Eat Local Challenge Begins Again!

These past few weeks have been quite busy. I moved into a new apartment, finished the last of my Master’s classes, and started my practicum. Things are starting to feel more normal now and I’m settling into a new routine. These next few months are sure to be filled with exciting adventures and I can’t wait to see where life takes me!

Today marks the beginning of the fifth annual Eat Local Challenge (ELC)! This is my second year participating in it. Last year through the challenge I learned so much about the local food system in New Orleans. It’s pretty incredible all the people who are involved and working toward a more sustainable food system here. “Challenges” like this have the ability to educate city residents on the importance of eating locally, remind everyone what real food is supposed to taste like, and reconnect consumers with growers in and around the city.

Throughout the month of June I will be sharing all the new food and resources I find throughout the city, and in general on local food systems. I’ll also be sharing any events I attend through the challenge (there are many!) and of course new recipes I try. 🙂

If there’s something in particular in regards to local food or food systems that you’d like me to write about or explore, leave a comment below! For now enjoy the following resources and photos. 🙂

Places to buy local food in NOLA:

  • Crescent City Farmers Markets
  • Hollygrove Farm and Market
  • Good Eggs
  • Rouse’s
  • New Orleans Food Co-op
  • St. Roch Market

The ELC also puts out a list of restaurants throughout the city which will be participating in the challenge. – http://www.nolalocavore.org/restaurants/

I’ll be trying to eat as much locally produced food as possible, although I do have a list of foods which I haven’t been able to find local.

Non-local foods:

  • Bananas
  • Dates
  • Avocados
  • Chocolate (cocoa powder, etc.)
  • Nuts (aside from pecans and chestnuts)
  • Olive oil

Additionally there are some foods which aren’t grown locally, but are processed locally. These include coffee, beans, flours (for breads, pita, pasta), and other baked goods. As part of my effort to eat locally, I’ve also decided to add a health component and not eat anything with added sugar in any form.

Because the climate in New Orleans is so conducive to growing pretty much year round, I will be able to get most of the food I normally eat locally. Below is a list of food I’ve already stocked up on or will be getting at the farmers market later this week. I’ll be purchasing locally processed/made coffee, bread, pasta, and beans.

  • Peaches
  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumbers
  • Citrus
  • Carrots
  • Beets
  • Cabbage
  • Swiss Chard
  • Lettuce varieties
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • SO many other green varieties!
  • Sprouts
  • Mushrooms
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Red potatoes (other white varieties)
  • Soy milk
  • Tofu
  • Pecans, pecan oil
  • Red beans
  • Rice
  • Teas
  • Salt

The events started yesterday with the ELC Kick-off Party. Restaurants and other food retailers throughout the city came together to share their best local recipes with participants. A local winery, beer producer, and rum distillery were also present. There were even free health screenings!

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Local Rum Distillery giving out free drinks
Local Rum Distillery giving out free drinks


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DELICIOUS salad from the Irish House with purslane. This was being made with meat, however so many people asked for a vegetarian free-meat version that the chef ended up making the trays without any meat! 🙂

 

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My day actually began and ended in the Bywater neighborhood of New Orleans. In the morning I visited the New Orleans Healing Center which houses several businesses including Wild Lotus Yoga and the Food Co-op. I also stopped by the new St. Roch Market for a late breakfast.

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Salad making process

 

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Southwestern salad from Juice NOLA at St. Roch Market
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Local New Orleans foods on display

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IMG_9033A free improv/stand-up show at Playhouse NOLA brought the day to a close.

Waiting for the show to start at Playhouse NOLA
Waiting for the show to start at Playhouse NOLA. Yes that’s a tarp on the stage and yes there was messy food in that cooler.

 

 


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