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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Stay Local = EAT Local!

I want to start off saying that I have not been sponsored or paid by ANY of the companies that I mention below.  I just really love local businesses!  I have always been a champion for supporting local business - not just because I AM one, but because it is the right thing to do!  Shopping locally puts more than 4 times the revenue back into our local economy and local pockets.  Shopping local doesn't mean that you have to make drastic changes.  You can start small and easy!

For instance, when I shop for groceries there are a LOT of options out there.  Most people choose what is convenient for their shopping choices.  I am lucky, out here in da Metrys we have a LOT of options:
  • Dorignac's
  • Zuppardo's
  • Rouses
  • Robert's Fresh Market
In New Orleans there are even more options with little neighborhood markets readily available.

And that is just grocery stores.  One of the awesome things about those grocery stores is that they support local growers and food manufacturers.  If you also want something local and can't find it - just ask.  They will be happy to order it for you!  

I realized how spoiled I had become when I we evacuated to Montgomery, AL for Gustav.  I was looking for fresh baked bread or a local bakery - nothing.  I was looking for local sandwich meats - nothing.  I was looking for local mil - nothing.  BOY!  Was I spoiled!  My friends could not believe that we have access to all of those things right here at our fingertips.  Don't take it for granted.  Make sure you take advantage of all the yummy local options that are available to us!  

For local meats I like to ride out to the German Coast Farmer's Market on Saturday morning out in Destrehan.  Cox's Meat Market has local, wonderful meat options for you.  They also have a permanent location out in Reserve that you can go to.  German Coast also offers a wide variety of vendors!  Also check out the Gretna Farmer's Market on Saturday mornings.  I look forward to visiting with those wonderful local folks the second Saturday of the month and stocking up on fruits, veggies, tamales, wine, smoked meat and local honey. YUMMY!

Locally grown food just also TASTES better!  Who can argue with that?  A Creole tomato on Bunny Bread - make you slap your mama!  

The positives definitely outweigh the negatives.   Just pay a little more attention to where you shop and you'll find that local shopping is only baby steps.  Choose local bread instead of a national brand (Bunny, Leidenheimer, or store bakery).  Choose local sandwich meat (Chesesi, Manda).  Choose local Milk (Brown's, Barbe's, Klienpeter).   By no means is this a full list.  I would welcome you to share your favorites here too.  

As far as seafood goes, I cannot fathom how a Red Lobster or Long John Silver stays in business here.  Why choose frozen, processed fish from out of state when we have the fruit of the sea right here in town?  Visit your local seafood store year round to pick up the freshest items!  Most of the time the fish was caught that morning.  I asked Leanne Ely and she told me that our locally caught Catfish (avail as low as $.80/lb) can be used as a substitute in ANY fish recipe.  What else could you ask for? 


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