2014 Press Release


New Orleans, February 19, 2014

Elizabeth Nicholas
Public Relations
NOLA Locavores
1618 Oretha C. Haley Blvd.
New Orleans, La 70113
(504) 299-0161 (land)
(504) 407-1707 (cell)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Fresh Updates for the Fourth Annual New Orleans Eat Local Challenge

In the most progessive areas of the US, the local food movement is growing at a rapid rate and New Orleans is staking its claim as a pace setter. In 2013, two national articles were published placing New Orleans on their short lists of best cities for locavores. The New Orleans local food eating population is on the rise and in this fourth year, with our new partnerships, easier access to local foods and an ambitious calendar of events, the New Orleans Eat Local Challenge is setting the goal to register one thousand participants to eat only locally sourced foods for the 30 days of June.

We are thrilled to announce the Eat Local Challenge will be joining forces with the Crescent City Farmers Market in organizing and promoting the 30 day challenge. The CCFM is the oldest and largest umbrella of markets in New Orleans having been in operation since the mid 1990’s. With their support and vast resources, the Eat Local Challenge will be better positioned to reach a wider audience. We are again pleased to have the support of local food celebrity, Poppy Tooker, as our official spokesperson. In addition to our King Creole sponsor, Rouses supermarkets, the Eat Local Challenge (ELC) will enjoy the closer collaborations with Cleaver and Co, Good Eggs Nola, Hollygrove Market and Farm and New Orleans Food Coop.

Through much research, a wider variety of foods have been identified that can be found locally to make going the 30 days of eating locally less of a task and more of an adventure. Ginger, asparagus, apricots, artichokes, pomegranates, olives, walnuts, chesnuts, horseradish, and kohlrabi, wild boar, frog legs, ostrich, venison, rabbit, squid, red beans, paw paws, and sunchokes are just a few. We are again scheduled at the “Local Foods Market” on the second Saturday, June 14th to share these finds and see what other locavores have found or grown themselves. In addition to local produce and Gulf seafood, now local meats ( beef, goat, pork, lamb, duck) and local spirits are available at Rouses Supermarkets seven days a week. Just two years ago staying on an all local libation diet might have been difficult with one distillery to access. In 2014, thanks to new legislation, Louisiana can boast six alcohol distilleries in operation that distill from all local agricultural products rum, vodka and gin.

The June food related classes, workshops and tours will be expanded and we are partnering with a larger variety of groups to celebrate the bountiful harvest of June. “Cooking with Rice Flour” , “Starting Your Own Apiary” and a “Farm Tour and Dinner” are just a few that will be on the calendar for the first time. In addition we will be organizing the events from last year including: the “Garden to Glass Local Ingredient Cocktail Contest”, the “Urban Farm Bike Tour”, “Wild Edibles Foraging Tour”, “Cheese Making”, “Wine Making with Local Ingredients”, “Chicken Raising”, “Canning and Preserving”, “Sausage Making” and “Culinary Restaurant Crawls” In this fourth year we will have worked out the kinks and be releasing of the New Orleans Local Foods Mobile Phone App. This app will carry information about what foods are in season, local food recipes, links to farms, farmers, retailers, farmers markets and agri-tourism opportunities. It will also carry the details of the participating restaurants, their menu items, the calendar of tours, workshops, classes, events and the scavenger hunt happening in conjunction with the challenge.

The New Orleans Eat Local Challenge
Mom always said: “Eat Your Veggies!”

But was she picky about where they were sourced? During the month of June 2014, NOLA Locavores is challenging all New Orleanians to think “farm fresh” with the fourth annual Eat Local Challenge, and they are picky.

