What Would Be on Your Dinner Plate?

Cloudberry, with crowberries in background
Some of my work colleagues and I were talking yesterday about how much our eating habits would have to change if we no longer had access to food from outside the Yukon. It got me thinking about my own dinner table; what it would look like and what would be absent. Sadly for me, there would be no olive oil. Nor would there be chocolate, salt, pepper and other spices, and flour would be very hard to come by. I know people are experimenting up here with winter wheat and other grains, but at this point they are not readily available. There would be no rice, no bread or pasta (because of the lack of grains) and few if any dried legumes. I would also miss apples, plums and other pitted fruits like peaches and cherries (although I did plant two sour cherry trees in my yard this past spring – maybe they’ll surprise me and yield fruit).


What I would see on my plate are lots of root veggies, greens, wild meat, fish, poultry and eggs, goat milk and goat cheese. Desserts would largely be made up of berries (blueberries, cranberries, raspberries, cloudberries, etc.) and rhubarb, with fireweed honey for a sweetener. Since I don’t drink coffee that wouldn’t be an issue, and there are lots of local options for tea, including Labrador Tea and wild mint.

 With that in mind,  I took a good look at my dinner last night, and here’s what I saw: a simple stir-fry of onions, garlic, carrots and zucchini, some braised kale with a local poached egg on top, a potato pancake (with potatoes from my garden) and half a moose smokie, made from Joe’s fall harvest.

While a number of the things on this particular occasion didn’t come from my or Joe’s own labour (several of the items came from the produce order I get through the local bakery), I realized that I COULD and in fact HAVE in the past grown all the vegetables that were on my plate.

I would need to make some changes to become more self-sufficient. For instance, I would need to turn part of my front lawn into a vegetable garden to ensure I had enough for the entire year (to Joe’s chagrin perhaps, since he was shocked at just how much of our back lawn I converted into garden). I’d need to learn to save more of my seeds.  Preserving food would become a full time job at certain times of the year. And perhaps by then the city would have relented and allowed backyard poultry and beehives.

In my mind, it is all do-able. And that gives me a feeling of assurance to know that, if need be, Joe and I could feed our family well, with some left over for our neighbours and friends. I also realize that I’m already quite a ways down that road.

What about you? What would your dinner plate look like post peak oil?


One thought on “What Would Be on Your Dinner Plate?

  1. What I can say is that I do what I can. What I can’t say is that I do ‘everything’ that I can. For instance, my dinner tonight was potato and onion perogies – made locally. Not the flour though. I also cooked up kale (local), carrots (usually local but these were from California), frozen corn (Oregon), leeks (local), yogurt (local) and salt and pepper. I would be hard pressed to live without pepper as it is one of my very favourite seasonings. I suppose we could extract salt from the ocean locally. I can’t say I know where mine came from and the packaging is long gone. A bit of Halloween candy for dessert this evening – although that is unusual.

    All in all, not too bad. I do try to buy what is grown locally but I sub in some items that are good for me like seeds and nuts that are not local. Meat, veg, fish and most fruit are local, except bananas and them only occasionally. All the dairy is local, as are the eggs and honey. I do really enjoy black tea and coffee and they are most certainly not local. I could survive on herb tea if I had to.

    It’s easier for me down here in Vancouver where our temps rarely go below freezing. This winter will be a bit more of a challenge because of all the flooding we had this season in the Fraser Valley. I feel I should be combining efforts with someone who has garden veg space. I could at least help to tend it for a share of the produce. This is a good time of year to see if I can find a partner for the spring.


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