Sustainable Development in Practice – local eating initiative

This week, student groups in my sustainability class made presentations on different sustainability initiatives being taken around the globe. I really enjoyed learning about all of these great initiatives, and have high hopes that many will be adopted for widespread use. Sustainable development initiatives like these are the key steps that we are going to have to take to ensure the generations after us can enjoy a quality of life that is similar to ours.

One presentation that particularly drew my attention was made on the concept of the 100 mile diet. As a … well, …let’s be honest,  ‘Part time’ vegetarian for mostly sustainability reasons, sustainable eating has always been somewhat of a personal interest. One reason why this presentation struck a chord with me may have to do with the fact that my attempt at sustainable eating practices has definitely taken a backseat these past few months. I like to blame this neglect on my rather hectic student lifestyle, although I know this is not a great excuse when it comes to something that I have defined as belonging to my personal morals. Suffice to say… the presentation gave me a much-needed kick out of my lazy, selfish attitude.

The concept of the 100 mile diet spawned from the non-fiction book written by Canadian authors Alisa Smith and J.B. MacKinnon. The book follows the trials and tribulations of the authors as they attempt to restrict their diet to only foods grown, produced, and sold within 100 miles of their home in Kitsilano, Vancouver for an entire year. Although the book the idea of local eating by no means a new concept, this book helped to popularize the locavore movement, which has been gaining even further population as of late, with spin off’s of the book occurring all over the place.

I have realized over recent years that the idea of food sovereignty – the right to have a say in where our food comes from, what is added to it,  how it is grown, harvested, produced, and transported – is and extremely important one. I simply wanted to take this opportunity and advise you all to give this idea some careful consideration. All Canadians need to have a say in where our food comes from and how it is being grown and harvested. We are importing far too much of the food we eat into the country  while local family farmers and food producers are struggling to compete. It would be far more sustainable for our environment AND our economy, not to mention healthier, to concentrate on producing our food locally for consumption within our country. Please take the time to check out the video below. It is sponsored by Hellman’s, but it delivers a really great message that I don’t think a lot of us are aware of as consumers.

Eating sustainably, and as locally as is possible is an important sustainable development initiative that needs to be practiced if we hope to achieve sustainability as a nation. In order for this to take place, we need to actively make an attempt to buy locally and demand local foods at our grocery stores.

Use this local food finder on the website to get started!


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