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We know what you’re thinking, “Ugh, another argument about who’s local and who’s not,” and while you may be tired of that discussion, that’s too bad for you because we have a CHALLENGE…that’s right CHALLENGE (in big letters) for the so-called locals. As they say, "You are what you eat!"
And not just any challenge to prove your local-ness, like where you went to high school or what your area code is (see Madame NOLA’s Native's Guide to Being a New Orleanian). Nope, for this challenge, you’re gonna have to put your money where your mouth is with the 2012 New Orleans Eat Local Challenge!
In its second year, the New Orleans Eat Local Challenge “was started to raise awareness of the nutritional, cultural, economic and environmental reasons for eating locally sourced foods. For 30 days in June, New Orleanians will be challenged to eat only food grown, caught or raised within a 200-mile radius of New Orleans.”
Did you hear that, New Orleans??? 30 days. Local food. 200-mile radius. Hmmm, this is a challenge indeed!
But don’t worry, InthekNOwla’s here to help you along with the challenge. In fact, we’ll be doing our very own relay. We’ll tell y’all about that later, so let’s get down to the nitty gritty of the challenge.
Register! The fee is $25/person. With your registration, you will receive the following: one Eat Local Challenge 2012 t-shirt and tote bag; a 10% discount on locally grown produce at the Hollygrove Market & Farm; full access to the Eat Local Challenge Recipe Forum; an invitation to the Kick Off and Final Party; and participation in 1st Annual NOLA Local Scavenger Hunt.
Now, we understand that eating local food 24/7 for 30 days may seem a little difficult and there may be times where you fall off the wagon, but you can be that “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,” which is the overall mission of the Eat Local Challenge.
Eat Local Challenge 2012 |
So, there are three levels of strictness in the Eat Local Challenge: Ultrastrict, Strict, or Lenient. Should you choose Ultrastrict, you are “limited to consuming products that can be grown, caught or raised within two hundred miles. 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.”
At the Strict level, you are allowed three vices, or non-local food items, to eat or drink. With this level, ninety-five percent of your diet will be local while also being able to have other items that are difficult to grow here, such as coffee, chocolate, pineapple, and others. In addition, three of your meals each week can “be completely unregulated and off the wagon,” allowing for eating out at restaurants and parties where it may be harder to find local foods.
And last, but not least, we have the Lenient level, which allows for up to six non-local food items to eat or drink and up to six meals off the wagon. “To keep your diet varied, you can change which foods will be your six non-local food item indulgences each week. 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!”
To help us on our quest for local food, there are several restaurants, including Ancora and La Divina Gelateria, who have committed to having a local dish available for the entire challenge. In addition, farmer’s markets throughout the city, as well as Rouses Supermarkets, will be an excellent source for local food items from seafood and dairy to fruits and vegetables.
Ok, how do you feel??? Well, we’re incredibly excited to start on this journey of not only eating local food, but also living healthier lifestyles as a result. Throughout the challenge, there will be recipe-swapping, workshops on bread and beer-making, tours of Old New Orleans Rum and Pontchartrain Vineyards. And even more, you’ll meet an incredible group of individuals who are on the same mission as you!
And to sweeten the deal, along with Eat Local Challenge, we’re giving away FIVE registrations! Leave a comment at the end of the article telling us why you want to be a part of the Eat Local Challenge and you will be entered to win!
All right LOCALS, what are you waiting on??? If you’re as local as you think you are, show us!
For more information about the Eat Local Challenge, please visit the website, Facebook, and Twitter.

WHAT: Eat Local Challenge 2012
WHEN: June 1 – June 30

Last modified on Sunday, 05 August 2012
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Support your locals with a click!
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