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Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2010

Urban Ecology Center Talks ‘Plenty’ About Local Food

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Our city’s “Eat Local Challenge” (through Sept. 14; www.eatlocalmilwaukee.org) encourages Milwaukeeans to reflect on what we consume and where it comes from as a way to inspire us to eat healthy and live lightly. 

Stepping outside of the industrial food model and our consumer-driven, fast-paced, fast-food culture by purchasing locally grown food at farmers’ markets and natural food stores is becoming an increasingly popular way to help the planet.

Canadian authors Alisa Smith and J.B. MacKinnon, however, took it a step further. After learning that food often travels great distances to reach our homes, they committed themselves to a year of eating only locally grown food (defined as food grown within 100 miles of their apartment in Vancouver, British Columbia). Smith and MacKinnon’s experiment, a 12-month journey to reconnect with the people and places that produced what they ate, culminated in the book Plenty: Eating Locally on the 100-Mile Diet.

Smith and MacKinnon knew this test would not be easy—365 days without sugar, beloved cereals and even their favorite beer—but little did they know that the year would transform their lives. Plenty offers readers an enlightening, thought-provoking story as told by a humorous, warmhearted Canadian couple.

Smith and MacKinnon are both free-lance journalists. Smith writes regularly for Reader’s Digest and has been nominated for a National Magazine Award. MacKinnon is the author of the acclaimed nonfiction book Dead Man in Paradise and has been the recipient of three National Magazine Awards for journalism.

Milwaukeeans are invited to a book discussion on Plenty at the Urban Ecology Center on Tuesday, Sept. 14, at 7 p.m., sponsored by Boswell Book Co. (The authors will not be present at the discussion.) To register, call 414-964-8505.

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