This book is part Omnivore's Dilemma, part travel memoir, and part Cadillac Desert. The authors, in alternating chapters based on alternate months, describe the experiences and meals of a year spent eating food from within 100 miles from their home in Vancouver. I enjoyed Alisa's chapters more than J.B.'s, who tends to ramble a lot about the history of the Northwest.
I did find myself thinking that their experience would be hard to duplicate for the average person. Both authors are writers, which allows them the time needed to pickle, cure, preserve, and separate wheat from the chaff. Also, the authors do travel fairly frequently for work. While they try to eat from within a hundred miles of where they are, I am sure the trip to Mexico spent enjoying the local 100-mile delicacies made the month of potatoes after coming home a little easier to bear!
Ultimately, this book is a memoir which documents an experiment designed to make the participants (and the readers) think about what they are eating and where that food is from. In that sense the book succeeds. I just wish the authors had focused more on the food aspects rather than getting so frequently sidetracked with other topics.
Overall, I'd say it was a great job by our intrepid duo, although there was were some digressions from their quest that veered the book into the memoir category. Being from the northwest myself, I consider BC/WA/OR to be one "food zone" as opposed to go going strictly by miles; this would have solved their "wheat dilemma" without all that agony (which I suppose made for copy).
bookaddict reviewed Plenty: One Man, One Woman, and a Raucous Year of Eating Locally on
I very much enjoyed this book about a couple trying to follow a "100-mile diet" (eating food grown within 100 miles of them) for a year. They alternate chapters, which made the narrative a bit richer - I confess that I liked her chapters better. Not preachy or holier-than-thou or didactic, it is a funny and interesting - if low-key - story, and I recommend it.
I really enjoyed this book. Written in alternating his and her voices about a year spent eating food grown only from within a 100 mile radius of their home. It's quite the challenge, for the writers as well as for the average consumer like me who doesn't have cows or chickens or grow her own produce. It's given me lots to tbink about -what it means to eat locally, eat mindfully and make a conscious effort to really think about where food is really grown, the length of the trip to get it onto super market shelves and our own carbon footprint. If anything, it has made me even more determined to get more creative about my food choices and doubling my efforts to further reduce my carbon footprint. I'll likely re-read this again soon.
Beth reviewed Plenty: One Man, One Woman, and a Raucous Year of Eating Locally on
The only reason I did not give this book five stars was due to format. Each chapter alternated between the authors and in the beginning I never realized it changed until the other author was mentioned. I found this very annoying. Once I realized what was going on, it was okay. I know it seems weak to deny the extra star because of this but I would have to go back and re-read the beginning of the chapter and I don't find that to be smooth reading. Otherwise, a five star wonderful book/story. It brought out the researcher in me as I know nothing about the Vancouver area or Canada for that matter. I tried to look up the website www.100milediet.org but it is nothing but asian writing. I don't know what that is about.
P.S. I read someone else's review and she thought the alternating chapters made the book "richer". Hmm.