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The 100 Mile Trial

Our Process & 'Rules'


Ask the following questions:

1.What food do we usually eat?
2.Of these what can we do without?
3.What do we know about where each comes from?
- definitely local
- definitely further than 160km
- unknowns – further investigation
4.What resources already exist?
- who has done it already from Melbourne
- contacts with local growers
- principles from other places (seasonal, markets)
5.What foods crops are grown locally?



Three key points

1.A Trial - It is an experiment for 1 week, so its not going to kill anyone if we don't make it or do fall short in some way, yet at the same time given that it is only a week, we should 'go hard' and see what we can achieve.
2.Doing it together – Many people have tried this as an individual or household. It is quite a bit of hard work but all becomes easier when treated as a community exercise where we share discoveries together, work together, and are challenged together. We are supporting one another in learning good ways of living.
3.Preparation – Necessary if we are going to eat for that week. We could simply go hungry but the goal is to find alternatives that meet the criteria and feed us. Preparation will include sourcing food and also potentially storing food from other times of the year (ie. bottling tomatoes).

Considerations discussed - 'our rules'
(components of trial - 'our rules' decided by the group - are in italics)

1.How far back in the production of an item do we go?
(ie. Eggs may be homegrown from the chooks in the backyard, but where does the chicken feed come from?)

Decided to focus on first level of production primarily and then others only if possible.
However emphasis is where items are 'grown' rather than simply 'processed'.

2.This is just one issue amongst many that impact sustainable practice. Discussion over whether we should introduce other issues to make a more wholistic approach (ie. eat kangaroo from South Australia rather than local lamb) or hold strictly to the 'food miles' issue given that this is the focus of this experiment.

Decided to be strict on this one issue. It is important to define task and not be overwhelmed by possible wider goals. Acknowledgment that each individual / household may treat this slightly differently and that this is okay.

3.Road transport versus rail was discussed. Should this be included in the info gathered?

Decided to gather this information to guide our preference only if possible. (Secondary consideration).

4.How fixed on the 160km radius are we?
100 Mile or 160km is really just an arbitary number to help us think about localising our food.
If it's just outside the radius, say 170km, is it okay?

Decided to keep strictly to within 160kms. (Likely to take other learnings into daily life after trial anyway).

5.'Food Miles' refers to distance from production to consumption. In reality, the picture for many goods is far more complex given that many foods are comprised of composite ingredients coming from many places before being combined together.

Decided ingredients of composite products should at least 90% sourced within 160kms.

6.The trial is not about trying to make people feel guilty but rather to encourage us to think more about the environmental impacts of our food as well as supporting and having contact with local producers. It is also being ruthlessly honest about the things we actually need, and things that we think we need (coffee for some people is a tricky one).

Decided to ruthlessly document successes and shortfalls.

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