Day 10 – 160km Diet

Well another week has passed by on the 160km (100 mile) diet.

Lessons learnt:  Local food is not too hard to source if you look outside of the two major supermarkets (Woolworths & Coles).  Have a look in the smaller one like IGA or Foodworks to name two for local fare.  I discovered that a fair proportion of meat products stocked by the minor supermarkets are locally raised.

A few phone calls are often all it takes to confirm whether produce is local at a suppler.  Let your fingers do the walking first either in the phone book or on-line before burning fossil fuels travelling to discover that suppliers produce in not as local as they say it is.  We have saved lots of fuel using this method.

The Tea problem was solved with a bit of experimentation. 

Local Spices are almost impossible to source unless you convert to bush tucker spices which we may still do.  I still have quite a stockpile of essential spices that we use regularly, but I have considered that seeing that sailing ships used to distribute spices all over the world during the 18th and 19th centuries, I am going to allow them in our diet over the course of the year.

Kim has been fretting a bit about not being able to source certain luxury foods or staples, so I told her to put them on her luxury list.  So far she has; dates, tinned tomatoes, baked beans, chocolate, and sugar.  We are going to be hard pressed to find local substitutes for those foods, but where possible we will source in this order, organic Australian produce, non-organic Australian produce, then organic fair trade, and finally plain fair trade.A bit of a compromise but the most ethical and fair we can think of.

Keep your main source of food i.e. the veggie patch well tended, and harvest regularly for a continuous crop.  Have seedlings ready to go for when crops like lettuce bolt to seed.  That way you will not have an interruption in your food supply.

We have found that we have only spent $70 out of our normal $300 food budget for the fortnight simply because we are forcing ourselves to look in the garden for meals first.  We also are overwhelmed by the amount of food that is NOT local like dates and walnuts.  Things we took for granted are just not on the food agenda any more.  I am sure we can find a local supply of walnuts and I think there is a farm near Ballarat that sells them.

Over the course of the week, we secured the following staples sourced from local producers;  Flour, Fruit and Potatoes.

Harvesting from the garden;  Zucchini, lettuce, onions, garlic, spring onions, herbs (basil, thyme, mint, chamomile), Cherry tomatoes (3), cucumber, eggplants (aubergine), eggs, jalapeño chillies, and peaches.  The food garden is surviving well during the heat thanks to the drip irrigation system and a heavy layer of mulch.  The rainwater tank is 66% full and rain is expected on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Here are the meals that we ate during the week.  The only one I regret was the Tiddly Oggy I ate yesterday for lunch.  If I had have known what was in it, I wouldn’t have eaten it.  Bloody MSG!

Day 3 – Sunday
Lunch; Rockmelon. 0% local
Dinner; Leek, Potato and Ham soup with Peach Crumble.  Leeks from garden, Potato from Mirboo North (within zone), Ham unknown but leftover from Christmas, butter from Gippsland with home baked multi-grain bread from stockpile bread mix.  Peaches from my orchard, flour from stockpile, butter from Gippsland.  80% local.

Day 4 – Monday
Breakfast; 2 boiled eggs from the chooks, and two slices of home-made bread toasted. 100% local
Lunch; 2 nectarines and a Vegemite sandwich. 100% local.
Dinner; Chicken Burritos.  Free range chicken (local), Onion, garlic from garden.  Canned tomatoes from USA (stockpile).  Spices (stockpile but imported).  Tortilla (locally made but from imported ingredients, stockpile).  Spring onion, capsicum, lettuce from garden, hydroponic tomatoes (local).  60% local

Day 5 – Tuesday
Breakfast; Missed it as I had stomach pains and slept until 11am
Lunch; 2 cucumber sandwiches and two nectarines. 100% local
Dinner; Beef Rogan Josh.  Beef from local butchers (see previous post), Onion, garlic, capsicum from garden.  Canned tomatoes from Italy (stockpile). Rice from NSW.  Curry paste from UK (stockpile).  50% local
Supper; Home made French onion dip.  Yoghurt from within zone (Bulla, Colac),  French onion soup (unknown).  90% local

Day 6 – Wednesday
Breakfast; UHT Milk and Weetbix (stockpile).  1 slice Vegemite toast (home made bread).  2 cups of mint tea from garden. 50% local
Lunch; Home made bread with French onion spread.  4 local apricots.  99% local
Dinner; Leek and Ham Quiche with Garlic Potatoes.  local flour, milk and butter for base.  Leek, zucchini, garlic from garden, local potatoes, local cheese, eggs from chooks, last bit of ham from Xmess.  95% local.

Day 7 – Thursday
Breakfast; UHT Milk and Weetbix (stockpile).  2 cups of mint and green tea (garden and stockpile).  20% local
Lunch;  Leftover Chicken Korma from day 2. 50% local
Dinner; Nachos.  Mission corn chips, minced beef (stockpile), carrots, celery, onion from garden, local cheese, avocado (Queensland), spices (stockpile).  75% local

Day 8 – Friday
Breakfast;  UHT milk with Weetbix (stockpile).  Small serve of home made Greek yoghurt.  50% local
Snack at work; 2 nectarines and a home made date and walnut scone. 80% local
Lunch;  Cucumber sandwiches with home made Branston Pickle.  100% local
Dinner;  Home made Beef Burger with Garlic Potatoes.  Australian Beef (origin unknown), local cheese (Devondale), Lettuce, cucumber from garden, home made Hot Chilli Chutney on roll. Bread roll (origin unknown, stockpile – freezer). Garlic home-grown, Potatoes from Mirboo North (local), Olive oil (stockpile).  70% local.

