5 Reasons To Buy Eggs, Beef & Veggies From Louisiana Farmers {And Tips On How Easy It Is To Do}

5 Reasons To Buy Eggs, Beef & Veggies From Louisiana Farmers {And Tips On How Easy It Is To Do}

I have always been someone concerned with potential exposure to environmental toxins via our food, but this got exponentially more important to me when I became a mom. It even got to the point where it significantly contributed to my postpartum anxiety, but over the years I have learned to focus my energy into the aspects of my family’s exposure that I can control, and let go of the rest. Enter the local Louisiana farmers I have begun getting a variety of our family’s food from. 

Yes, I’m That Person

It all started when I listened to a podcast about the quality of beef and chicken in corporate grocery stores. While many of these stores advertise their beef as “grass fed” and their chicken & eggs as “free range,” they are not as they seem. I learned that while most beef advertised as “grass fed” is in fact grass fed, it is often not grass finished. This means that when the calf is almost fully mature and ready for slaughter, they feed it corn and grains in a feedlot to fatten it up right before the slaughter. So, you’re “grass fed” beef is actually being corn fed as well. Similarly, many chickens who are “free range” are free to roam, but may still be getting commercial feed and not necessarily “living off the land.” The power of good marketing and verbiage, am I right? Needless to say, I went down a rabbit hole after that and probably did more research on food than I care to admit and decided I wanted to make some changes to where I purchased my family’s food. 

Real Farm to Table 

That’s when I found my first local-ish farmer,Three Twelve Beef. Three Twelve Beef is owned by Josh and Tara and their two kids, and is a certified farm to table producer. Their beef is grass fed, grass finished (meaning no corn or grains to fatten it up), and is never given growth hormones. The best part, Tara is who you personally speak to when you call to order. She is lovely, and was so patient with all my questions. She even found a way to get my beef delivered to me here in NOLA even though their farm is located in St. Francisville, LA. It truly is a complete farm to table experience, and the beef tastes amazing! Bonus, they also sell fresh eggs and dog bones for your furry friends. Once I got set up with Three Twelve Beef, I had a like minded friend reach out to me about joining a Veggie CSA in Covington. 

That’s when I got electronically introduced to James Tomkins at Tomkins Farms. Much like Tara at Three Twelve Beef, I was able to interact with him directly and he was incredibly patient with all my questions. Tomkins farms has a wide variety of farm to table options, including lamb, beef, pork, turkey, canned goods (think old school farm canning, not aluminum cans), and homemade bread, but what I was specifically interested in was eggs and veggies. So I decided to join their veggie CSA, which offers a variety of membership options with various price points. Each member receives 5-7 pounds of fresh, seasonal veggies which are delivered to your doorstep weekly. You can also add on eggs by the dozen as desired. The eggs are delicious, and all different colors which I have always loved about farm fresh eggs. And the veggies are SOO good! This past delivery we received green beans and they were so crisp and fresh. My kids even asked for them for dinner multiple nights in a row! 

But Why Am I Telling You All This?  

I tell you all this to share my reasons why supporting local farmers can be mutually beneficial for them and your family. So here they are, My TOP 5 reasons to shop local: 

  1. Farm To Table: It’s brought my over-analyzing brain so much peace of mind to know where our food is coming from. I’ll admit that I’m a little crazy about what goes into mine and my family’s bodies. So to personally know the people harvesting my food, and  know the quality of the meat, eggs, and produce is very refreshing. Additionally, buying from small, local farms means the food is minimally processed. There are no added or unwanted hormones introduced to the animals, which would ultimately be introduced to you and your family when you consume it. The veggies are not being harvested, shipped all over the country to various grocery stores, and sitting on shelves for days-weeks. Instead, they are coming straight from the farm to you. This means no forced ripening, less transportation and refrigeration, less exposure to chemicals, and less unwanted spoilage. And God’s honest truth, you can taste the difference. 
  2. You are reducing waste. What do you think happens to all the food at grocery stores that doesn’t get sold before its expiration date? It gets thrown away. Buying local beef and participating in local veggie shares helps eliminate the waste of un-purchased food. You are also most likely helping reduce early and excessive slaughter of animals. (Think pig farms in the Food Inc. documentary). Additionally, most veggie co-ops deliver weekly, which means they are only growing and harvesting enough to meet the demand, and you as the consumer are getting no more or less than you need for the week. 
  3. You can get creative! Because you are buying organic, local produce, you are also getting season specific produce. (Most produce is seasonal, but many distributors have begun genetically modifying seeds or growing certain veggies in large, commercial greenhouses to produce them year round.) Getting seasonal produce means that you may get veggies you’ve never heard of or cooked with. This can make for some fun recipe searching and experimenting in the kitchen. It’s also a great opportunity to teach your kids about different veggies and cooking! Just this week I received hot peppers in my delivery, which I have never cooked with but it prompted me to find a recipe for pepper jelly. I’ll keep you all posted on how it turns out! 
  4. You’re supporting local! It’s no secret that times are hard for small businesses right now, and this includes farmers. Many of these farms are generationally owned and operated, and have remained small and personable despite larger corporations taking over most of the market. There are everyday people like you and I, who have committed to providing quality products to their community, despite the rising costs of running a business. Supporting them not only supports their businesses, but it also supports the local economy and community. 
  5. You’re maximizing your nutritional intake! Did you know that many seasonal veggies provide micronutrients that are vital to our bodies during that particular season? That’s right! For example, leafy greens during the spring help our bodies detoxify, and hydrating foods like watermelon, cucumbers, and berries help us remain hydrated in the summer heat. Seasonal vegetables are picked at the peak of each season when they have fully grown. This means exposure to optimal sunlight and growing conditions, which produces higher levels of antioxidants in the produce itself. So, having access to these seasonal veggies in the seasons our bodies need them can be a great way to optimize your overall health! Additionally, veggies grown specific to their season are subjected to less heavy pesticides, herbicides, and fungicides. So it’s a win-win!

Go ahead and give it a try!

So what do you have to lose? Go ahead and give it a try! While I chose to purchase from Three Twelve Beef and Tomkins Farms, there are many other local farms that have veggie, egg, and meat CSAs. There are also a wide variety of farmer’s markets that can be a great place to find local produce, milk, eggs, and other seasonal items (local honey is a particular favorite of mine). If you are overwhelmed and need help getting started, feel free to drop your questions in the comments and I’ll be happy to help!



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