Tuesday, October 23, 2007

100 mile sweetness

A number of friends and acquaintances of mine are doing the full-blown 100 Mile Diet.

The 100 Mile Diet is a commitment to only eat foods that have been grown AND processed within 100 miles. Pretty much anything that grows in Manitoba, and doesn’t leave it before hitting the grocery shelves.

The purpose of this is many; basically I will sum it down to a few main parts. 1) Eating locally drastically decreases environmental damage 2) Eating locally aids in the pursuit of food justice (The way food is processed is important; a number of food processing methods and global market considerations hurts people in Canada and abroad in numerous ways, including economically and physically. By knowing where your food comes from, you can have more choice in how it was produced and who was hurt or helped).

Around 140 people have signed up for this challenge, which lasts 100 days. It’s about 40 days in, I think.

The impact of this challenge has been amazing. And not only on the participants – there have been a few really cool things which has happened.

1. People have become more aware. Not only those who have signed up for the challenge, but the media has caught on and spread the message. Additionally, a number of people have been asking local stores for certain items, or letting them know that they are unable to shop at their store for the whole 100 days. Grocery owners definitely take notice of these things.

2. I have seen this wonderful, calming change, and courage, in those who have signed up for the challenge. They are truly hard core, and I admire them a lot. It’s not nearly as easy as it sounds, and it doesn’t sound easy. It is so intense. Everything which goes into a dish they need to ask questions about. They have had to put in so many hours of planning and work canning and preserving food in order to not starve throughout the 100 days. They have done this with much grace and respect to those who are not 100 mile dieters. In addition, they are so generous. I have been asked to a number of 100 mile meals, which blows me away, because the food availability that they can eat is relatively scarce. I would be tempted to hoard. But they do not.

3. I have changed. Their courage, and I do mean courage, has inspired me. I have also learned that I am not as hard-core local as I thought I was. I have become more aware of lots of issues. For example, lots of products which I thought were local really aren’t. “Made in Manitoba” merely means that the end process occurred in Manitoba – the ingredients aren’t necessarily 100% local, or local at all! It is very humbling to be asked to someone’s house for dinner, and not be able to find ANYTHING in my house which I can offer for the meal. I came close with Manitoba honey, but then found that it was slightly spiced with Moroccan cinnamon. Crap.

4. I truly believe, and this experience that I see my friends doing has re-enforced, that eating is truly a spiritual activity. I challenge everybody to truly consider this. Our bodies are temples, and we need to treat them as such. Monitor the crap that we put into it. Secondly, when we realize the impacts of what we eat has on other people, both far away and locally, eating becomes far more meaningful. I can’t express how meaningful those meals are that I have had with my 100 mile diet friends. The table takes on another dimension; one which is almost sacred. It deepens the conversation, and enriches the relationships around the table. Eating has become a spiritual movement of sorts. That’s awesome.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Global Justice Film Festival!


Friday, November 2nd, (registration begins at 6:30 pm)

& Saturday, November 3rd, (registration begins at 8:30 am, films begin at 9:00 am)
The University of Winnipeg, 515 Portage Avenue

For program information, ticket information, and other useful details, go on-line to: http://www.globaljusticefilmfestival.ca

For those concerned about Global Justice, it is often difficult to keep up with the many issues facing us today. Documentary films are an excellent resource for keeping informed and sensitive to the reality of people’s lives as they strive for justice.

The Global Justice Film Festival has a line up of 18 films that deal with a range of topics, with a central theme of what is happening to our natural environment. Some of the main films include An Inconvenient Truth, Toxic Trespass and Dead in the Water.

Other films this year include Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars, Shameless: the Art of Disability and Finding Dawn (about missing aboriginal women in Canada).

The Festival will open Friday evening with the film, The Ecological Footprint. The evening will include a panel discussion on environmental issues and entertainment with local singers Paul and Susan.

or pick up printed programs at:

Faculty of Theology, U of W
All Assiniboine Credit Union Locations in Winnipeg
UMFM Radio Office, 308 University Centre, U of M
Mondragon Bookstore and Coffe House, 91 Albert St

Festival sponsors on the Global Justice Film Festival Coalition are:

· AVEL (Audio Visual Educational Library) United Church of Canada,

· KAIROS (Canadian Ecumenical Justice Initiatives) Cambrian Agassiz Region,

· Canadian Catholic Organization for Development & Peace,

· Council of Canadians - Winnipeg Chapter,

· Amnesty International, Group 19,

· U of W Faculty of Theology,

· Project Peacemakers,

· Menno Simons College,


· St. Mary's Road United Church Foundation,

· Manitoba Council for International Cooperation (MCIC)

· MATCH International (Winnipeg Chapter).

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


An interesting read . . . also timely considering that Christmas is coming soon!

Buy-Nothing Year

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

AIDS and hamburgers

Is anybody interested in going to see Stephen Lewis speak at the Pantages on November 12th? It's $25 and tickets run out early, so let me know very soon. More info can be found by clicking here. He's supposed to be an amazing speaker. For those of you who don't know who he is, he was the UN special envoy to HIV/AIDS in Africa.

On a seperate note, I would like to share something which disturbs me greatly. Please click here.