Eating Local: The 100 Mile Diet

Kitsilano couple vow to eat only local food for a year.

Credit: Paul Joseph

Kitsilano couple Alisa Smith and J.B. MacKinnon

Kitsilano couple Alisa Smith and J.B. MacKinnon vow to eat only local food for a year and spark a revolution.

Imagine 365 long days without food or drinks containing staples such as sugar, olive oil and wheat. For an entire year, Kitsilano residents Alisa Smith and J.B. MacKinnon embarked on a new regime in eating, vowing to exist on food produced within 100 miles of their home. The pair said sayonara to many of their favourites, including olives, chocolate and beer.


‘Food and Beers’ Speaker Series: A Local Food Top Ten with James McKinnon and Alisa Smith

Thursday, November 25, 2010, 7 p.m.

Museum of Vancouver

1100 Chestnut Street, Vanier Park, Vancouver


What started out as an experiment has grown into a worldwide movement in local eating. So-called “100 milers” are cropping up in cities and towns everywhere and sharing their success stories and recipes on A group in Powell River has took on an ambitious 50-mile diet for a month, and a rebel Sunshine Coast farmer has started growing his own wheat. He’ll soon be able to satisfy 100-milers seeking some hot-buttered toast with their local free-range eggs in the morning.


What Smith and MacKinnon thought might be a trial in meagre eating actually opened their eyes to local delicacies such as spot prawns and sunchokes, along with a new appreciation for the selection of local flavours that are practically on their doorstep.


100-mile diet podcast


Listen to an interview with Alisa Smith and J.B. MacKinnon on

Did the couple cheat and sneak a sip of yeasty brew or a taste of tapenade? Find out in their recently published book, 100-Mile Diet: A Year of Local Eating (Random House Canada, 2007. $32).