Hey! I’m Jon, and I’m here to talk to you about a decision that has changed my life (the jury is out as to whether it’s for better or worse though). Back in the dim dark days of December last year I had an idea which was as simple as the person who would be doing it, and basically boiled down to this: for the entirety of 2018 I would source my food from within 200 kilometers of Armidale, the capital of the New England here in NSW, Australia. I wanted to see if I could live happily just eating local food. What would I discover? What would I miss? Would I starve? Would I get a dietary disease?
Thankfully I mentioned this hair-brained idea to my mate Johl, and he jumped on board too (albeit in a somewhat more refined way – Johl is working on adding as much local food into his diet as possible). The way I think of it, more loopers on this crazy train the better it’s going to be!
Now that March has just arrived, I can say that I’m not starved, and I’ve not got any dietary diseases. Yet. What I have done is read a lot, discussed food with a heck of a lot of people and learned a lot about food, people and the area I live in. It’s already been amazing, and this blog is a step toward documenting it more than instagram. More discussion, more detail, more recipes, more blathering. But I digress.
One of the first realisations was that there would have to be some rules. Simple, easy to remember, easier to apply and without the ‘holier-than-thou’ attitude people can get (*cough cough* vegans *cough cough*). Upon lots of thinking, lots of writing ideas down and then rumination and distillation of the core principles of this little project, four key rules were created. They are as follows:
- Source food from within 201km of where you live. Grow, forage, hunt, fish and barter as much as possible.
- When you buy food, buy from local suppliers.
- Things that are allowed to be purchased from the supermarket:
- Dried Pulses
- Raising agents (e.g. yeast, baking powder etc)
- Don’t be an arse! Accept food that people give you.
So, with rules, a bright shiny new year fast approaching and a rather large amount of foolhardiness, 2018 seemed bright and shiny and full of opportunity. And two months in, what have I learned? The region has a heck of a lot of awesome people working hard to make amazing, quite often award-winning food. This is a place where good food is grown and made, and you have to change your perceptions of it due to seasonality and the climate. This has the potential to (and will) be challenging as the year rolls on, but food isn’t just a thing anymore. It’s enjoyable. And it tastes great.