June in New Orleans means a lot of things: schools out, humidity and the Eat Local Challenge!
Sponsored by a number of Louisiana businesses and farming associations, the Eat Local Challenge is a national campaign that encourages participants to try eating locally sourced foods for the month of June. By participating in the challenge, you’ll discover new ways of buying and preparing food while learning more about the region in which you live.
There are four levels of the Eat Local Challenge:
There are enough “vice” and “off the wagon” options for those that want to participate in the challenge but just can’t live without that morning caramel latte (guilty). This challenge is a great way to get involved in your community and learn about the products that come from our backyard. Louisiana is more than just gumbo and crawfish. In fact, you can find a whole list of all the natural resources that come from this area including: meat, poultry, herbs, grains, even locally sourced wine and spirits.
Kids are also encouraged to participate. With school out of session, they will have more freedom to try new things and learn how to cook these local foods. This challenge is a great way to get the whole family involved in learning more about nutrition, healthy eating and the importance of eating locally.
Offering fun and educational classes on cooking, building your own chicken coop,and even learning how to grocery
shop with local products in mind, the challenge is easy for everyone to do. There are activities planned for everyday of the month to keep you motivated and there is enough wiggle room so that even the pickiest of eaters can still find delicious and fun things to enjoy.
So many restaurants, markets and local organizations are participating in the Eat Local Challenge, so you don’t have to worry about never being able to eat out of the house. Restaurants like August, Pizza Domenica, Tru Burger, Coquette, Breads on Oak, Ralph’s on the Park and so many others are all showing their support for the Eat Local Challenge. You can find the full list here, complete with the items that correspond to the Challenge, as well as other great resources to help you get started.
Remember, the goal of this Challenge isn’t to find a winner, it is to make a winner out of all those participating! You can join by visiting the NOLA Locavore site and donating $15, $25, $50 or $100. All proceeds go to NOLA Locavores, a non-profit organization that helps promote locally sourced eating. By keeping track of the meals you make and sharing your experiences on the blog, you’ll receive a t-shirt and tons of deals and discounts at your favorite local markets and stores to commemorate your challenge and the joy of supporting your community.
So get started today!
If you are participating in the Eat Local Challenge, tell us about your experiences, recipes or tips in our Comments Section below! Good luck to all involved!