Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Thinking about the 100 mile diet

I'm sure you all have heard of the 100 mile diet – where everything you eat for a meal (or a year – your choice) comes from within 100 miles of where you live. This not only keeps your spending in the local economy helping farmers you are likely to meet, but it also cuts down on your carbon foot print by not having your food travel so far (often shipped from overseas). On the website for the 100 mile diet, you can put in your zip code and it shows a map with a 100 mile radius circle drawn on it – That's so cool.

100 miles radius around here covers a lot of wilderness area, as well as beef ranches and the requisite alfalfa fields. There was one good sized town just on the edge of that circle (if I nudge it a little) and that had its origins in food production, peaches and pears, and apples so that was encouraging. Last I checked there were still food producers in the area. I know they also put in vineyards years ago so local wine production will be an option. I don't think we'll do a strict 100 mile diet but I am going to concentrate on finding sources of locally and close by produced goods.

{warning, rant ahead} I've been turning on the news lately just to watch the fuel prices. One article in this morning's news said that in the next 3 years fuel could reach $7 to $10 a gallon. It was what followed that really shocked me however. The interviews with people sitting in their cars said that they would have to change their habits then – take public transit, ride bikes, and mopeds. Wow, EXCUSE ME? What happened to making those changes at $3 and $4 a gallon prices? The "economics professor" at the (conservative) University said he agreed with those figures but didn't see his life changing too much in the next couple of years – he was optimistic. Somehow I find his optimism discouraging…. and I am I wrong, or are people are being affected now?


Melissa said...

your rant has inspired me to respond in kind :) what amazes me are the people who complain about rising gas prices and continue to drive huge SUVs...I just don't buy the argument that people NEED to drive those things. Especially here in CA. Sorry, get a smaller car if you don't like how much it costs to drive that thing. Taking public transport would be a prudent, but more drastic change, but so many people can't even bring themselves to make ANY change, like still driving, but in a more efficient vehicle. I think it's all indicative of a basic problem in our society though...soooo many people seem to feel entitled to whatever they want or feel they "should" have - cheap gas, cheap food, cheap everything really, without ever thinking about the non-monetary costs associated with those things.

Verde said...

I couldn't agree more. And in CA you all are paying the highest prics in the country!

CA has great public transit too. A country bumpkin like me can go to CA and not rent a car. In fact we are planning a family vacation to San Francisco and think we'll take the train and get a sleeper car making that part of the vacation.

Thanks for ranting with me :-)