Day 9 – Saturday
Breakfast; UHT milk with Weetbix (stockpile).  2 apricots.  50% local
Lunch;  1 Tiddly Oggy from Ferguson Plarre.  Made in Melbourne of unknown origins.  0% local
Dinner; Sausages, Rice and Salad.  Local Beef Snags from Bridgewater, Lettuce, cucumber, red spring onion from garden, cherry tomatoes from Qld (stockpile).  Home made Pyrenees with green peppercorn cheese.   1 bottle organic Chardonnay (Natures Harvest) shared between 3. 90% local.

Day 10 – Sunday
Breakfast;  UHT milk with Weetbix (stockpile).  2 glasses of tap water.  20% local if you count the tap water.

So from my crude maths, given that there were 21 meals listed, we achieved a local food diet rating of 63.2% for this week.  Not too bad considering that we only started 10 days ago.  I am quite proud of this achievement.  Once the Weetbix is depleted, I will attempt to source a local breakfast cereal like rolled oats for porridge and stick to local milk.  That should boost the local percentage rating.

So far, so good.  I am finding it exciting and challenging enough to want to do better!


  1. says

    I’m reading your blog with great interest- I’m in Geelong, so a lot of your 160km diet is relevant to me, I try to buy local where possible. Have you heard of Thomas Chipman corn chips? Not quite a staple in the diet, but they are made in Lilydale from Australian organic GMO free corn. Their potato chips don’t state the origin of the potatoes, so I’m guessing it’s not Australia. We need to make up some local lists, so people can support local producers more easily.

  2. says

    Do you have a farmers’ market near you Gavin? That is where I get things like nuts and milk. And the nuts are so good because they are of better, tastier varieties and very fresh. I buy lots when my favourite almonds when they first come in and keep them. Actually our local Mitre 10 sells nuts from a local farm….. must be a friend or something.

    I heard on the radio the other day that someone is going to grow dates and it is about time since we have so much suitable land. At least that would be Australian.

    I buy everything local that I can and the more you look, the more you find.

    My mother who is 87 rings the number on the packets of things like frozen peas and has found that most are now from China! She tells them she won’t be buying them again and puts them in the compost. That is buyer power!

  3. says

    I think it’s great how you’re estimating the % of local you’re eating. Can’t wait to see what you do once it’s winter there, like it is here right now. Crazy time to start, but why not now, right? Thanks for the visit!

  4. Sandy L says

    I learned loads about local food from the cheesemaking class I took last October..which by the way, you inspired. My instructer was featured in barbara kingsolver’s book, animal vegetable mineral. Rikki Lake, the cheese queen.

    Here in New England, we have long winters, so we’re limited to how much local eating we can do in winter…but we do have lots of sources for local organic meat + dairy.

    I was shocked to learn the milk I bought from a nearby LARGE dairy does a cross country trip to get pasturized (2000-3000 miles) and then takes another trip back across the country to get sold.

  5. Rosemary says

    Good luck on finding a local source of milk.

    A lot of people are not aware that in Victoria farmers risk a $44,000 fine by selling milk direct from the farm gate – it is (sadly) completely illegal. We have a dairy farm down the road from us, but the only legal way for us to get hold of their milk is for it to be trucked from their place to Leongatha to be pasteurised, then trucked off to a supermarket distribution point (probably in Melbourne) then trucked back to our nearest supermarket – which we then get in our cars and drive to. Simply walking down the road with a jug is not an option! See for more info.

    While these laws are in place, you might be able to get milk from Meredith Dairy
    as I believe they have their own pasteuriser??

    P.S. We have our own milking goat so we are not suffering from these laws too much ourselves – it’s legal to drink your own goat’s milk as long as you don’t offer it to visitors:)

  6. says

    As Greenfumb said … grow more tomatoes and bottle your own. We do this and bottle heaps of chopped tomatoes and tomato puree,enough to last for a couple of years. The idea is to do one type every other year, but it has never worked out that way for me. This is the year for some major bottling.

  7. says

    Around here the chestnut farms also have walnut tres & the walnut season will be starting soonish (around easter). I know there are a lot of chestnut farms in Victoria, so they might be worth trying to see if they sell walnuts as well. And pecans make a pretty good substitute.

  8. says

    Well done, I am a bit overwhelmed by the whole thing still, will start auditing tomorrow as I have to do a big shop. You might have to grow more tomatoes and start bottling your own, I am going to to attempt it this year but my crop does not look terribly impressive. Check out pick your own places for things like walnuts, I know there are some near us.

  9. says


    63% for the first week is quite an achievement.

    Considering it’s summer maybe a toasted muesli to replace the wheat bix. If you can find some local honey, and a few nuts or seeds (ie sunflower & pumpkin)to make it interesting I expect you find it more appealing that porridge.

    Kind Regards

Comments build lively communities. Let me know your thoughts, but keep it clean and green! Spam is removed instantly.