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After scrounging a meal in their remote mountain holiday shack in British Columbia, James and Alisa start to think about the journeys that the foods they eat have taken around the world and the environmental cost of all those food miles. (North America: food travels an average of 1500-3000 miles from farm to plate and the distances are increasing.) They decide to eat only food grown in a 100-mile radius of their Vancouver home for one year. They know there are certain staples and favourites they'll have to do without, but they gear themselves for the challenge. Taking alternate chapters through the book Alisa and James each tell the story of their year. Each chapter has a recipe, details of the foods they sourced, how they cooked them as well as the experiences of hunting out the foods and the people that grew them. Although many the foods that they can and can't source are quite different from those available and not available to a person in Melbourne (which would be different for someone in Sydney, Perth or Auckland . . . ) the stories they tell of searching out foods from local growers, or cooking with ingredients they are unfamiliar with (but that their grandmothers have recipes for), the cravings they have for certain foods, and the lengths they go to for a slice of bread (separating mouse poo from grains of wheat, grain by grain with a credit card) are interesting, endearing and often humorous. But most of all The 100 Mile Diet is a story of people connecting with their environment-the land and the people.
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