High-tech food foraging

Connecting urbanites to the food they eat.

Credit: iStockphoto

Instead of having to stumble on that elusive roadside veggie stand, seafood shack or U-pick berry patch, urbanites now have access to the Local Food Directory
(www.localfooddirectory.ca), an interactive foodshed map that pinpoints B.C. farms, vintners, apiaries and more.

Through a collaborative effort, the geniuses from the 100-Mile Diet and LifeCycles Project societies have developed this web-based map of food systems to help people connect with farmers, producers and processors of local food.

Although the locavore go-to guide is still in its infancy, the Local Food Directory already provides some hard figures on the environmental and economic impact of food miles. For example, the directory indicates that honey is imported an average distance of 12,856 miles, but for every kilo of honey that’s purchased locally, an extra $1.54 of local economic activity is generated.

So where can local honey be found within a 100-mile radius of Vancouver? A couple of clicks will lead the high-tech food forager to producers that include Honeyview Farm in Rosedale (B.C.’s largest beekeeping farm) and Honeyland Canada in Pitt Meadows, plus others. The directory also lists larger urban markets that carry local products.

Anyone can register for a free account and add their favourite foodie haunts to the directory and help put B.C. products on the map. Or simply click through the categories and discover local sources of uncommon products, such as water buffalo, emu, jostaberries and quince.