In the North American industrial food system, the average distance from food source to plate is 1,500 miles. The 100 Mile Diet refers to the purchasing, consumption, or production of food all within a 100-mile radius from an individual’s residence. The phrase was coined in 2005 by James MacKinnon and Alisa Smith, two Canadians who prescribed a one-year experiment of only eating food produced no further than 100 miles from their home. This included all meat and dairy.
For James and Alisa, the purpose of following this diet was to reduce their ecological footprints and support local farming communities. Today, the couple no longer follows the diet, but tries to eat locally grown food as much as possible. Nowadays, the common term for an individual primarily eating local food is “locavore.” People all across the country are engaging in this practice. Eating locally is gaining momentum with the rapid growth of Farmers’ Markets and CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture).