An Overview of the Zero Mile Diet

Learning the Benefits and Basics of Being a Hyperlocavore

The core concept of the zero mile diet is that you grow your own food. By being self sufficient you become in control of your food security and severely reduce your carbon footprint. This article highlights the key concepts of being a hyperlocavore and we hope it inspires you to move towards a zero mile diet. 


What is the zero mile diet?

It is, after all, how our ancestors fed themselves. This hyperlocavore way of getting your fruits and veggies is perhaps one of the most energy efficient, nutritionally-sound, economically-viable methods of feeing the planet. And it can be great fun, too! There are a few essential principles inherent in the zero mile diet philosophy, including:

  • Using organic growing methods
  • Growing food all year round
  • Saving seeds for next  year’s garden
  • Cooking with seasonal foods
  • Preserving what you harvest


What are the benefits of developing a zero mile diet?

The zero mile diet comes with most of the same benefits as a 100-mile diet, or buying from a farmers market or a CSA - healthy, seasonal, organic foods, environmental sustainability, etc. - but with a few added perks:

  • Cheapest diet: Growing your own food year-round is probably the cheapest way to feed yourself. Even though it will require more of your time just think of all the exercise and fresh air you'll be getting.
  • Complete input control: By cultivating your own garden, you can control exactly what goes into growing your own food. With some good organic gardening principles, you’ll be able to create the healthiest food possible!
  • Ultimate convenience: Forget trekking out to the farmers market or waiting for your local CSA to deliver your box. By growing, storing, and preserving your own food, you can grab what you need whenever you want! You don’t even need to leave the comfort of your own home (unless you’re growing your food at a local community garden, of course).


Zero mile diet basics

Have you already dug up part of your lawn to make room for a garden but aren’t really sure how a zero mile diet gets started? Here are the basics of incorporating your own garden to reduce your food miles down to zero:

  • Supplies: You’ll need native seeds, gardening tools, and a guide to help you with the gardening process. If live in a region whose winters receive sub-zero temperatures, read up on using cold frames.
  • Planning: Working with the seasons, determine where and when to plant various crops, so that you have food growing year round.
  • Soil preparation: Using organic soil amendments, prepare the soil to receive the seeds.
  • Pest management: Read up on natural, organic methods for encouraging the growth of beneficial insects and pest predators.
  • Irrigation prep: In addition to installing a rainwater collection system, prepare the garden so that it will require as little artificial irrigation as possible.
  • Preservation: If you don’t already know how to can, jar, and freeze fresh produce, do some reading on that subject as well. 

Need a little more guidance? These additional zero mile diet resources should give you the help you need:


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