The 100 Mile Beer Diet and Other Ideas that Are Better Than They Sound At First Read!

My sweet Auntie Lou sent me Animal, Vegetable, Miracle for my birthday. I hadn't ever read it before, but it's funny how close my ideas are to the author's. I suppose we're all on the same communal wavelength or something. The basic idea is that it's a really good thing to eat food that is grown very close to where you live.

I just want to say here that, if you live in Antarctica on a diet of mangoes and deep fried zebra, that's certainly your business. "Whatever gets you through your life," as John would say. I certainly do not live my life as a carbon neutral wisp of a girl. So take this or leave it.

But I have found, in my gradual dips into doing this, that it does enrich your life. Eating is a big deal.

I guess I've been gardening for several years, mainly because my parents are not gardeners. My dad always says he has a "black thumb". Sometimes, in your youth, you do things to be a rebel, and I gardened. I married a man who could make plants grow, too, and I thought that was really sexy. Go ahead. Make fun of me! I'll just cry.

And then one day a few years ago I was listening to the radio, and they had some guy on who was explaining how much energy was wasted by transporting our food over thousands and thousands of miles, and I immediately grasped what he was saying. He suggested that everyone just eat food grown within one hundred miles of their home. I thought that sounded pretty limiting, so to start, I decided to just drink beer brewed within 100 miles of my home.

Considering that I live in Southern Wisconsin, this was not a huge sacrifice. You may think, also, that this would not exactly save the world, but actually, you're wrong, because I drink a lot of beer.

The next year, I enrolled us in a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). CSA's are the Commies' way of making us believe that they're cool, but once they take over, it will be three hour bread lines for everyone! Kidding. CSA's are where you pay once a year for a certain percentage of all of the farm's products for a season, or sometimes for the whole year. Our farm provided vegetables and eggs, and it was wonderful. Everything tasted great. Just great. It was unbelievable, the variety and flavor. The fresh vegetables sometimes taste nothing like the ones you get in the supermarket. I love brussel sprouts, now! Really. No joke.

Now that we moved to the country, we're too far from the CSA, but we're growing our own veggies and raising our own chickens. There's also a lady up the road who may let me do chores for her goat milk. (BAH thought it was really funny that I wrote, "CALL GOAT LADY" on the chalkboard this week where I write stuff to do.)

I also found cow's milk in glass jugs with the cream on top. Little Z is insane over this milk with Ovaltine.

And now that I am reading this book, I decided maybe a few more things should be bought locally. Staples. Like flour. (I bake bread quite often and make pizza at least once a week.) The closest flour mill to us, as it turns out, is a bit of a gourmet type place, and all organic. So, I put in an order on line for a bunch of specialty flours. (They are the closest, but still on the outer edge of 100 miles.) The box arrived today. I made pizza and OMG THE BEST FLOUR ON EARTH! SANTA MARIA!

So far, my eating locally experience can really be summed up in one word:



  1. In addition to being better for the environment, there are other advantages, such as being the freshest possible food, and also helping with seasonal allergies. I will only eat Colorado honey, and it's full of all the lovely bee pollen that comes from all of the flowers that make you sneeze. It's supposed to help a lot.

  2. So what kind(s) of local beer do you enjoy?

  3. Bravo to you!
    I could/should do this, too.
    Starting small, like you did with beer, makes it sound almost possible!

  4. Fantastic! And well done for drinking all that local beer.

  5. yay! i drink a lot of shiner bock, and that's within 100 miles of me. I think. maybe.

    i read this book a few months ago and LOVED it too. have you read any of her other stuff? i recommend her collection of short stories, "homeland." one of my favorite authors!

  6. Thanks, Gina! I didn't know about the allergy issues. I eat local honey and I don't have allergies! The bees are actually just across the street.

    Prof. Batty- I like Capital Brewery and New Glarus. The Capital seasonal beers are the best. There's another kind- I think it might also be New Glarus- but it's fancy with flavors like Raspberry and cherry, and they cover the bottle tops with wax. It's pricey, but that's what I get for special occasions. I know it when I see it!

    Roses- It sounds like you also live in the land of milk and beer, so it should be fun for you, too!

    Glory- why, thank you! I like being praised for drinking beer!

    O.P.W: I have actually read "The Bean Trees" and "The Poisonwood Bible." She really knows how to spin a tale! I don't know that I've ever read anyone who was good at both fiction and nonfiction like she is.