With spring firmly settling over the Palouse many of us are already picking dirt from underneath our nails. Spring and spring planting—whether it be food, foliage, or flowers—heralds the rising energy of life, scents of fresh greens and peas, and lambs cavorting on that luminous new emerald spring grass.
If we are lucky—as we are on the Palouse—these scenes, scents, and tastes of spring can help ground us in the midst of small farmers and growers who’ve built their lives around feeding their community. From that energy comes our May Good Food BookClub selection, Plenty: Eating Locally on the 100-Mile Diet by Alisa Smith and J.B. McKinnon. At heart, this is a book about choosing to build local community and food resilience by the “radical” act of eating almost everything from very close to home.
Where once human beings could only eat from nearby, now our food is shipped, trucked, and flown an average of 1500 miles before it hits out plates. When Alisa Smith and James McKinnon learned this startling piece of not-so-trivial trivia, they decided to opt out of that industrial food-supply chain. At least for a while. What they learned—and published about a decade ago—has already helped move the North American food culture in a more sustainable direction.
Based on Vancouver, Canada this couple decided to eat only food that sprouted or breathed from within a 100-mile radius. For a year. What they learned permanently changed how they (and many others who’ve learned from their experience) eat, and how they build community resilience. This reclaiming of local food resilience is not only necessary in our era of paradigm-shifting fuel economies and political upheaval, it’s a way of life that’s speeding at us faster than we may realize.
Plus, it’s a great read.
Please join us to discuss Plenty: Eating Locally on the 100-Mile Diet by Alisa Smith and J.B. McKinnon (Clarkson Potter, reprint edition 2008) on Sunday, June 3 (note date shift in honor of Memorial Day weekend) from 4:30-6:00pm at a member’s private residence. Location and details will come in this month’s email reminder. Remember to email firstname.lastname@example.org to receive reminders about the Good Food Book Club. Plenty is available through your local library. If you are interested in buying the book, check out the area’s local used book stores or visit BookPeople of Moscow where Book Club members receive a discount. For more information about the Good Food Book Club, check out the Outreach section of the MFC website at www.moscowfood.coop.
- Rachel, Book Club President