The Fife Diet: Will the Wee Bairns Still Ask For McDonalds?


271 km² is just a little over 100 square miles. It is also the area of Scotland's third largest local authority, Fife. Which makes it a prime candidate for a Scottish version of the now famous 100 Mile Diet from Vancouver.

Inspired by James and Alisa's story, Mike Small, his wife Catherine and their offspring are now over a month into The Fife Diet, which they figure on doing for the requisite 12 months. They've encouraged others to join them, so they might share the experience. As they say, "It's no good just saying no. We can't just oppose Tesco's, rage against food-miles and rant against food packaging. In all aspects of socio-ecology we need to build alternative platforms and movements from within the shell of the old decaying society."

In an article on the endeavour, the Guardian took comment from Peter Melchett, policy director of the Soil Association. "It can't be understated how important the carbon footprint of food is," he said. "Every major supermarket in the UK has a policy of sourcing local food, and they are all responding to something they see going on and to changes in the market. The local sales through farm shops, farmers' markets and cooperatives in the UK last year and the year before rose faster than sales of organic food in the supermarkets."

Apparently Fife is a canny place to undertake such an experiment. It's credited with some of Scotland's best farmland and fishing ports. "And even in February it should still be possible to eat fresh beetroot, broccoli, carrots, potatoes, leeks and mushrooms grown on Fife farms."

Mike Small is philosophical about the results he and fellow Fifians might obtain, "We're not saying we've got all the answers. We've got small children, we work, and we're crap at gardening. We are not The Good Life, but it will just be interesting to see if it can be done. It might be that we can't do it and it ends up that we just buy seasonally and more locally."

Read about their adventures with local food on the project's blog. The Fife Diet

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