Saturday, August 1, 2009

The 100 (okay, 130) Mile Diet

Mike and I have been impressed by the amount of produce that one can find in one's backyard here in Cape Breton. We've also been appalled by the fact that no one here actually seems to take advantage of what is readily available and instead let it go to waste. As a result, we've decided to go local and only eat produce that has been grown on Cape Breton Island. The challenge we've set is to do this for the next three months but ideally, it would become a way of life. So for the next three months we will not BUY anything that is produced outside of Cape Breton or contains ingredients that are. The distance that most foods travel to arrive on our plate is just isane. Most of our lettuce, LETTUCE, come from China, (CHINA!!!). Totally ridiculous considering how easy lettuce is to grow in one's backyard. It is great to be supporting local farmers, seeing where one's food comes from, and especially NOT contributing to the the warming of the planet because of the amount of fuel it takes to transport our food from one end of the globe to the other.

We have decide that we will use what foods we have in the house even if they aren't local- nice benefit being that we have enough coffee stock piled until next year, and no, we didn't go out and buy a ton yesterday! We just cannot afford to toss the food that we have. Before long, it will run out and we will HAVE to come up with ways to replace it. We did have to make an exception for wheat (and ONLY wheat) because there is no wheat/grain on Cape Breton island (believe me I have searched and questioned). We just cannot survive without wheat-no bread, no pasta- and it would have been a complete recipe for failure. We will, however, get our grain from the closest mill, which is in NB (though I may have found a NS source). All wheat products will be made at home with all local ingredients otherwise. We've also, for the moment, made an exception for dairy as well (which is why it's the 130 mile diet....the closest, that we know of, dairy supplier is 129.7 miles "the way the crow flies" away). I will certainly be looking for a closer source though.

Day 1 (today) of the diet started with an early morning trip to The Cape Breton Farmer's Market where we bought a nice variety of local produce and meat.


Swiss chard, celery, chanterelle mushrooms, beets, white turnip, snap peas, carrots, tomatoes, broccoli, spinach, cabbage, free range chicken, smoked halibut (with sea salt from here), salmon and shrimp.

Lunch consisted of homemade tomato soup, spiced with herbs from my garden, and thicken with milk and potatoes. We decided that we might actually starve on this "diet".

Supper turned out to be a bit more substantial (though pricey with the free range chicken and chanterelle mushrooms...we'll wait for something cheaper to come into season!!)


Maple (local) glazed free range chicken with thyme (from my garden), salad (from my garden) with local tomatoes, caramelized carrots (local) and beans (from my garden), and chanterelle mushrooms cooked with garlic scapes (from my graden).


The kids menu: RAW...of course, they wouldn't touch the little bit of mushroom I gave them! They are catching on quick. They finished the last of the orange juice with supper and I told them that they would be getting any more and Liam said "...because oranges aren't local". I hate to hear what he says, though, when I tell him that sugar isn't local either!
Our only real fear for this week was the lack of fruit we have. Sure, we've picked cherries but that was it. Then, as if planned, after supper there was a knock at the door and some wonderful local young adults offered us fresh local blueberries that they picked this afternoon. They (both the kids and the berries) were wonderful (and there are PLENTY left over).


I'll certainly keep you up to date on this adventure in healthy eating and share any great creations I might come up with (and maybe some failures, too *lol*)

To learn more about The 100 Mile Diet click here.


  1. love love love this!!! good for you guys!! that food looks so so good!! now i get why you understand how excited i was about that store i found today! i wish it was closer to me I"m dreaming of all that great stuff right now :)

  2. [...] stuff but it is a bit of an addiction to me and I do drink WAY less than I did many years ago. Back in August before I found we were expecting, Mike and I were doing a really good job with healthy local eating [...]