The article you just read was brought to you by a few thousand dedicated readers. Will you join them?

Thanks for coming by The Tyee and reading one of many original articles we’ll post today. Our team works hard to publish in-depth stories on topics that matter on a daily basis. Our motto is: No junk. Just good journalism.

Just as we care about the quality of our reporting, we care about making our stories accessible to all who want to read them and provide a pleasant reading experience. No intrusive ads to distract you. No paywall locking you out of an article you want to read. No clickbait to trick you into reading a sensational article.

There’s a reason why our site is unique and why we don’t have to rely on those tactics — our Tyee Builders program. Tyee Builders are readers who chip in a bit of money each month (or one-time) to our editorial budget. This amazing program allows us to pay our writers fairly, keep our focus on quality over quantity of articles, and provide a pleasant reading experience for those who visit our site.

In the past year, we’ve been able to double our staff team and boost our reporting. We invest all of the revenue we receive into producing more and better journalism. We want to keep growing, but we need your support to do it.

Fewer than 1 in 100 of our average monthly readers are signed up to Tyee Builders. If we reach 1% of our readers signing up to be Tyee Builders, we could continue to grow and do even more.

If you appreciate what The Tyee publishes and want to help us do more, please sign up to be a Tyee Builder today. You pick the amount, and you can cancel any time.

Support our growing independent newsroom and join Tyee Builders today.
Canada needs more independent media. And independent media needs you.

Did you know that most news organizations in Canada are owned by just a handful of companies? And that these companies have been shutting down newsrooms and laying off reporters continually over the past few decades?

Fact-based, credible journalism is essential to our democracy. Unlike many other newsrooms across the country, The Tyee’s independent newsroom is stable and growing.

How are we able to do this? The Tyee Builder program. Tyee Builders are readers who chip into our editorial budget so that we can keep doing what we do best: fact-based, in-depth reporting on issues that matter to our readers. No paywall. No junk. Just good journalism.

Fewer than 1 in 100 of our average monthly readers are signed up to be Tyee Builders. If we reach 1% of our readers signing up to be Tyee Builders, we could continue to grow and do even more.

If you appreciate what The Tyee publishes and want to help us do more, please sign up to be a Tyee Builder today. You pick the amount, and you can cancel any time.

Support our growing independent newsroom and join Tyee Builders today.
We value: Our readers.
Our independence. Our region.
The power of real journalism.
We're reader supported.
Get our newsletter free.
Help pay for our reporting.
News

Top Local Food Ideas, From 100-Mile Diet's Creators

Join James MacKinnon and Alisa Smith Nov. 25 at MOV for next 'Food and Beers' event.

By David Beers 19 Nov 2010 | TheTyee.ca

David Beers is editor of The Tyee.

image atom
MacKinnon and Smith, who says: "Local food isn't some urban fad."

Five years after launching the 100-Mile Diet in Vancouver, what do its authors Alisa Smith and James MacKinnon think should go next on our menu of local food actions? After touring North America in the wake of their bestselling book, what local food experiments have they found most inspiring?

Find out by attending a very special edition of the Museum of Vancouver's Food and Beers series on Nov. 25, when Smith and MacKinnon share their top local food ideas being tried in other cities that could easily sprout and thrive in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia.

The pioneering locavore couple are returning home from their current base in New York state's Hudson Valley to share their insights as part of an exhibit and broad range of programming around local food at the Museum of Vancouver.

"The local food movement has taken off, and now there's an opportunity to take it deeper," MacKinnon says. "We'll be talking about some of the directions it might go next, and some of the projects we've seen that are going there."

"This won't be a policy primer, though," says Smith. "We're looking at real people who are creating new local food traditions and tapping into old ones."

Listen, chat, chew

This is the third of four Food and Beers evenings at the museum, and it promises to be not only satisfying intellectually but deliciously fulfilling as well. Guests will nosh on a wide assortment of local, sustainably sourced goodies as they listen to the presentation by Smith and MacKinnon, followed by a conversation with yours truly, and questions from the audience.

After the 100-Mile Diet series was first published (right here on The Tyee) in June of 2005, it was exciting, MacKinnon says, to travel the continent and sense the local food movement exploding.

"I remember when we were looking for an American publisher for our book, and in one meeting a woman said, 'This might be interesting out on the West Coast, but it would be impossible to eat this way in New York.' No one would say that now -- you could easily eat a totally local diet in New York City, or even a vegan locavore diet. That's an incredible shift in just five years," he says.

"At the same time," adds Smith, "local food isn't some urban fad. One of the areas we've been invited to the most is the American midwest. Most touching for me was when we were chosen as the community book for Alliance, Ohio. Think of the worst of industrial agriculture --1,000-acre soy bean farms where the farmer can't feed his or her family on the income. They had seen the downsides and wanted out."

And now MacKinnon and Smith are coming back to their home city to deliver a challenging message. When it comes to building a thriving local food economy, "Vancouver is definitely a leader -- but it isn't the leader," says Smith. "We can always take inspiration from other places. It might surprise people to learn, for example, that Michigan is doing more winter farming than Vancouver, or that people in Manhattan have better access to farmers' markets. Vancouver was a pioneer, but some other places have changed more quickly."

Taste of what's to come

Asked for a glimpse of what could be emulated in the Vancouver area, Smith says, "We need to move quickly to make cities places that make a real contribution to the food supply. This is all 'lost' farmland to number-crunchers right now, and we will prove that cities can be far more locally self-sufficient than they believe. Vancouver has a good civic attitude and good growing conditions, so all we need is more people actually acting on this. Let's grow more food in the winter too."

Adds MacKinnon, "I'd like to see Vancouver take the lead in making local food more accessible to people with less money to spend, and -- just as importantly -- to keep it from getting priced out of reach for people who buy it today. That is already happening in some places, because the demand for local food is outstripping the supply. Changing the supply side of the equation demands a bigger commitment from governments at every level from protecting agricultural land to supporting small farms."

Previous Food and Beers events at the Museum of Vancouver included a 100-Mile Iron Chef challenge with culinary aces duelling over hot grills to craft masterpieces from sumptuous local ingredients, and a blue ribbon panel of local food distributors, processors and preparers discussing how to get more local food onto store shelves and restaurant plates.

Next up, when the 100-Mile Diet inventors take the stage, you won't want to miss the inspiring examples of flourishing food initiatives they will be serving up.

To order tickets in advance click here.

The Food and Beers series is part of the The Museum of Vancouver fall exhibit, Home Grown: Local Sustainable Food, co-presented by FarmFolk/CityFolk. The Museum of Vancouver's Food and Beers events are sponsored by the Tides Canada Foundation.  [Tyee]

Read more: Food, Environment

Share this article

The Tyee is supported by readers like you

Join us and grow independent media in Canada

Facts matter. Get The Tyee's in-depth journalism delivered to your inbox for free.

LATEST STORIES

The Barometer

Tyee Poll: What Is One Art or Design Skill You Wish to Learn?

Take this week's poll