Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Millennium Exception

I've been getting a lot of questions about what I will include and exclude  from my diet over the next year starting in June. Before I mentioned that 80% of food spending would be local. However, it doesn't seem specific enough, especially since there are plenty of non-local foods that are cheap.

So thanks to my Dad's suggestion, I am adding the "millennium exception" to my local food challenge. This means that anything that has been internationally traded for more than 1000 years will be okay to eat. 1000 years ago trading was occurring with little ecological impact, partially because it was a much smaller scale, but also because the foods were preserved and didn't have "expiration dates", so there wasn't a constant need for shipping.

What foods have been traded for more than 1000 years? So far I found out: spices, olive oil, cheese, wine, wheat, maize, rice, and dried figs. I guess I'm going to get a little history of international food trade while I'm at it!

Bottom line: I'm going to try to eat as much local as possible, but I will make exceptions for some "millennium" foods, especially spices and olive oil.  Also, so as to not socially exclude myself, I will make exceptions for the occasional night out for dinner with friends.

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