Calling all NOLA Locavores!

Screen Shot 2013-06-05 at 9.05.41 PMFor the 3rd year, the NOLA Locavores are challenging you to a month of only eating local foods. The month will be filled with 30 days of exciting events and workshops highlighting some of the neatest locally produce products in the City.

A locavore is someone who tries to eat foods that have been grown, raised, or caught within a 100 to 200 mile radius of their home. This area seems minuscule compared to the 1,300 to 2,000 mile radius that most grocery store food items travel (ATTRA). Though this diet might seem like a challenge, hundreds of New Orleans residents have adapted this new food system and are proving that going local is easy and fun.

June 1, 2013 marked the beginning of the 3rd Annual New Orleans Eat Local Challenge with a kick-off party the evening before on the roof of the Downtown Rouse’s. The Challenge runs for the entire month and requires participants to do their best to eat local foods. As stated on their website, their mission is, “To raise awareness of the nutritional, economic, environmental and cultural benefits of eating locally sourced food.”

If this sounds like too much of a commitment for you, have no fear, the Challenge has thought of that. The Challenge makes it easy for participants to choose foods and requirements that fit their dietary likes and dislikes along with their lifestyle. First, there are a variety of places where participants can shop including community or personal gardens, farmers’ markets, roadside stands, locally produced foods at grocery stores, and any restaurant participating in the “challenge.” Second, participants can choose how strictly they want to adhere to the challenge. The levels range from “Ultra strict” in which participants are limited to consuming products that can be grown, caught or raised within two hundred miles to “Ultra Ultra Lenient,” which requires participants to try and eat solely local foods for a few days.Eat Local Challenge Bag

The Eat Local Challenge offers many tools for participants. They include a list of approved restaurants that have vowed to serve only local products as well as a map of all the local farmers markets in the New Orleans area. The website also has many recipes that all contain ingredients that can be picked up locally. Along with that, the Challenge holds events all month long to help educate participants. Some events include a local ingredient cocktail contest called “Garden to Glass”, cheese making classes, a local food foraging tour, and a wine making workshop. Check out the full list here.

A new addition this year is a citywide Scavenger Hunt with a prize of $1,000 encouraging participants to pick up clues around town, and online, at such locations as Hollygrove Market & Farm, Joule Energy, and Transform NOLA (all LifeCity Business Members!).

The Challenge seeks to educate, motivate, and enlighten participants on how easy and beneficial eating locally can be. They hope participants will extend the lessons and tools they gain from this experience for the entire year.

For more information and full list of events visit the Eat Local Challenge website!