Thursday, July 20, 2006

The Experiment: The Watershed Diet

While Brad is at Sirius Community taking a three-week permaculture course from Dave Jacke, Jono Neiger and John Gerber from Living Routes, I'm going to take on an experiment.

Inspired by a short article in Mother Earth News, "Taking On a Local Food Challenge," and The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollen, I will track my food for three weeks.

Week one, I will not change my diet. I'll still eat granola for breakfast, pick up my CSA on Tuesday afternoon, and sneak in some highly-processed foods. The only difference here is that I will document what I eat and do my best to figure out where it came from. This is so I have a control, or some data to compare.
Week two, I will switch to a locally-produced diet. This is a little different from an all-local diet. I'll still be able to drink coffee, for example, but it must have some level of local production -- like my favorites from Higher Grounds, who roast shade-grown fair trade beans. Beer is also still permissible here, but only from a local microbrew like Short's Brewing Company. PBR is out. So is Bell's.

Week three will be the challenge, with an all-local diet. The CSA is in, but the Short's brews are out. There's tofu from Oryana - and of course local wine and cheese.

There are many folks taking a similar challenge ( and others). Some eat foods grown within 100 miles, while others expand that range to 250. I will be using what's known here as the "Five County Area" to define my local area. Recording my experience in this blog, I will do my best to stick to the rules I have established for myself. My goal is not purity, but rather to add to and further the discussion about the complexities of the choices we make about the food we eat (and to get some oil off of my plate).

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