The Goal of the New Orleans Eat Local Challenge is to see if one can go the 30 days of June eating only foods that are grown, caught or raised within a 200 mile radius of New Orleans. The 2017 Challenge begins with the kick off party on Wednesday, May 31st and ends at the Finale Party on Friday, June 30th.
Participants who think they could only last one or two weeks are still encouraged to enter the contest. Any effort to use local products will have a positive effect on your awareness of your food’s origins, the local economy, and the environment. You can upgrade or downgrade your level of strictness from week to week. If needed, start small and take little baby steps and find your comfort level. Starting is the most important step. Having fun is the second. Explore, learn and enjoy.
The New Orleans Eat Local Challenge is divided into 4 levels of strictness:
To download the strictness levels sheet to print click the image below.
The most strict. Participants in this category are limited to consuming products that can be grown, caught or raised within two hundred miles. Imagine yourself a Native American Indian limited to only the foods that were available from the region.
Though much like these hunter/gatherers of pre-Columbian days, the Ultrastrict followers of this contest will find it much easier to “gather” foods in 2014. With the availability of a much greater variety of many fruits and vegetables and seafood, meats and cheeses, this level, though difficult, is definitely doable.
Wine from Pontchartrain Vineyards and Becnel Wines would be acceptable, as they grow their own grapes.
Also Known as the Bienville Level.
On this level you are allowed all of the foods on the Ultrastrict Level plus will allow you to eat or drink three “vices” (non-local food items). On this level participants can still go 95% of the way all-local but can still have a few of some of the things that are hard to grow here, whether it be coffee, chocolate, pineapples, French wines, imported cheeses etc. You can keep your diet varied and change your three non-local food choices from week to week.
On the Bienville Level you are also allowed 3 meals a week to be completely unregulated and off the wagon. Whether at a restaurant with friends, or a business lunch or just in your own kitchen you can fix your favorite non-local meal. This will allow you to go to business lunches and dinner parties.
This level is for the beginning locavore and allows one to have up to six non-local food items and up to six meals a week that are “off the wagon”. To keep your diet varied, you can change which foods will be your six non-local food item indulgences each week.
But even at this level, if you are limiting the rest of your meals for the month of June and recognizing what foods are from this area you are still a rock star.
Also known as the Ignatius J. Reilly Level.
If you think you can only pull off 2 or 3 days a week tops.
If you will be traveling for most of the month or you have 6 children or work 60 hours a week and you think there is no way……
BUT if you still would like to give it a try, and YOU ARE IN and you will do your best when you can and would like to support this effort, then this is your spot.
Special Notes for All Participants.
Bending the rules is to be expected. All are encouraged to keep records of the foods that are harder to go without. Post on the blog and another challenger may have found a local substitute. If you find a good substitution for a hard to give up food item, post it to help others to stay within the locavore boundaries.
The blog site and all postings will be available to the public until the day before the contest begins. At that point the full list of locally produced products guide and recipes will be loaded onto the blog and only those that have signed up will have access. Two or more challengers can sign up together but only one email address will be given access to the blog.