Sunday, June 20, 2010

So the journey begins.

few months ago, Nathaniel and I happened upon a show on the Food Network entitled “The 100 Mile Challenge", and we were immediately fascinated by the concept of only eating locally grown/produced food. Inspired by those who took part in this challenge, we decided to embark upon our own mission to spend the summer only eating and drinking that which could be grown, foraged for, or otherwise produced within 100 miles of Toronto.

We started doing more research and were shocked to realise just how much of the food we eat on a daily basis is imported: as an example, even though Ontario strawberries are more than abundant at this time of year, most major grocery chains only carry those shipped in from Mexico. It was quite shocking to actually take a moment and consider the ecological footprint necessary to cart all of this over to us for our apparent convenience, when we could be supporting local farmers and food artisans instead.

As Nathaniel so succinctly put it,
“Essentially we're sourcing as though we're living 100 years ago, and importing from across the ocean just wasn't feasible." When we give pause and think about it, it's only been since the industrial revolution that we've had the means to transport luxury food items from across the world into our homes, and ingredients that were once considered rare and exquisite are now taken for granted. Very few of our Victorian Era ancestors would have had access to the foods we eat on a regular basis, so it's interesting to take a step back and perhaps emulate the sort of diet they would have had. There is also a great deal to be said for appreciating high-quality foods that are created with care by small-scale producers, rather than churned out en masse by industrial farms.

I have no illusions that this challenge is going to be a simple one.

We're approaching food preparation and consumption from an entirely new angle, and in many ways we'll be on an incredibly steep learning curve. In terms of our cooking styles and preferences, both of us have been very dependent on ingredients and spices that are imported from far-off climes
( avocado, cumin, lemons, and pepper are just a few that come to mind ), but I've never been one to back away from something just because it might be difficult. We're going to chronicle our journey here, with all of its ups and downs ( hopefully more of the former than the latter! ) and with any luck, perhaps we'll be able to inspire some other folks along the way.


Cananada June 30, 2010 at 10:47 PM  

Inspiring, much.
You guys are amazing.
Thank you.

Catherine (Cate) July 2, 2010 at 10:30 AM  

<3 Thank YOU!!!