria and mold, and it’ll leave your fridge smelling fresh and clean.
Do you have any experience with the local food movement? Have you tried the 100-mile diet? Please comment below with a few tips!