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The 100-Mile Diet: A Year of Local Eating

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  984 ratings  ·  120 reviews
The remarkable, amusing and inspiring adventures of a Canadian couple who make a year-long attempt to eat foods grown and produced within a 100-mile radius of their apartment.

When Alisa Smith and James MacKinnon learned that the average ingredient in a North American meal travels 1,500 miles from farm to plate, they decided to launch a simple experiment to reconnect with t
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published March 12th 2007 by Random House Canada
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3.86  · 
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 ·  984 ratings  ·  120 reviews

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Jun 14, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Neat idea, even if the writing is tedious at times. I enjoyed reading the month by month journal, sprinkled with humour, and the occasional recipes. I wouldn't go to such extremes as the authors - just thinking of separating wheat grains from mouse poop makes my stomach turn - but I'm all for eating locally grown food, especially produce, whenever possible. I hope the book convinces others it's worth a try. Best reason: the taste, way better than whatever gets flown or trucked over from thousand ...more
Lauren Ames
Feb 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
A really quick and thoughtful read, not at all what I’d expected! This book manages to talk about our crazy (and depressing) food system without actually making me depressed. There were a few things that I wasn’t a fan of but overall I enjoyed it! The statistics and scientific background of local eating and global food systems were things I was familiar with, but it was interesting to read about it from a more personal perspective, with the facts being a part of a personal experience rather than ...more
Patti Mcconnell
May 11, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: self-help-books
This book is about eating locally or within a 100 mile radius of where the food was grown for a period of one year. This couple does not have children and they live in Canada. So...they cannot eat salt, wheat products, etc. The book is interesting, but at times they spend so much time and energy into finding the food, that it seems like it consumes their entire lives. Weekends are spent trying to find local growers, bee keepers for honey, etc. They fixed a dinner for 4 and it cost $124.00 becaus ...more
Dec 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: health-conscious people and local-produce lovers
Recommended to Kate by: University of Calgary
Shelves: nonfiction
I really enjoyed reading this book. It added enough descriptiveness and flourish to the storyline to make more than a cut-and-dry how-to non-fiction about healthy eating. I live in Alberta, but want to move to Vancouver when I'm in grad school, so this will definitely help me with figuring out what is local and good to eat. I had to read this for school, but I'm glad I did, and I recommend it to anyone who wants to support local farms and eat a little bit healthier. =)
his is a very well written, interesting and funny book. It has a lot of really useful information about, of course, eating locally, but also about random bits of history as well as some intriguing recipes. It is very readable, as if you are having a friendly conversation with James and Alisa. It's quite personal too, delving into the minds, troubles and triumphs of the authors. It is completely inspiring and helps you realize how possible it is to understand what you're eating, how it's produced ...more
Denise Yuen
Loved the story that chronicled the joys and difficulties in trying to eat and source all food within a 100 mile radius for a year. Made me really think how far my food travels and has inspired me to make a more concerted effort to eat locally!
Oct 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed reading it. I thought it would be slow going like reading a textbook, but instead it was a 1-year biography snapshot into this couples life experiment. Each chapter alternates author, which keeps it interesting. I would definitely recommend it, in fact, I have.
Tony Fecteau
Apr 13, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookclub
Very interesting! My wife and I try to live this way, but are not quite as fanatical about it. We love local produce and will choose it if it is available. The stories and issues that come up in this book are great. A big eye opener for me in some cases.
Jan 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book has inspired me to try to buy locally grown food to reduce my carbon footprint. It has also helped to open my eyes to how many miles my food travels just to get to my plate.
Apr 16, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Made me very, very hungry. Also made me very thankful for farmers' markets and local food.
Jun 29, 2008 rated it really liked it
What an eye-opener. Made me think about where all my food comes from and what it takes to get there.....know I could not have done what they did for 1 year!!!!
Eden Haber
Nov 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Surprisingly nuanced.
Jul 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Well let me start off by saying that I really wasn't sure about this book.
I bought it at Value Village for around $3.00 and it sat on my kitchen table for a day or two while I passed by it repeatedly. Eventually I picked it up and started reading, and had the unexpected pleasure of finding it very hard to put down.

It's not my typical fiction novel that captures my interest because of far off lands and lovable characters.. And yet in some ways it was, because it encompassed a world I was unfami
Heidi Archer
Jun 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
I was surprised by how each of the authors made this a delightful story rather than an accounting of their year eating locally (within 100 miles of Vancouver, BC). I found their intersecting stories both inspiring and a bit overwhelming. Is it too late for people to disrupt the corporate food world? I'm not sure, but I think I'd like to try.

