Alisa Smith and J.B Mac Kinnon, 2007, pg. 01 – 149 in The 100-mile diet. Vintage Canada Editions, Canada
This book is about a couple who decide to make a compromise on having a year with the 100-mile diet – which can be interpreted as having their meals that only composed of local ingredients that would be found within 100 mile from their house. The first half of the books is basically about how the authors first came up with the decision, their struggles and things they manage to explore during the journey.
The authors provide the details about their diet journal, in which they describe what they have achieved every month during this journey,how they manage to find the substitute ingredients, the knowledge about history of the national agriculture . They’re all to increase the understanding of people about farming culture and encourage them to adapt the lifestyle, in order to protect and preserve the vital nature resources.
The fascinating thing that draws me in is that the authors put many effort into finding the ingredients source and paying extra attention on them, from the way they are grown and then the transfer methods. All of those efforts are put in order to make sure that the couple are not going to break up the within – 100 – mile rule. For example, in pg.73, Alisa tell us about James’ visits to the farm “James, especially make sure to check it on the chickens with every visit. .. James has learned they were Hy-Line Browns, and even knew – more or less- their birthdays…”., or in pg.67, where Alisa describe how she was “the irritating woman who always asked, “ what do you have that’s local?”.
The chapters also mention something , which I’m really agree with, that is the concern about the natural abundance which may lead to the extinction of experience. In pg. 56, James wrote “Just one admitted that although he have seen cows, he had never seen “the black and white spotted dairy cows” , or Alisa also wrote about it in pg. 143 “we forget. The effect has been described as a double disappearance. We lost a species, or the abundance of a species, and then forget what it is we have lost”. We manage to become modernization by developing the industry, but at the same time, losing our farming culture and natural resources.
Little pieces of recipes in between the chapters are some things that also catch my eyes. These recipes let us – the readers experience what would it like to have a fresh and healthy diet, just like what the couple have been done for the whole year.They are all easy to follow, and just take a us a few minutes to complete.
One more little thing that I really like is that the way they write sometimes remind me of those traveling books which I really fond of. The chapters are not just solely about what the couple eat for their meals and recipes but also some details about beautiful places where the authors traveled to get the food, descriptions of interesting people with similar mind-set that they got to meet along their journey. It make me get easily engaged to their stories as I feel like i’m also the one who accompany them through out all the time.
Just as what James said as the end of the July chapter – pg. 105 “we felt like pioneers setting foot on a strange place called home”, I believe that what they did was extraordinary, especially with all innovation around the simplest source for the meals. And perharps,we may challenge ourselves with this diet, in order to rediscover the amazingness of these local ingredients around us.