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Plenty
Eating Locally on the 100-Mile Diet
Written by Alisa Smith and J.B. MacKinnon

Plenty
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Category: Cooking - Natural Foods; Health & Fitness - Nutrition; Health & Fitness - Healthy Living
Imprint: Clarkson Potter
Format: Trade Paperback
Pub Date: April 2008
Price: $15.00
Can. Price: $
ISBN: 978-0-307-34733-6 (0-307-34733-8)
Pages: 272
Also available as an eBook.



 
One Book, One Community choice in Alliance, OH
"Book of the Year" at the College of the Redwoods and Humboldt State University, CA

"The book presents the voices and experiences of a young Northwest couple grappling with issues of food production, sustainability and globalization in a year-long adventure spent in attempting to eat a fully local diet. In the process they reconnect with the people and places that produce food in their region, and enable the reader to grasp the extent to which food production and eating habits of North Americans have changed over the last century.

The choice highlights campus interest in sustainability and local farming, dovetails with current community interest in highlighting local specialty food production, and offers accessible and appealing reading for incoming freshmen. The committees are working on bringing the authors to the area in the fall for presentations."--Mary H. Kay, Chair, Information Services Dept., Collection Development Librarian, Humboldt State University

Like many great adventures, the 100-mile diet began with a memorable feast. Stranded in their off-the-grid summer cottage in the Canadian wilderness with unexpected guests, Alisa Smith and J.B. MacKinnon turned to the land around them. They caught a trout, picked mushrooms, and mulled apples from an abandoned orchard with rose hips in wine. The meal was truly satisfying; every ingredient had a story, a direct line they could trace from the soil to their forks. The experience raised a question: Was it possible to eat this way in their everyday lives?

Back in the city, they began to research the origins of the items that stocked the shelves of their local supermarket. They were shocked to discover that a typical ingredient in a North American meal travels roughly the distance between Boulder, Colorado, and New York City before it reaches the plate. Like so many people, Smith and MacKinnon were trying to live more lightly on the planet; meanwhile, their “SUV diet” was producing greenhouse gases and smog at an unparalleled rate. So they decided on an experiment: For one year they would eat only food produced within 100 miles of their Vancouver home.

It wouldn’t be easy. Stepping outside the industrial food system, Smith and MacKinnon found themselves relying on World War II–era cookbooks and maverick farmers who refused to play by the rules of a global economy. What began as a struggle slowly transformed into one of the deepest pleasures of their lives. For the first time they felt connected to the people and the places that sustain them.

For Smith and MacKinnon, the 100-mile diet became a journey whose destination was, simply, home. From the satisfaction of pulling their own crop of garlic out of the earth to pitched battles over canning tomatoes, Plenty is about eating locally and thinking globally.

The authors’ food-focused experiment questions globalization, monoculture, the oil economy, environmental collapse, and the tattering threads of community. Thought-provoking and inspiring, Plenty offers more than a way of eating. In the end, it’s a new way of looking at the world.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 
Alisa Smith is a freelance journalist who writes regularly for Reader's Digest.

J.B. MacKinnon is the author of the acclaimed narrative nonfiction book Dead Man in Paradise.





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