Leda’s 250-Mile Diet begins August 7th, 2007 and lasts through August 6th, 2008. Here are The Rules:
1. All food to be sourced from within a 250-mile radius of Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY, USA except as noted below.
2. OK to use up non-local ingredients on hand as of the decision to do this experiment (decision made July 23rd, 2007). Not OK to stock up before start date on August 7th, nor to restock non-local items if I run out before the end date of the 250-Mile Diet Year.
3. I am allowed three “Trade Items” a.k.a. non-local ingredients I am going to continue using this year: olive oil, coffee, and salt (hey, humans have always traded for what they couldn’t produce themselves). All Trade Items should be organic whenever possible and sourced as locally as possible.
(I just got a pound of salt from the Maine Sea Salt Co.)
4. Rules are suspended when I’m invited by friends to dine with them, either at a restaurant or at their home. However, this exemption cannot be applied more than twice a month. The rest of the time, you’re coming over to my place for a 250-mile meal.
5. OK to accept and eat homemade food gifts that contain non-local ingredients. Wasting food is not the point of The 250, and did you really think I was going to turn down Ellen’s homemade preserves just because she used imported cane sugar to make them? One the other hand, let me emphasize homemade. This rule is not an attempt to solicit boxes of chocolate or other items you think I am going to die without.
6. Rules are suspended when traveling. However, on the road I should try to eat locally produced foods whenever possible (Hello?! Citrus and avocados in California, calamari in Greece…I don’t see a problem here.)
7. OK to bring back foods that were produced within 100 miles of a place I visit while traveling. This means I can bring home organically grown olive oil and Meyer lemons from California when I visit my family there in December. Yay. However, not OK to stock up quantity. Only what I can carry home with me.
I chose 100 miles for this Rule instead of 250 because when overseas 250 miles could include an entire country. That seems a little too generous a definition of “local”.
And that’s it, The Rules I’ll be living by for the next twelve months!