Book Review: The 100-Mile Diet – Alisa Smith and J. B. MacKinnon

When I was in the field on Vancouver Island, a colleague and I spent hours chatting about the life’s most important questions – namely vegetarianism and sustainability. During these conversations he recommended a number of books to me, and this was one of them.

Plot: A couple from Vancouver set out to eat only food grown within a 100-mile radius of their house, for a full year.

Review: This couple were honest about the ups and downs of their local eating journey. It was relatable, funny, and informative. For example, did you know they can grow melons in Vancouver? Or, that honey tastes different depending on where the bees collected nectar? While reading, I became more aware of where my own food comes from. Sadly, and as to be expected, a lot of our food comes from overseas and in packaging, but at least granulated sugar comes from East Anglia!

The book also highlighted a couple of things about local eating. First, local food has a story. I vividly remember the times I’ve eaten local food - roast mutton while working on a sheep farm in New Zealand, cucumber straight from a farmer’s field in Sri Lanka, and carrots from my Grandad’s garden during Sunday lunch with Granny Jan’s gravy. Second, these foods all tasted far better than their supermarket counterparts. I guess this is partly because the food hasn’t lost flavour and nutrients by travelling a long journey from farm to fork, and partly because it comes with a story.

Buy/Borrow: I got my second-hand copy from AbeBooks and it’s now available for family and friends to borrow.


Maybe after lockdown I’ll head to the farmer’s market.

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Photo Disclaimer: All photographs are property of Sophie May Watts or James Fleming unless otherwise stated.

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