Introduction by Josh Fattal
Click here to get a PDF of the 100-Mile Diet Zine
The word “diet” is a turn off to a lot of people. So we decided to get a bunch of people together, harvest foods with our friends in the region, eat nourishing foods, and celebrate what we are calling the 100 mile Riot. That is, we are only eating food that is grown within 100 miles of our home in the Southern Willamette Valley. While learning about food production, science, traditions, geography, nutrition, economics, politics, history, and whatnot, we’ve done some of our own investigations, research, and reflections.
At Aprovecho, we’ve been thinking about this project of eating 100 percent locally for a while. The experiment has proven to be a worthwhile endeavor. It has re-shaped our palate, altered our cooking styles, and shifted our psychology about food. Food and substance addictions have teamed up with profit-seeking behavior to stimulate the slave trade, the colonial spice trade, the dust bowl, and the on-going food and ecological crises. By taking the collective action to create and live within an autonomous food network, we are weaning our selves from many addictions. Putting coffee, tea, sugar, chocolate, and tobacco behind us along with tempeh, soymilk, olive oil, bananas, and turmeric, we are experimenting with independence, both personal and social.
To care for your bioregion, be your bioregion. We are becoming the Southern Willamette Valley. They say, you are what you eat. This Zine shares a slice of our experience of substituting camas, acorns, potatoes, sunchokes, buckskin beans, filberts, mushrooms, dairy products, apple cider, and thyme for the staples in the food market. The first three articles depict the anxiety of breaking our addiction to the food system and our attempt to understand what we left behind, the labels, the logic, and the veils of information. Then five successive articles discuss who is left behind both domestically and internationally in the current food economy with discussion about two constructive options: cooperatives and education. The last three articles wrap up our experience by detailing the hands-on nature of this project: harvesting mushrooms, cracking nuts, grinding grain, and stewarding the ducks to the afterlife.
May you benefit by our experience!