Thursday, October 25, 2007

One of the many reasons I love NYC

I've recently been reading the book Plenty by Alisa Smith and James MacKinnon (and it's not just because it has a big tomato on the cover). It's all about how they spent a year in Vancouver eating within 100 miles of their home - now known as the 100 mile diet. I happened to be reading one of my email event lists and saw that James MacKinnon will be lecturing on this subject in early November in New York City. It's like my own personal book club with the author... except it's not really personal since this is NY and it's open to the public. But I'm excited to hear first-hand about his challenges of eating locally.

I've blogged about this subject before with a local lunch made from fresh tomatoes, basil, mozzarella, and a baguette. But after reading part of the book, I've now realized it's not as easy as I blogged. The first 2 ingredients on my list - tomato and basil are definitely local. However, I'm unsure where the milk came from to make to make the cheese, and am also unsure of the source of flour and other ingredients for the baguette. Flour was a big topic in the book because you need it to make a lot of things, but the authors had a really hard time finding anything created within 100 miles. Ah well, at least locally-made bread is way better than that nutrient-lacking spongy stuff that you buy at the grocery store that lasts for several weeks. And reading the book has made me think more about the origins of the ingredients in prepared food - not just where it was all mixed together.

One of the conclusions from the book is that eating local is a lot of hard work... and also includes a diet with a whole lot of potatoes. Sounds like the food I ate in the cafeteria as a college freshman. At least Alisa and James have proven that not all potatoes have to be deep fried to taste good.


  1. I'd say there is a good chance the milk for the cheese came from the region, although strange things are known to happen in such an oil-laden economy. The grains in the bread are likely another story though... but yeah certainly local bakery is a good step. Kind of interesting how we have to work so hard to find these things out. Makes me wonder why we haven't seen more Purely Local restaurants particularly in places like NYC. You may be posting more about local food lately than me:) Keep up the good work!

  2. Yes, I wonder why there aren't more purely local restaurants, too. Guess we need some "locavores" to start some up.