It's long past time for y'all to hear a voice and perspective other than mine on this blog, don't you think?  As such, I'd like to hear from you.

Are you:
  • a person of color in the New Orleans area?
  • vegan, considering veganism, trying to go vegan, or do you interact with vegans in some way (such as running or working in a restaurant)?
If so, I would love for you to write a guest post for New Orleans in Green or be interviewed, or both, on your experiences engaging with the New Orleans vegan community and veganism in general.

Interested? Please shoot me a message on facebook or via email (bastian613 at gmail) and we'll get started. I can't wait to hear from you and to amplify your voice!



The Logistics of Local: How Local is Local?

Now that we've established that there are personal, socio-economic, and environmental benefits to eating locally, let's look at what "eating locally" really means.

What does it mean to eat local?  It's not just one thing.  In my mind, local foods can fall into three broad tiers:
  • Tier 1: Foods that are locally grown, caught, or raised (though I don't eat anything caught or raised);
  • Tier 2: Foods that are locally produced or processed; and
  • Tier 3: Foods that are locally sold.
A food can be any combination of these three tiers.  I see this as a hierarchy of local superiority: Foods that are locally grown and processed and are being sold by a locally-owned shop are at the pinnacle of locality, meeting all three tiers.  Other levels of local have value too, of course;  all levels are superior to foods that were grown and processed non-locally and are being sold by a non-local chain.

Let us look at some local products to flesh out this idea. Hoffstadt tomatoes purchased at Winn-Dixie meet the first and second tiers but not the third; so better still are Hoffstadt tomatoes bought at Rouse's, while Hoffstadt tomatoes bought at a Crescent City Farmer's Market achieve superlative local status for New Orleans.  The same holds true of other locally grown and processed items such as Three Brothers Farm sugar and Jazzmen Rice.

Esses pastas and VEGGI Co-Op tofu are great examples of foods that are processed locally from foods that were grown elsewhere.  While they fail to reach tier 1 status, largely because wheat and soy aren't really grown on the Gulf South, purchasing them from local sources makes these foods solid local choices.

Inevitably most of us will purchase foods that are neither locally grown nor produced.  We all also need non-food products that can't be sourced locally - there is no locally grown and produced toilet paper, just for starters.  In these instances, many of us can at least choose to keep revenue in our communities rather than funneling it out of state by shopping at Hollygrove Market and Farm, Dryades Public Market, Crescent City Farmer's Markets, Sankofa, the New Orleans Food Co-Op, Rouse's supermarkets, and other such locally owned outlets.  However, it's important to remember that choosing where to shop is not a luxury that all of us have.

There are of course other implications about the people to whom these spaces are available, which will be a discussion for another day.