I missed this last year. The idea is that by trying to only eat food that is produced within a 100 mile radius of your home, you become more aware of what is available in your local area. As more and more people make even a small percentage of their food locally produced, the benefits to local economies and the environment grow. The challenge allows you to sign up to try the 100 mile diet for a single meal, a single day, a week or a month.
I signed up for a week and we will see how it goes. I am sure it will be easier to do at this time of year rather than in January, when I plan to try it again. I encourage everyone to try it for at least a meal or a day. Most of us will never make all our food choices local, but that does not seem to be the point of the challenge. I think by trying it out even for a short time, you will become much more aware of the issue and of just what is available locally. Having this awareness may change your buying habits a little and these small changes multiplied by everyone who accepts the challenge make a big difference.
This past month, July and August, I have seen organic fruit from Mexico and Southern California in one of our chain grocery stores. This same store was selling sweet corn from several states to our east. This is at a time of year when all of these food items are available within a few miles of our town. If everyone bought their summer produce from across town instead of from Mexico (1,000 miles), Southern California, (500 miles) or the mid-west, (900 miles) think of the trucking and fuel savings.
See if the 100 mile challenge increases your awareness of what is available locally. Once you learn what is available, and at what time of year, choosing becomes easier. I am not sure we really need a fresh tomato in February when they are trucked or flown in from South America or from a greenhouse hundreds of miles away. I have a variety of methods for preserving or freezing the tomatoes from my garden. These are the tomatoes I eat in the winter.
If you do take up the challenge, please post a comment letting me know how it went. Success or disappointment doesn’t matter. We can all learn from each others efforts!