Tough Mudder events are hardcore 10-12 mile obstacle courses designed by British Special Forces to test your all around strength, stamina, mental grit, and camaraderie.
…with 25-30 military-style obstacles. As the leading company in the booming obstacle course industry, Tough Mudder has already challenged 500,000 participants worldwide.
FACT #1 – Marathon running is boring.
FACT #2 – Mudders do not take themselves too seriously.
FACT #3 – You cannot complete a Tough Mudder course alone.
via Tough Mudder
I love this story because it backs up my own behavior. With gas prices skyrocketing I find myself biking for local errands, and I’ve begun to love it!
Nearly 70 percent of Americans’ car trips are less than two miles long. It’s a no-brainer that biking instead of driving to take care of these trips is a great way to get exercise while cutting air pollution.
Last week, the journal Environmental Health Perspectives published findings from a study by scientists at the University of Wisconsin on the economic and health benefits of switching from a car to a bike for trips shorter than five miles long in 11 metropolitan areas around the upper Midwest…they’d create a net societal health benefit of $3.5 billion per year from the increase in air quality and $3.8 billion in savings from smaller health care costs.
via Good – (thx to Amy Senger)
The full story via NPR’s Health Blog.
With all this talk about eating local and counting miles I thought it would be good to explain what it really means. The foundation for local eating starts with a foodshed.
Foodshed: a region or area from which a population draws its food.
The typical limit on these regions is 100 miles. Draw a 100-mile circle around where you live and that is your foodshed.
In economic terms this is ideal distance a farmer, or her goods, can travel to reach a market. That way it arrives on your plate as fresh, ripe, and nutritious as it can be.
Go outside of this limit and there is an increasing reliance on fossil fuels and a decreasing quality of the food.
For those concerned about pollution, global warming, or oil-addiction these “food miles” are a cause for concern. Farmers face similar concerns, albeit from the other side, with a rising cost of gas and oil-based fertilizers that narrow their profits.
Still for others the “go local” movement represents a desire to get the very best food they can find, and that is the fundamental reason for foodsheds.
These rings of farmland surrounding our communities represent the ideal of sustainable living. Where the countryside is not poverty-stricken, but instead a vibrant economic sector known as much for its wineries and ‘farm-days’ as it is for fresh meat, vegetables, fruits, and nuts.
Even more these areas are often recession proof as evidenced by their continual rapid growth during the past half-decade.
It is for all these reasons that the locavore movement is popular and gaining momentum, there is something in it for everyone. Even the beefiest of meat eaters.
For further reference I’ve pulled together several maps of America’s foodsheds. Take a look.