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blog swirl & savor

Savory Bites

Beth Ribblett

...offering tidbits of information on interesting discoveries in the food and wine scene of New Orleans.
The Farm to Table Movement Picks up Steam in New Orleans!

It is hard sometimes to think of the positive things that have resulted from hurricane Katrina and the failure of our levee system. But they are there, if you open your mind to the fact that having to rebuild has allowed us to make many things better than they were before, in fact better than I ever dreamed they could be. Two very prominent issues for me in my daily life are the amazing things happening at City Park and the increasing awareness of the importance of the farm to table movement. While the Crescent City Farmers Market has lead the way in introducing local farmers and their wares to us city dwellers, Katrina has somehow shown us the importance of supporting each other economically as well as how eating local not only tastes better but is better for you nutritionally!

In addition to our wonderful CC Farmers Market, we have many prominent community vegetable and fruit gardens, Hollygrove and Mid City to name a few, an active Slow Food chapter, an increase in backyard, urban gardening, many local chefs who are seeking out farm fresh meats, poultry and produce and a population of socially aware foodies who want the best on their tables without the big box price tags.

Also, edible community magazine, a national publishing and information services company that creates editorially rich, community-based, local-foods publications in distinct culinary regions throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe, has started "edible new orleans". An absolutely beautiful local magazine, they connect consumers with family farmers, growers, chefs, and food artisans of all kinds through their publications, supporting websites, and events. The current issue has a lot of information on local gardens so pick one up at the shop on your next visit!

Now enter Jack and Jakes, something Kerry and I have wanted for years, an alternative to Whole Foods that offers truly fresh products – typically available at the Market within 3 days of harvest. Their mission, from the Jack and Jakes website: "Our food is truly local and is harvested within ~65 miles of the heart of the city. Our farmers and food artisans cultivate local varieties and use organic products that produce food that tastes better, retains more nutrients, and meets special dietary needs. We are proud to tell you that our fresh produce comes with seeds because we do not support or promote the use of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). Our farmers use open pollinated and heirloom varieties that don’t ship well but taste great! We are working to save and promote our local food heritage through sustainable food practices that utilize locally adapted plants and animals."

A much needed service, Jack and Jakes will be opening this spring at 8300 Earhart Blvd., near the Carrollton intersection. Their model will reduce your food miles by bringing you fresh, local, and organic foods under the roof of a full service 7 day a week grocery store. Dry goods, dairy, pastured meats, local seafood, and seasonal local produce is their mission. Local first, everything else is second! I'll keep you posted on their progress or got to their site to check them out: Jack and Jakes