July 25, 2008

Support Your Local Farmers

I grew up eating fresh, farm grown fruits and vegetables because my grandfather planted a garden. I miss those days. You can still get those same types of good, nutritious and great tasting vegetables, fruits and more at your local farmers markets. Mike Strain, D.V.M., Louisiana Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry, has issued a challenge for everyone to eat foods purchased from their local farmer's markets for one week, August 3 through 9th. Below you will find the challenge issued from Strain as well as links to local farmer's markets and agritourism activities. If you have any comments or suggestions of your favorite local farmer's market, send me an email and I'll publish the comments in future postings and in the newsletter.

The following is an announcement from the Louisiana Agriculture and Forestry Commission page.

Commissioner Strain challenges you to eat local for one week!

Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M. is challenging Louisiana to eat local for one week.

“I’m issuing the Eat Local Louisiana Challenge to everyone,” Strain said. “I’m asking everyone, including the governor and officials across the state, to only eat food that is grown within 100 miles of their homes for one week.”

The Eat Local Louisiana Challenge will coincide with the National Farmers Market Week of August 3 through 9. Strain will be appearing on local morning television shows across the state to publicize the event and stress the importance of buying and eating locally.

“We’ve got more than a hundred local farmers markets and fruit stands across the state,” Strain said. “Think of the possibilities: peaches from Ruston, blueberries from the Felicianas, crawfish from the Atchafalaya and pork and beef from your local meat markets and rice and gravy.”

Seasonings would be no problem because Louisiana hot sauces are among the best in the world and the state is a leader in salt production, Strain added.
Strain said families and individuals could make an event out of the Eat Local Louisiana Challenge by visiting local farms, farmers markets and other agritourism venues to get a better understanding of how food gets to their dining table.

“Visiting a farm or a dairy is a great learning activity for children and adults as well,” Strain said.

Strain said the Eat Local Louisiana Challenge will lead to changes in the way Louisiana eats.

“Your food will taste better because it’s fresher and you’ll be proud to support your Louisiana farmer and the local economy,” Strain said. “You’ll know your food is coming from your area and not trucked in from hundreds of miles away.”
Strawberry photo courtesy of the LDAF during the Grand Opening Red Stick Farmers Market LDAF Location.