A small group of people living in Canada's western city of Vancouver is spending a week eating only foods that are grown, farmed or caught locally in the city.
From Aug. 24 to 30, about 15 people, mainly the members of the Richmond Food Security Society, are trying to show how a healthy, balanced diet, including the produce, meat and fish, can be sourced locally in Metro Vancouver, with a total population of 2.5 million people.
The participants have been able to find locally farmed beef and a lot of fresh seafood, and community gardens in Richmond in the suburb of Vancouver are a key part of succeeding in the challenge.
Anita Georgy, executive director of Richmond Food Security Society, told Xinhua on Friday that their organization encouraged and supported the idea of eating locally.
"It's really surprising that you can actually survive quite well. You can thrive on a diet of foods grown only in this city. We have 200,000 people here in the City of Richmond, but we are also very lucky to have over 3,000 hectares of actively farmed land," Georgy said.
According to their rules, the food must be grown or farmed within city limits, and all seafood they eat must be caught by local fisherman. Their beverages must be local, too. The group hopes their challenge will help to raise 7,500 U.S. dollars for their organization.
The challenge aims to show that people can thrive in the city, while maintaining a diet of local food. It also aims to reduce their carbon footprint and to give a boost to local farmers.
"We also support the social aspects of connecting with our farmers. Supporting local businesses helps to keep money in our own economy and keep our farmers motivated to keep doing their work and to help young farmers to get into this line of work," she added.
Eating locally produced food every day and all year long is probably unrealistic, but Georgy said this weeklong eating challenge has shown her a few simple ways to incorporate more locally produced food into her diet in ways that can be replicated in other major cities around the world.
She said urban dwellers could grow a large portion of their own food in a city. Even if they live in an apartment building, they could still grow food on the patio.
The food security society helps teach young people to cook and provides fresh produce to needy families. It's also building a community seed library and working to make Richmond more food secure.