Locavoracious | Bleader

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


Posted By on 03.21.07 at 11:33 AM

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Speaking of eating locally--superstar locavores Alisa Smith and James MacKinnon of the 100-Mile Diet just announced the publication of their new book, Plenty: One Man, One Woman, and a Year of Eating Raucously. (Or if you're Canadian, as they are, The 100-Mile Diet: A Year of Eating Locally -- which, frankly, is a way better title, complete with branding power. What were you thinking, American marketing team?)

The 100-Mile Diet was a yearlong project in utopian living undertaken by Smith and MacKinnon, two Vancouver-based writers (he a former editor of Adbusters) hereinafter referred to as SMacK. On their Web site, the epiphanic moment is described in appropriately idyllic prose: "Like many great adventures, the 100-mile diet began with a memorable feast. Stranded in their off-the-grid summer cottage in the Canadian wilderness, Alisa Smith and J.B. MacKinnon turned to the land around them. They caught a trout, picked mushrooms in the forest, and mulled apples from an abandoned orchard with rose hips in wine. The meal was truly satisfying; every ingredient had a story, a direct line they could trace from the soil to their forks. The experience raised a question: Was it possible to eat this way in their everyday lives?"

Apparently it was, and they did, setting themselves the task of drawing all their provisions from within a 100-mile radius of their home. It's a noble project with undeniably great narrative potential: loony and quixotic, so idealistic it's doomed to fail, its triumphs and tribulations offering Truths About Life -- a sort of Julie and Julia through the sustainably produced lookingglass. Thank god SMacK have a sense of humor about the whole endeavor. From the online excerpt, on weevils in the wheat berries: “‘The crop is ruined,’ Alisa moaned. ‘It’s like Little House on the Prairie.’” Better still is Anthony Bourdain's publicity blurb: “I think they're nuts.”

The book comes out next month and SMacK are embarking on a six-month-long book tour. No word yet if they're coming to Chicago; will keep an eye on that.

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