Diet by miles

Couple champion eating foods from within 100 miles of home

Necessity was decidedly the mother of invention when it came to the creation of the 100-Mile Diet. Canadian couple Alisa Smith and J.B. MacKinnon conceived of it in 2005 after they found themselves stranded in their wilderness cabin and had to turn to the land around them for sustenance. What followed was that the couple’s reliance upon fresh-caught trout, forest mushrooms and apples foraged from an abandoned orchard turned into a way of life.

Increasingly popular with foodies and greenies alike, the 100-Mile Diet focuses on food procured within a 100-mile radius of one’s home (or, if traveling, within 100 miles of wherever one finds oneself). Smith and MacKinnon’s 2008 book, Plenty: Eating Local on the 100-Mile Diet, the account of their year spent eating only local foods, received glowing praise from the likes of environmental activist Dr. David Suzuki and chef/author Deborah Madison for its insight into eating healthfully by eating locally produced foods.

Smith and MacKinnon’s Web site,, offers information on the health benefits (including losing weight) of eating locally as well as a list of 100-Mile-Diet/“locavore” groups, mostly in the United States and Canada, and recipes for 100-Mile-Diet eating in different regions.