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May 6, 2011 7:33 PM by Carolyn Cerda

Eating Local Part 2

Eating food from Acadiana producers not only helps boost the economy, but can also benefit your health. You may be wondering, with those added benefits, how you can get involved. We talked with one family that gets it done, everyday.

A typical dinner for Tanya Campbell's family starts with a fresh salad. This Lafayette mom of 2 boys only uses organic food, and buys most from area farmers, like the Thompson's at "Market Basket Youngsville."

"What happened with the Thompson's is they just fell in love with my children," said Campbell. "They go out to their farm. The kids pick the vegetables, they play with the animals."

Campbell made the switch to organic more than three years ago, after doing some research.

"It was frightening, learning about genetically modified food," said Campbell. "I could not in good conscience go back. You can't feed your kids poison when you know it's poison."

Campbell says the switch hasn't always been easy. She says eating organic does take some extra time and money. But, she says it's all worth it.

"When i first started this, never in my life did I imagine that eating could be so complicated. But, I'm much stronger now. I'm terribly committed. There's no turning back."

Campbell says other families could follow in her footsteps. Her piece of advice to get started, is to support local organic farmers.

"Saturday morning 8-12 go to the farmer's market in the Oil Center. That's the first thing I would do. They sometimes play music. It's fun."

The "Hub City Farmer's Market" has been held in the Oil Center, across from Champagne's for over a year. It was started by Brian Gotreaux of "Gotreaux Family Farms" in Scott.

"They have organic practices, which is better for us as a whole," said registered and licensed dietitian, Dorian Driscoll, MS, LDN, RD. "You have more of the antioxidants that come in, the freshness of it all. And then it lasts you know it's stable for several weeks instead of several days."

Driscoll says conventional grocery stores don't always have the ripest produce, because they have to take into account, storage and shipping.

"Generally in the stores, you're not getting it at it's peak ripeness," said Driscoll. "The nutrients are going to be top at that time, so those antioxidants, those minerals are going to be there."

Both Driscoll and Campbell agree, that on top of the health benefits, the taste and knowing where your food comes from are pluses.

"You can see the color differences, you know those deeper darker greens, yellows and oranges," said Driscoll. "Taste wise, many times you don't get that kind of taste from a conventional grocery store."

"They know their farmers," Campbell said of her 4 year old and 3 year old boys. "They know the names of the vegetables because they've gone out with the Thompson's and they've picked their vegetables."

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