I’ve been thinking about the 50 or 100 mile diets a lot lately, as I sit under a blanket, looking outside at the frozen ground covered in snow and ice. We’ve been frozen over since October/November and there’s no sign that it’ll melt soon.
My problem with the diets is that if you don’t live in a southern state or on a coast, you’re shit-out-of-luck for almost half the year. With the exception of root vegetables, nothing available in the local stores is local. One can only survive on carrots, onions and potato for so long (even if you add parsnips and turnips, it’s still a tough row to hoe).
So dealing with winter is problem number 1. Number 2 is that there are so many things that don’t even grow in a lot of the populated areas no matter what time of year it is. Off of the top of my head, here are some things that we’d have to give up because they don’t grow in the upper-center of the continent:
- cocoa & chocolate
- olive oil
- coconut and coconut milk
That’s just the start of it.
I get it. It’s better for local farmers. It uses less energy. Etc. The strawberries and grape tomatoes in the grocery stores right now aren’t the best you’ll have all year (though, I have to tell you I had a mini-watermelon last week that was better than any watermelon I had all summer/fall last year) — but you know what? I know that, and I accept what I’m buying during the winter for what it is. It’s variety. It’s keeping things interesting. And quite honestly, there isn’t a dicernable difference between the grape tomatoes I buy in August and the ones I buy in February. (I’m not going to compare them to the ones I can grow myself which I know have real flavour — but I don’t grow them, so these will do).
I’m going to go cut up that pineapple on the counter and make it into fruit salad with some bananas and mango. Maybe I’ll make some coconut curry soup and think about how life would be better if I followed a 100 mile diet. Or maybe I’ll just enjoy it for what it is.