Feature Menu

Dig in A Little Deeper: 100 Mile Diet

The “100 Mile Diet” is pretty much what it sounds like: you source everything you eat (or as much as possible) from within a 100 mile radius of your house, and, in many ways, it has become the poster child for eating like a TreeHugger. Because everything you eat (or, again, as much as possible) comes from your own neck of the woods, it makes some very tangible differences, like cutting way back on food miles — from an average of 1500 miles to less than 100 — and some less tangible ones, too, like forcing you (in a nice way) to really think about where everything you consume comes from, and helping you engage in mindful eating and consumption. As a follow-up to yesterday’s intro to green eating practices [], practicing the 100 mile diet is one way to green your food in a hurry, and TreeHugger has a slew of info on it. Here are some of the best.

1) We were first introduced to the idea [] a few years back (here’s part two []), where we learned what some of the implications were for living on such a diet. These include both good things — fewer food miles, a palpable connection to our own food supply — and bad, like reduced selection, less variety and far less convenience.
2) Still, we liked the idea enough to hold a contest for a 100 Mile Thanksgiving [] (pictured below); after we gave them a cheat sheet, for the New York area, at least [] readers sent in their menus, and we were impressed by the winner’s [] ability to assimilate the contest with the tradition of the big meal.
3) The movement has gained enough traction among gourmets and foodies to have a name coined for those who practice it: locavores []. Clever, don’t you think?
4) As the idea became less and less obscure, more and more people began needing more information; as such, the 100 Mile Diet website [] was born.
5) In the same vein, we found dinner party menus [] for 100-mile diets in four cities, helping to prove that it is indeed possible to follow the 100 mile rules and still have an entertaining, satisfying evening with friends.

6) Still, finding suitable food (and enough substitutions) is an ongoing challenge, but we have some ideas and resources [] to help combat this predicament.
7) TreeHugger even practiced what it was preaching, and had a little dinner gathering for some of its staff [] (pictured below) in Newport, Rhode Island; it was a perfect 100-mile meal, but it sure was fun!
8) If doing it yourself is still too intimidating or time-consuming, it’s good to know that at least you can still go out for a good, local meal; Harvest Restaurant [] and Konstam [] are just two of many, many examples of restaurants jumping about the 100 mile bandwagon.