New Orleans is known for many special things, not the least of which is its food.
That’s why Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Kathleen Merrigan chose the crescent city this week to release a new report on the importance of food hubs in America. The report finds that there is an increasing demand for fresh, local foods and the popularity of food hubs is growing quickly. In fact, there are well over 200 across the country now, including Hollygrove Farm and Market in downtown New Orleans.
On Tuesday, the Deputy Secretary was joined at the market by a number of dignitaries, including Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, USDA Rural Development State Director Clarence W. Hawkins, and world-renowned celebrity chef Paul Prudhomme for a cooking demonstration which featured fresh, ripe, local produce and a generous touch of the Chef’s famous Magic Seasoning Blends spices. Fresh and healthy can be exciting and a treat for the taste buds. Local farmers attended, and lined up with the deputy secretary to sample Chef Paul’s creations.
Hollygrove Farm is a success story in itself. In operation since 2009, it offers products from 20 growers in Louisiana and Mississippi. Its mission includes providing fresh, locally produced food to residents of underserved New Orleans neighborhoods.
In all, it was a great day to celebrate the importance of local, healthy food in the American diet.