Thursday, August 16, 2007
My husband says that I read the same book over and over. I know he's right, though I don't really like to admit it. I recently finished Plenty: One Man, One Woman and a Raucous Year of Eating Locally by Alisa Smith and J.B. Mackinnon. The premise of this book is very similar to Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle but the approach was a bit different.
The couple who wrote Plenty live in Vancouver and are not trying to grow their own food (though they do have a small garden in the community plot) but figure out how to source their food within 100 miles of their home. Their project did not appear to involve years of planning and it seemed they figured things out as they went along. There were humorous moments when they seemed to be eating not much more than potatoes. I think the fact that this couple does not have children probably contributed to their occasional laziness at coming up with a varied diet. I enjoyed reading about their many visits to locals farms and their quests to try to satisfy their cravings, particularly for flour. The authors do a good job of balancing the scientific information with their personal story, even delving into their relationship with one another, to make this fast-paced story both educational and entertaining.
I found this book to be an important one on this subject because it shows that even if you live in an urban area and don't have a lot of land to farm, it is possible to eat locally at least part of the time. It seems this couple was blogging or at least writing about their experience while they were living it and became somewhat well-known. They do maintain a website which includes testimonials from others who have tried to live on the 100 Mile Diet.