Living On The 100 Miles Diet, Part 2
A reader of Treehugger has criticized the 100-mile diet experiment and "food miles" research and it made us reflect on the articles. We think that their worth depends largely on how you look at them. Take the 100-mile diet experiment: If you think the series of articles is a call for everyone to turn to a similarly strict diet and renounce most of their favorite foods because they are not produced locally, then yes, it's pretty pointless to wish for much change to happen that way. But if you look at the articles as an experiment that aims at raising awareness about how much energy goes into what is on people's plates and encourage them to make some changes to their eating habits, then the series of articles will probably be successful. Lets have a look at part 2 of the 100 Miles Diet: In it, the couple decides to make some compromises to their near-vegan diet and start looking for local organic eggs. Predictably, things get a little complicated.They do find a suitable local organic farm that raises chickens, but to read about that you'll have to look at the article.
What interested us most was this:
When it comes to eating locally, we've had to abandon strict vegetarianism.
The strange fact is that vegetarianism as commonly practiced is, like the rest of the industrial food system, propped up by the globalization of food and everything that it entails, including a total disconnection between food consumers and producers, and the cataclysmic ecological costs of shipping food around the world. At its worst, global vegetarianism is still cleaner and greener than global meat-eating, and is certainly more humane. On a local level, though, the questions are more complicated.
Globalization of food production has rewarded high volume and low costs so much that it can sometimes be hard to find variety and quality on the local level. We're curious to know: Are our readers that try to eat local food as much as possible faced with similar dilemmas? If you can't find something locally, do you buy it anyway or do you do without? How much are you ready to give up to stay local?