By Monica Grizzaffi
The convenience of two-day shipping, curbside pickup, and a five-minute drive to the nearest grocery store in today’s modern lifestyle makes it easy to forget that most of our food comes from somewhere that is usually very far away; sometimes even from another country. When it comes to producing, we are often purchasing food that has been harvested days, or maybe even a week before it makes it into our homes. This means that many of the beneficial nutrients are lost. In addition, food producers often try to prolong the shelf life of these products with chemical methods, either in the growing phase of the food or by an added coating on the food before it ships off. But with so many chemicals already bombarding our bodies on a daily basis such as in the air and in our skin products, food should be the one thing that we try to keep as pure as possible.
Consuming as much higher quality, clean, fresh foods as we can, give our bodies the maximum amount of nutrients it needs to heal from the onslaught. One way to do this is to purchase foods grown or raised by local farmers. Luckily, Louisiana is rich in its offerings and has a diverse group of farmers with goods ranging from produce, meats, eggs, and dairy products.
An easy place to begin is your local Farmer’s Market, typically held on Saturday mornings. There you can discover which products work best with your lifestyle and budget. Get to know the farmer selling the food. They are happy to answer your questions! Ask about their farm location, farming methods, harvest times, current and upcoming offerings; most have websites or social media sites that you can visit as well. If every Saturday morning isn’t always a convenient shopping time, or if you want more fresh food throughout the week, many farmers offer mid-week pickup days and locations. My family and I have even visited several local farms over the years to pick up food and spend a few moments playing with the animals.
If this kind of lifestyle is new to you, it can be an adjustment. It takes some planning and isn’t as convenient as going to the grocery store at 8:00 pm on a Thursday. But it can be a very rewarding way to be a part of our community while nurturing our bodies in the best possible way. As an added bonus, it stimulates our local economy and decreases our carbon footprint, making us more conscious citizens of the world. So take a break from food sitting under fluorescent light bulbs and discover the fresh, delicious foods our farmers are growing in the Louisiana sunshine!
Acadiana Farmer’s Markets
Lafayette Farmers And Artisan Market at Moncus Park 2913 Johnston St., Lafayette / Open Saturdays from 8:00 am – 12:00pm Hub City Farmers Market 427 Heymann St., Lafayette / Open Saturdays from 8:00 am – 12:00pm Abbeville Farmers Market (seasonal) 200 Magdalen Square St., Abbeville Open Saturdays from 8:00am to 12:00pm Delcambre Seafood and Farmers Market (seasonal) 605 S. S. Railroad St., Delcambre Open the first Saturday of each month from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm Eunice Farmers Market 119 N. Irving Ave., Kaplan Wednesdays from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm, Saturdays at 10:00 am Kaplan Farmers Market 2nd Street and Park Avenue, Eunice second Saturday of each month, 8:00 am Sunrise Saturdays in Sunset- The Farmers Market 832 Napoleon Ave., Sunset Saturdays 8:00 am – 12:00 pm Opelousas Farmer Market Farmers Market Pavilion, 828 East Landry St., Opelousas Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, from 6:30 am – 11 am Bayou Teche Farmers Market 203 New Market St., St. Martinville Saturdays 9 am – 1:00 pm Teche Area Farmers Market (seasonal) 200 W. Main St, New Iberia Tuesdays 2:30 pm – 6 pm, Saturdays 7:00 am – 11:00 am
Monica Grizzaffi is a registered nurse also educated in psychology and fine arts. She is a twenty-two-year cancer survivor of stage IV Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and is passionate about educating others on healthy living and disease prevention, especially through diet. Monica was born and raised in Ossun, Louisiana and now lives in Lafayette with her husband Jeff and their three daughters.