Brescia students issue 100-mile food challenge

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By Sabrina Janes
Monday, March 8, 2010
In celebration of Nutrition Month 2010 and its theme of "Celebrate food from field to table", the Dietitians of Canada (DC) student branch at Brescia University College is holding its first 100-Mile Challenge.
 
The 100-Mile Challenge advocates for eating locally grown or produced foods, challenging participants to re-examine the source of their foods and to familiarize themselves with the term “seasonally available” foods.  
 
The trend of eating local has been gaining momentum.  
 
Advocated by local farmers, celebrity chefs and high-end restaurants, professional associations, such as DC, and government bodies, eating local has become fashionable. The term “locavores” has been coined to describe individuals who only eat locally grown foods and ranks amongst those who eat “free-range” and “organic”.  
 
Eating local initiates questioning about where our food is from, how it is produced, and who is accountable for its safety and quality.   Eating local is practical for many reasons:
    Sustainability: it supports local economy and businesses
     
    Environmentally friendly: less energy and pollution is used to produce and transport food
     
    Taste: local foods are picked and delivered during peak season, providing more nutritious and flavourful foods
     
    Connection with food: visiting farmer’s markets allow the consumer to interact with the individuals who grow and handle our food
     
    Price: locally grown foods are comparable in price to the same products found in large-chain grocery stores

This is all in an effort to reconnect people with food, for consumers to realize that vegetables come from the ground and not out of a box.
 
The 100-Mile Challenge will be running from March 8 to 21 and all participants are welcome to challenge themselves to try eating only local foods for two weeks.   
 
Photo diaries and journals will be kept and submitted for prizes that include an mp3 player and gift certificates to a London eatery. Vouchers will be provided for use at the Covent Garden Markets on 130 King Street. A field trip will be arranged to visit Covent Garden to guide participants on what is available and to meet with the vendors. Brescia also has a farmer’s market every Tuesday (10 a.m.-5 p.m.) run by the O’Shea family.  
 
Anyone interested in participating can contact either Jaclyn or Natalie at uwo100mile@live.ca for more information including instructions, specific rules, recipes, and Covent Garden vouchers.  
 
For information about Nutrition Month 2010, Covent Garden and eating local links, visit:  
 
Nutrition Month 2010 “Celebrate food…from field to table” (Dietitians of Canada) http://www.dietitians.ca/public/content/eat_well_live_well/english/nutritionmonth/index.asp  
 
Health Canada – National Nutrition Month http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ahc-asc/minist/messages/_2010/2010_03_01-eng.php  
 
Covent Garden Markets http://www.coventmarket.com/  
 
100 Mile Challenge – Local Food Providers for Ontario http://100mile.foodtv.ca/providers/province/on
 
Eat Fresh…Eat Local Farm Map http://www.healthylivinginfo.ca/mlhu/cmsAdmin/uploads/farm_map09_001.pdf  
 
Foodland Ontario – Seasonal Food Availability Guide
 
The writer is a student in Brescia's food and nutrition program.
 

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