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article image100 Mile Diet Challenge Brings Awareness to Locally Grown Freshness

By Andi Bryant     Sep 17, 2007 in Environment
The second annual 100 Mile Diet Challenge isn't intended to help lose weight, it brings the idea that local food is fresher and cleaner while breaking the dependency of fossil fuels to transport food goods.
A Group from Upstate NY will consume only locally grown foods during the month of September. A spin off of the 2005 '100 mile diet' where a Canadian duo ate only locally grown foods for a year, people throughout the Capital District in New York State will engage in a like-diet scaled down to last the month of September.
According to WNYT News, Cheryl Nechamen, a microbiologist from Schenectady, NY and founder of the Capital District Energy Action brings awareness to the peak oil problem through her 100 mile diet challenge. 'Switching to the 100 Mile Diet began with the family's desire to limit their dependence on fuels, but it's grown into much more than that, including an investment in our region' says WNYT.
The challenge is intended to bring awareness to the freshness of locally grown foods, while also avoiding foods that require long distance shipping. A great deal of produce found on the east coast travels from as far as California.
September is the best month for the challenge, now in its second year, as the area is full of fresh harvested fruits and vegetables.
Currently, there are 64 people who are signed up to participate, giving few exceptions to their new local only diet except for locally unobtainable items such as coffee, tea and chocolate.
There is a dedicated website listing challenge sponsors and events such as locally held farmers markets. "By eating local food, we reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and help protect ourselves from disruptions in our food supply," the website states.
Also hopping on board to locally grown awareness, some colleges are serving up more locally grown fare, and a blurb explains that the New York State Department of Health is backing an initiative to bring locally grown food items to local daycare centers.
The Challenge will cap off with a Harvest Dinner held in Balston Spa on September 28, offering a buffet style meal made from locally produced foods.
While the event is held for one month, events such as lectures are held throughout the year.
More information can be found on the Challenge's website .
More about 100 mile food, Local produce, Albany county
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