When the world wearies, and society ceases to satisfy, there is always the garden." - Minnie Aumonier

"Man is born free and everywhere is in chain stores." -
Aug 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I found this book randomly on the shelves at my library, and enjoyed it immensely - I think this would be a good one for fans of Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and anyone who enjoys learning about the locavore movement.
The title of this book pretty much speaks for itself; a couple in Vancouver make a goal to eat only food grown/caught within 100-mile radius of their home for an entire year. It was a well-written book (I believe the authors are journalists), and really makes you stop and think about
Jul 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A very refreshing read! I cannot imagine doing this with 5 to 7 children home at any given time. Even as a couple it was challenging for the authors. I appreciated the down-to-earth narrative that wasn't preachy. I also enjoyed the history and even current events that related to food and its availability -- or sadly, sometimes lack of availability. If anything, I am now just a little more aware of what is landing on our dinner plates.
Aug 25, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
I read this when newly moved to Vancouver from Brisbane so it was cool to read something local. I found the authors to be slightly annoying in some of their tone and the way they related as a couple but perhaps that's not really fair as it's not the main point of the book. I like the idea of eating locally and this made a contribution to my thinking more on the topic.
May 12, 2019 rated it liked it
I'm giving this three stars because I felt like there were a few too many tangents to describe scenery and I really just wanted to read about the food. Otherwise I really enjoyed it and would recommend reading.
3.5 This was an interesting experiment, and the book itself was well-written, but all I could think through most of it was how unrealistic it would be for most people to even attempt something similar.
Waterloo Public Library
Jul 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
One Book, One Community Waterloo Region - 2008
Sep 04, 2017 rated it liked it
Interesting story about one couples food experiment. Personal anecdotes keep the story interesting but I found Alisha's chapters more captivating than James'.
Kathryn Morrison
Jun 23, 2019 rated it liked it
I feel conflicted on this one - lots of good stuff, and I love reading about people from my home province, but it was pretty judgemental and pretentious at times too.
Mar 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed this.
Aug 31, 2019 rated it liked it
The concept was interesting. But it was just really drug out by details of their personal lives.
Mar 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfic-2017
I never realized I could miss apples I will never be able to taste. This book is both a quiet journey through a year of a couple's life and an important, unmissable cry for action and change in how we live our lives.
Oct 10, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2008
A couple (both writers) draw a 100-mile radius around their home and attempt to eat food solely from this area for a year. I found this book interesting and an easy read, but I didn't quite love it.

Things I liked:
* setting in the NW - I went to college in Bellingham, WA, not far from Vancouver, and now live in Portland, OR, so I could relate to the seasons of produce.
* trade off of writing - the couple alternates chapter writing. I liked the different perspectives and voices, rather than if t
Sep 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone.
Definitely a great read!

Last year I read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver which was also very good {with the exception of the turkey slaughtering chapter} but I found this book by Alisa and James a lot easier to relate to. In Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, the family decides to pack up and leave the city for a year and head out into the country to live on a farm, which is just not something the average person can easily do. In this book however, it's about a you
Feb 01, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an enjoyable and enlightening book. I liked the short recipes that began each chapter and really connected them to the challenge. There was a lot more descriptive detail than I generally like, but my interest in the topic pulled me through it. The authors did a good job of weaving together the idea of eating locally with the effects on their lives. The combination of personal narrative, food-reporting, and recipes worked well. I learned a lot and appreciated the opportunity to reflect o ...more
I was excited to read The 100-Mile Diet because there's so much hype surrounding it. My husband and I are trying to maintain a diet of local, seasonal food and have read a handful of books on this subject ... every single one mentions The 100-Mile Diet so I assumed this book was where the "eat local" philosophy originated. (Turns out, the concept of eating local seasonal food was very much alive and well long before Alisa Smith and her boyfriend JB MacKinnon started documenting their experience ...more
Jul 26, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lovers of food and food politics
Shelves: food-writing, health
The book that started the local eating diet craze. This is the first book that got me thinking about buying more local foods. Smith and Mackinnon give a great description of their adventure with local eating for a year in Vancouver. Also being from Vancouver I found this book doubly interesting. I don't think I would have had the same experience if they were talking about the local food culture of a different area.

The one problem I had with this book was the extreme approach the authors took. T
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The book Plenty has different subtitles in hardcover and paperback and the Canadian edition was called The 100-Mile Diet.

Alisa Smith, a Vancouver-based freelance writer who has been nominated for a National Magazine Award, has been published in Outside, Explore, Canadian Geographic, Reader’s Digest, Utne, and many other periodicals. The books Way Out There and Liberalized feature her work.