FARM TO TABLE
By Tyler F. Thigpen
Acadiana Food Day is about much more — or is it less? — than local cuisine.
Move over Earth Day; it is time to celebrate food. That’s right, the national celebration of locally grown and -raised foods, Food Day, is held annually on Oct. 24. Each year during the week surrounding Food Day, local foods groups and leaders around the U.S. come together for events and activities that promote community support of local foods. This year, the 3rd Annual Acadiana Food Day will take place from 8 a.m. to noon at the Lafayette Farmers and Artisans Market at the Horse Farm on Oct. 26. In Acadiana in the fall, there are plenty of festivals featuring a unique edible facet of south Louisiana, but this celebration focuses on the way food is produced rather than a particular food item or cuisine.
|Photos by Lucius A. Fontenot|
“There are many food celebrations; however, this one focuses on some of the challenges surrounding our food supply,” says Daphne Olivier, Acadiana Food Day volunteer and owner of My Food Coach, a local business that educates clients on healthy food consumption.
“The areas of education and access to healthy foods, reducing hunger in our nation, sustainable farming, and animal and farm worker welfare are areas that need to be recognized and addressed as a grassroots effort.”
Acadiana Food Day started in 2011. “When I found out that a national celebration called Food Day existed, my immediate reaction was ‘Lafayette must be a part of this,’” says Michelle MacFadyen, local foods advocate and co-owner of Great Harvest Bread Co. of Acadiana. “Then I learned that Food Day is extra special because it’s a celebration of healthy, affordable and sustainably produced food.”
MacFadyen teamed up with community-based non-profit Acadiana Food Circle to host the first Food Day in the Great Harvest Bread Co. parking lot. The event featured a farmers’ market, Christine Balfa and friends and other live music, face painting and more. An estimated 50-75 people attended.
In 2012, MacFadyen moved the event to Heymann Park on South College Road and organized a bigger event and farmers’ market complete with local restaurants, slow foods and sustainable gardening presentations, a petting zoo featuring some of the Gotreaux Family Farms’ animals, music and other attractions. The event hosted an estimated 300 attendees.
Similar to the slow foods movement as a whole, Food Day continues to grow. This year the event is going to be paired with the weekly Lafayette Farmers and Artisans Market at the Horse Farm and more than 1,500 people are expected to attend. Acadiana Food Day will include the existing farmers’ market plus guest vendors that are participating for the event, more educational presentations, activities for children and live music.
“For those people who don’t frequent farmers’ markets, I would like the event to be a catalyst for forming a new habit,” says MacFadyen. “Making farmers’ markets a regular part of their week, which could then be a catalyst for getting in the kitchen more.”
For Olivier, Food Day is about incorporating locally grown and -produced foods into the strong food culture that exists in Lafayette. “My dream for Food Day is for our local community to shift their paradigm of food,” says Olivier. “We live in a culture where the taste of food is unmatched anywhere in the world. My hope is that people can also understand the nutritional value of food, and more importantly be able to marry the tastes of food with the nutrition of food from local, sustainable resources.”
Tyler F. Thigpen is a wetland ecologist and past president of Acadiana Food Circle (www.AcadianaFoodCircle.org), a community-based nonprofit that connects local food producers to consumers.
ACADIANA FOOD DAY
8 A.M.-NOON, SATURDAY, OCT. 26
Lafayette Farmers and Artisans Market at the Horse Farm
To volunteer, email Michelle MacFadyen at
Co-founder Ryan Trahan goes solo to keep it local.
Halliburton's agreement to pay more than $1 billion to settle numerous claims involving the 2010 BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill could be a way for the company and victims of the spill to avoid years of costly litigation — if all the pieces fall into place.
BP says it recently obtained correspondence between Patrick Juneau's Lafayette law firm and the Gulf Coast Claims Facility showing he argued for liberal compensation, flexible documentation requirements and other terms that would help Louisiana claimants at BP's expense.
The circumstances surrounding the death last March while in the backseat of a sheriff’s cruiser of Victor White III, long a source of dispute by White’s family, have earned an investigation by federal officials.
Lafayette patio home or Port Barre waterfront cottage
With six of the LPSB’s nine members poised for Pat Cooper’s termination, a request was filed Tuesday for a fast-tracked hearing on the federal lawsuit calling for the disqualification of two board members from voting on the matter due to bias.
A few of my favorite things
Louisiana's Republican Party has filed a complaint against Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu with the Senate's ethics committee about her use of private chartered planes.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
An attorney signs up to run against LPSB's Mark Cockerham, and within a week a lawsuit is filed by a former LPSS employee in an attempt to disqualify him. Coincidence?
According to Gov. Bobby Jindal, President Barack Obama needs to stop talking about “justice” and start murdering people, even if we have to go alone.
A replacement is expected by January to fill the vacancy left when Greg Roberts resigned after allegedly pointing a fake gun at an engineer during a June meeting.
The Ragin’ Cajuns got off to a superb start Saturday night, and the Human Jukebox made the soaked season opener even sweeter for the third-largest crowd in Cajun Field history.
The Louisiana health department will follow a federal judge's order and refrain from immediately penalizing doctors who are trying to comply with a new abortion law that requires them to obtain admitting privileges at a local hospital, a spokeswoman said Monday.
Halliburton says it has agreed to pay $1.1 billion to settle a substantial portion of plaintiff claims arising from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
While bogged down with qualifying candidates last month, Secretary of State Tom Schedler didn’t lose sight of the true endgame coming in November and December.
Tuesday's Blogs from the Bog!
Stoned driving a concern when pot is legal; Detroit's bankruptcy trial; speed trap scandal in Florida and more national and international news for Tuesday, September 02, 2014.
A federal jury found attorney Daniel Stanford guilty Friday afternoon on eight of 13 counts for his role in the Curious Goods conspiracy.
Lafayette City-Court Judge Francie Bouillion has served on the bench for two decades since winning a special election to replace Judge Kaliste Saloom when he retired in 1994.
The Houston firm said Friday in its weekly report that 1,575 rigs were exploring for oil and 338 for gas. One was listed as miscellaneous. A year ago there were 1,776 active rigs.
A crew began erecting the 25-foot mini-wheel late morning Friday in anticipation of the evening’s Hottest Night of the Year party at the park.
Frances Boothe of Nunez, who also happens to be filmmaker Stephen Meaux’s grandmother, prepares a cool-weather fave.
The magazine's senior football writer also predicts a break-out year for Saints fourth-year running back Mark Ingram.
New Iberia colonial or Broussard traditional home
The LPSB is poised and ready to move forward with the termination of Pat Cooper following a discussion Thursday with the attorney hired for the investigation of the superintendent, but a decision of this magnitude should be left up to the new board seated in January, especially with three pro-investigation board members bailing out come the new year.
Fiery style for game day
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Gulf Coast ceremonies marking the ninth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina have begun.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries says there is little known about the effects of tiger prawns on indigenous Louisiana shrimp. But, officials say the reports they're seeking will help state biologists monitor the distribution of the prawns and determine the possible presence of spawning populations.