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By J.B. MacKinnon and Alisa Smith

 “Eating locally isn’t just a fad like the various diets advertised on late-night TV—it may be one of the most important ways we save ourselves and the planet.”
-Dr. David Suzuki

“A funny, warm, and seductive account of how we might live better—better for the earth, better for the community, better for our bellies!”
-Bill McKibben, author, Deep Economy: the Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future


 

MacKinnon AND Smith_100 Mile DietThe 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 the people and places that produced what they ate. For one year, they would only consume food that came from within a 100-mile radius of their Vancouver apartment. The 100-Mile Diet was born.

The couple’s discoveries sometimes shook their resolve. It would be a year without sugar, Cheerios, olive oil, rice, Pizza Pops, beer, and much, much more. Yet local eating has turned out to be a life lesson in pleasures that are always close at hand. They met the revolutionary farmers and modern-day hunter-gatherers who are changing the way we think about food. They got personal with issues ranging from global economics to biodiversity. They called on the wisdom of grandmothers, and immersed themselves in the seasons. They discovered a host of new flavours, from gooseberry wine to sunchokes to turnip sandwiches, foods that they never would have guessed were on their doorstep.

The 100-Mile Diet struck a deeper chord than anyone could have predicted, attracting media and grassroots interest that spanned the globe. The 100-Mile Diet: A Year of Local Eating tells the full story, from the insights to the kitchen disasters, as the authors transform from megamart shoppers to self-sufficient urban pioneers. The 100-Mile Diet is a pathway home for anybody, anywhere.


“I think they’re nuts.”
-Anthony Bourdain, Author, Chef, and star of Kitchen Confidential

“Plenty posits a brilliant, improbable, and finally deliciously noble notion of connecting to the world by striving first to understand what’s under foot. Beautifully written and lovingly paced, it is at once a lonely and uplifting tale of deep respect between two people, their community, and our earth. Plenty will change your life even if you never could or would try this at home.”
-Danny Meyer, (Union Square Café, NYC) author of Setting the Table

‘This very human and often humorous adventure about two people eating food grown within a short distance of their home is surprising, delightful, and even shocking. If you’ve only talked about eating locally but never given yourself definitions—especially strict ones— to follow, I assure you that your farmers market will never again look the same. Nothing you eat will look the same! This inspiring and enlightening book will give you plenty to chew on.”
-Deborah Madison, author of Local Flavors: Cooking and Eating from America’s Farmers’ Markets

“What we don’t want or need is another lecture or more politicians pontificating about positive change for our wobbling planet. What we do need is the good spirit and keen curiosity that two young journalists, Alisa Smith and J.B. MacKinnon, bring to their heartening book. . . these are real people challenging themselves to turn their diets upside down and inside out, to become conscious of every single thing they eat, willing to suffer a bit in the process. It is a raucous year, indeed.”
The Oregonian

“[Smith and MacKinnon’s adventure is rife with conflict, and it’s a hell of a lot of fun…The characters in Plenty ring true (there’s a screwup brother, people get drunk), as does the vivid landscape that sustains them. . . Mostly, though, the book succeeds because Smith and MacKinnon don’t give a crap about being normal. Locavorism isn’t normal — that’s the point — and they fly their freak flag with bemused pride, giving themselves over to the mania that infects the newly converted….One imagines [Barbara] Kingsolver at home on her sturdy homestead shaking her head and clucking at those “trendy” kids, but they’re the ones I’d rather have dinner with.”
Chicago Reader

“The 100-Mile Diet is perhaps the quickest and cleverest way to build awareness of food miles, and the pleasures and challenges oflocal ‘foodsheds’…I embrace the noble challenge.”
-Wired.com

“If you read MacKinnon and Smith’s book, The 100-Mile Diet: A Year of Local Eating, it’s because the umbilical cord that used to connect us with our food has stretched filament thin over the last few decades and finally snapped. In their highly readable, sometimes funny and very personal book–with just the right nutrient content of hard fact to balance the spice of the memoir–the two explain how that happened.”
Victoria Times Colonist

“Engaging, thoughtful…packed with natural, historical and personal detail.”
Liesel Schillinger, The New York Times

“Succeeds because Smith and MacKinnon don’t give a ____about being normal. Locavorism isn’t normal—that’s the point—and they fly their freak flag with bemused pride, giving themselves over to the mania that infects the newly converted….One imagines Kingsolver at home on her sturdy homestead shaking her head and clucking at those ‘trendy’ kids, but they’re the ones I’d rather have dinner with.”
–Martha Bayne, Chicago Reader

“Potent and persuasive writing. . . What I like best about the book are its family reminiscences, many involving food, and its reminders of the power of reconnection–with the Earth and one’s community and oneself. ”
The Globe and Mail

“The 100-Mile Diet is inspiring in its honest striving to discover what has been all but lost.”
The Montreal Gazette

“This delightful book won’t make you pick backyard nettles, make gooseberry wine, net local smelt, or even reject mangoes in February. But it should make you think about the big food picture and become more appreciative of local producers.”
Toronto Sun

“Since they began their experiment, the authors have learned to shop and cook smarter. They’re more in tune with the earth, reveling in such seasonal delights as fresh walnuts. They have found ways to make eating locally more practical and pleasurable.”
The New York Times

“Smith and MacKinnon are gifted writers, and their inexperience at food sourcing makes them naturally more sympathetic. The rigid 100-mile rule means more challenges along the way, and tracking down food items takes the couple all over B.C. (within 100 miles), resulting in a host of fascinating cameos from friends and farmers. . . Despite a recent surge of writing on local food production systems, [Barbara Kingsolver’s] Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and The 100-Mile Diet benefit from their fresh, personal approaches. Readers can find something of value in each, though few will be pressed to take on both. . . The 100-Mile Diet is the more compelling of the two. . . Smith and MacKinnon’s struggles feel relatable in a society where far more food is bought than grown at home, however admirable the latter choice may be. ”
Winnipeg Free Press

“The book is thought-provoking and makes you want to try to eat locally.”
National Post


Publisher:

Random House Canada, April 2007

Harmony Books, US, April 2007 (entitled Plenty: Eating Locally on The 100-Mile Diet)

Text Publishing, Australia & New Zealand

Goodness Publishing House, Taiwan

Munhakdongne Publishing Group, Korea

Awards:

Finalist for the 2008 BC Book Prize/Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize

Finalist for the 2008 BC Book Prize/Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize

Other Books By J.B. MacKinnon