From Publishers Weekly
Over a meal of fish, potatoes, and wild mushrooms foraged outside their cabin in British Columbia, the authors of this charmingly eccentric memoir decide to embark on a year of eating food grown within 100 miles of their Vancouver apartment. Thus begins an exploration of the foodways of the Pacific northwest, along which the authors, both professional writers, learn to can their own vegetables, grow their own herbs, search out local wheat silos and brew jars of blueberry jam. They also lose weight, bicker and down hefty quantities of white wine from local vineyards. Their engaging narrative is sprinkled with thought-provoking reportage, such as a UK study that shows the time people spend shopping the supermarket-driving, parking and wandering the aisles-is "nearly equal to that spent preparing food from scratch twenty years ago." Though their tone can wax preachy, the wisdom of their advice is obvious, and the deliciousness of their bounty is tantalizing-if local eating means a sandwich full of peppers, fried mushrooms, and "delectably oozing goat cheese," their efforts appear justified.
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Smith and MacKinnon revolt against the industrial model of food distribution and determine to spend a year eating nothing raised or cultivated beyond a 100-mile radius of their British Columbia home. They seek not just health benefits and fuel efficiencies but they also want to reconnect with small, local growers, millers, fishermen, and ranchers to create a community where the consumer knows both where the food comes from and who has produced it. British Columbia, with its Marine West Coast climate, its rivers full of salmon, and its proximity to the sea, offers unique opportunities to pursue this resolve. Along the way, the authors learn a lot about nutrition and uncommon varieties of fruits, vegetables, and herbs, and all the data is shared with the reader. Satisfying all their family's hungers proves daunting but scarcely impossible. Entries for each month conclude with a recipe reflecting use of seasonal ingredients. Knoblauch, Mark Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved