07 September 2007

Why am I doing this?

Why am I doing this? It's hard to wrap words around my motivation to try this. I have a lot of vague notions, leanings, and beliefs that tie in. Eating local can mean eating less processed food, supporting local business and small farmers, saving energy, and showing my kids where food comes from (our garden and local U-pick farms for summer fruit). I also like the simple living and self-sufficiency aspect (not that I grow near enough food in my garden to survive). The 100-mile diet is one of those things that pulls together a lot of strands to make a satisfying web.

I told my kids it was about energy conservation. Typically food travels 1500 miles before it reaches the average American's plate (that's the stat bandied about by 100-mile diet proponents). For us in New York, maybe it's more. Our produce seems to come entirely from California and, while it's harder to source, I'm guessing that our meat and grains come mostly from the Great Plains.

So, I said at the dinner table on the eve of my experiment, if I eat food that's from New York or neighboring Vermont, not so much gas has been used to get it to me. My 8-yo daughter wondered how that saved gas, because the food will still come "whether you eat it or not." Well, yes.

My husband jumped in to say that if a lot of people did this, that might make a difference. But for me it highlighted the fact that I'm doing this as an experiment, for my own self-edification. How accustomed have I become to the vast variety of food that is available to me? Me, who eats fresh, whole foods, who tends toward the perimeter of the supermarket (produce, meat, dairy, and baked goods), who thought I was part-way to eating locally already.

My daughter's challenge is most welcome. I expect many more assumptions on my part will be challenged in the coming weeks.

1 comment:

paroma said...

hey jill i love this idea!!

are restaurants allowed?

keep the posts coming please, have fun with this!