Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Smaller footprints...

Just finished up reading a book titled, "Plenty" written by two authors out of Vancouver, BC. This thought provoking book had me re-examine my own eating habits and cooking patterns. If you're looking for some food for thought (pun totally intended!) then check out this book!

The basic premise - this couple decides to try living off of foods found within a 100 mile radius of their home in the city for a year. Their quest starts in October. At first they had a hard time adapting their meals to stay within these boundaries. How many ways can you cook a potato? Where does wheat come from? How about rice? Or pineapples or oranges? What about wine or beer? They had to say goodbye to several things they became accustomed to. It really made them examine in fine detail about where all of our foods come from and how we can survive if the global economy comes to a stand still. It also gives some interesting history facts about the Vancouver area and the sustainability practices of Native Americans.

Once spring and summer rolled around, they were able to grow their own sustainable garden and use canning and root cellar techniques to get them through another hard winter. And once the year was over they actually continued to use truly local products - not only because of the ethics involved but also because they taste way better than anything imported.

And it made me think of my old next door neighbor Jo, who one summer taught me how to make black and blue berry jelly and tuck them away in the cupboard for times like today when you need a little something sweet on your toast.

Thankfully I live about a mile away from a PCC. For the most part they stick to local crops for their produce. But if you roam the isles of breads, crackers and frozen goods - you'd be amazed at how far some of those products travel to make it into your belly. Next time you're on the hunt for crackers - I dare you to find a single one made in Washington. It's harder than you think!

I guess I'm become more and more a hippie as I age. Bring on the quinoa and hairy pits! Anyone have any old overalls you'd like to get rid of?


xtine said...

I just read No Impact Man by Colin Beavan. He actually referenced the book you just read, and talked with the authors. Definitely worth a read if you liked that one.

Wine Gidget said...

Have you seen The Herbfarm's "100 mile dinner" where they adhere to the same principles and even have made their own salt from the Puget Sound to stay true to the premise? Great to not only see folks doing this at home, but also restaurants picking up the same sentiment.