What should your boundary be for being a locavore? Many select a radius around their home, within which all of their food should be purchased from. There is a book called “The 100 Mile Diet” (next on my reading list) but for me I mostly stick to Essex County for fresh products so that’s only a maximum of 55km (34 miles) with a trip to Leamington.
If you grew up in this area, then you are probably familiar with seeing Cabana Potato Chips on the shelf at your local convenience store. These chips – now called “Uncle Rays” – are produced in Detroit, Michigan. So is this still local? While my purchase may not put too much money back into our local economy (but the local store owner will still make something from me so that’s good), the environmental burden to bring me the food is minimal, so I’ve put it on my list.
I can’t source all of my ingredients locally so when I make purchases I try to find a product that was made in Ontario at least, but some of these are still 500km away so I may substitute a Detroit area item if it is available.
If you know of a local product, I would gladly switch so please contact me with suggestions!
Essex County’s first local strawberries of the year are now available!
Raymont’s Berries (near Cottam) now has early strawberries for sale at their stand at 447 Road 9 ( or County Road 14 near Kingsville).
I’ll be stopping by on Saturday to test these berries and to get more information.
I recently read Real Food For a Change by Wayne Roberts, Rod Macrae, and Lori Stahlbrand (available at the Windsor Public Library).
I found the book full of great ideas of how to make small or large changes with your local eating habits. I was impressed by the depth of the ideas and the ability to take their advice and work it into your lifestyle.
Here are just a few examples that I have implemented:
- Eat raw fruits and vegetables as much as possible to maximize the nutrients you receive
- Use a planter, unused parking space, or flat roof to plant some of your own vegetables
- Buy directly from local producers or join a food or garden coop/food share program
- Buy local, seasonal produce to ensure the best-tasting dishes
They provide scary statistics of what we’re eating: what is in the food, how long it took to get here, etc. They also have a lot of opinions on some hot topics and I enjoy reading other people’s interpretations of data that is released. They also talk to different individuals who have successful business based on/around local produce and I liked how it provoked me to think about how any of these ideas could be a successful business model for Windsor-Essex County.
I did find this book very political though (a bit too much for my liking) and some of their theories were a bit far-fetched. For example, they say that because hospitals burn their medical waste, they are releasing cancer-causing toxins into the air that are making people sick, thereby creating their own customers and ensuring the survival of their business. I don’t know if there are other options for medical waste but it just sounded a bit ridiculous to me.
I would recommend picking up the book and going through it; it’s an easy read. You can skip over issues you already know about or do not want to know their opinion on.
Here’s an excerpt from the back cover if you need more convincing:
Real Food for a Change addresses this growing anxiety around food. It’s an eater’s guide to the galaxy with elegantly simple choices individuals can make in how they eat and how they shop.
Many books deal with the connections between diet and health. This is the only one that makes the connection between personal health, the health of our community, the health of our economy and the health of the planet. It’s a visionary guide that will help you make healthy, environmental and ethical decisions about food, and it does it with humour and style.
I hope you enjoy the read!