Beginning Sunday, June 1, all participants, or locavores, will be dared to limit their diet for 30 days only to food grown, raised, or caught within 200 miles of New Orleans. Sources include:

community gardens, start your own garden
farmers’ markets, U-Pick farms, and roadside stands
local produce and locally produced foods at Rouses or other grocery stores
restaurants participating in the “challenge” with 100% locavore approved menu options

And why be a locavore, exactly? The short list:
Food that is transported long distances is not as fresh. Fresh food is healthier, retaining more of its nutrients.
Lots of fuel is used to transport food across the country and from other countries. This creates a large carbon footprint.
Eating locally helps support local farmers and the local economy.
Supporting local agriculture keeps more land in our area un-industrialized.
Small, local farms generally use sustainable, symbiotic growing practices, which involve little or no use of pesticides, hormones, or routine antibiotics. These practices are better for the soil, the animals and for us.
Small farms generally use more humane practices when raising animals for food.
Registration is going on now! Each locavore can choose between three levels of strictness – The Ultrastrict, The Bienville Rule, or The Wild Card. Locavores will be regulating themselves based on the honor system, and will be asked to check-in regularly. The challenge should be thought of as part scavenger hunt, part healthy lifestyle promotion/learning experience.
There is a $25 registration fee to enter the Eat Local Challenge. It’s like registering for a 10k race, but 30 times the fun (30 days), AND locavores receive:
One “Eat Local Challenge 2014″ T-shirt
A 10% discount on locally grown produce at the Hollygrove Market & Farm
Full access to the Eat Local Challenge Recipe Forum with daily postings of recipes using 100% local ingredients and tips for eating locally
Your starter package that includes The New Orleans Local Food Buyer’s Guide, a recyclable grocery tote plus $50 in coupons to local businesses.
An invitation to the kick off party Saturday May 31st and finale party Sunday June 29th.
Free (or discounted) participation in all food related classes and workshops and tours throughout the “challenge” and eligibility to participate in the 2014 New Orleans Eat Local Challenge Scavenger Hunt.

Supporters of this green goodness include:
Rouses Supermarkets, Crescent City Farmer’s Markets, Inglewood Farms, Joule Energy, Hoffstadt Farms, Liuzza Produce Farms, Louisiana Restaurant Association, Natural Awakenings, the New Orleans Food Cooperative, Fidlow Design, The John Besh Restaurant Group, American Bicycle Rental Company, Bantings Nursery, Bike Easy, Chappapeela Farms, Cleaver and Co., Cypress Fitness, Destination Kitchen Food Tours, Donner-Peltier Distillers, French Market Corporation, Gambit Weekly, German Coast Farmers Market, Gracious Bakery, Hollygrove Market & Farm, Hyatt Regency, Jazzmen Rice, La Divina Gelateria, Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, Louisiana Public Health Institute, Natural Awakenings Magazine, Old New Orleans Rum, P & J Oysters, Pontchartrain Vineyards, Prevention Research Center at Tulane, Sankofa Farmers Market, Seafood Packaging, Stay Local, The Green Project, Touro Infirmary, Transform NOLA, Kleinpeter Dairy and more.

About NOLA Locavores:

Began as collaboration between Dr. Leslie Brown (founder of NOLA Veggie Fest) and Lee Stafford (founder of Euterpe Recycling Center), the NOLA Locavores help New Orleanians build a connection with their local food sources. Via the New Orleans Eat Local Challenge, the organization raises awareness of where food comes from and the economic, nutritional, cultural and environmental benefits of eating locally produced food. In its fourth year the Eat Local Challenge, building upon the successes from the past is aiming to reach 1000 participants, redirecting $200.000 into the local food economy. In 2013, with 650 registered participants and pledged to ask their food retailers for the month of June “is it local?” If $50 was redirected each week to locally sourced groceries, we conservatively estimate that $130,000.00 was redirected to our local farmers, fisherman, and shrimpers and their retailers. Thanks to the broad media coverage with over 30 spots including print, radio and TV, The New Orleans Eat Local Challenge website received over 36,000 hits from May 1th to July 1th .

The first of its kind in the South, the New Orleans Eat Local Challenge is inspired by Alisa Smith and J.B. MacKinnon, authors of Plenty: Eating Locally on the 100-Mile Diet. We are grateful to have their recognition and support. The efforts of this project are an education process for many, a love connection to the earth, to our growing community, to the many supporters and participants involved in any way, however big or small. We invite you to learn more, become a sponsor or a participant. Please contact us at www.eatlocalneworleans.com or by calling 504.299.0161 or mobile at 504.407.1707. Eat (and drink) locally!
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