miles from the mouth of the Fraser River where they live in the Pacific Northwest.
Their one-year experiment--which ran from March 21, 2005, to March 21, 2006--was inspired by a foraged meal they ate at their remote wilderness cabin in northern British Columbia. They began to wonder if they could eat more like that in the city. While MacKinnon and Smith are the next generation to the 1960s back-to-the-landers, the urban nature of their experiment was a crucial difference, now that 80 percent of people in North America live in cities (US Census 2000; and Canada Census 2001). MacKinnon and Smith got up-close-and-personal with issues ranging from the family-farm crisis to the environmental value of organic pears shipped across the globe. They reconsidered vegetarianism and sunk their hands into community gardening. They ate a lot of potatoes.
In April 2006 they founded the 100-Mile Diet Society , hoping to keep the momentum of their experiment going, after media attention ranging from the BBC to Utne Reader convinced them they had tapped into a serious grassroots longing for reconnection with food. In the first few months they gained thousands of members (called â€œ100-Milersâ€) pledging to eat local foods (â€œ100-Mile Mealsâ€) across North America. In fall 2006 they developed a 100-Mile Thanksgiving campaign, which garnered support from Treehugger.com, Local Harvest, the National Farmers Union, Locavores, and many Slow Foods chapters. The city government of Albany, New York, started its own eat local challenge. For MacKinnon and Smith's work promoting local eating, Maclean's magazine of Canada named them to its 2006 Honour Roll ( July 1, 2006) and they were also named to the Outside 100 (Top people, places, ideas and things) in December 2006.
Smith and Mackinnon have written a book on their experience: called Plenty (Harmony Books, April 2007) in the United States and The 100-Mile Diet (Random House, April 2007) in Canada.
External Links: http://100milediet.org/