Urban farming roots community after BP spill
October 14th, 2013
10:15 PM ET
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Editor's note: Next year, the Southern Foodways Alliance will explore inclusion and exclusion at the Southern table in 2014. This theme is two-fold. It marks the 50th anniversary of the desegregation of Southern restaurants. It also challenges us to take an honest look at ourselves today - for the sake of tomorrow. Who is included? Who is excluded? For the Southern table, what are the implications of obesity? Class, nationality, and sexuality? These are critical issues to ponder. Sustainable South hopes to draw your attention to agricultural groups tackling inclusion and exclusion from the field. Today's contributor is Emilie Dayan, a SFA project manager who blogs weekly about issues of nutrition, sustainability, and food policy in the South.

The VEGGI Farmer’s Cooperative challenges head-on problems of inclusion and exclusion in New Orleans, Louisiana. The cooperative, established following the effects of the BP oil spill on the Vietnamese community in New Orleans East, aims to provide the highest quality local produce and seafood to Crescent City and beyond.

The story of this community goes back to 1975 when, after the fall of Saigon, the Archdiocese of New Orleans invited many of the Christian Vietnamese who supported the U.S.-allied government to seek asylum in Louisiana. There, the Vietnamese found a familiar climate and jobs as fishermen, a trade many had practiced in Vietnam.
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Gulf oyster nets still barren, three years after oil spill
April 29th, 2013
01:45 PM ET
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On his dock along the banks of Bayou Yscloskey, Darren Stander makes the pelicans dance.

More than a dozen of the birds have landed or hopped onto the dock, where Stander takes in crabs and oysters from the fishermen who work the bayou and Lake Borgne at its mouth. The pelicans rock back and forth, beaks rising and falling, as he waves a bait fish over their heads.

At least he's got some company. There's not much else going on at his dock these days. There used to be two or three people working with him; now he's alone. The catch that's coming in is light, particularly for crabs.

"Guys running five or six hundred traps are coming in with two to three boxes, if that," said Stander, 26.
Out on the water, the chains clatter along the railing of George Barisich's boat as he and his deckhand haul dredges full of oysters onto the deck. As they sort them, they're looking for signs of "spat": the young oysters that latch onto reefs and grow into marketable shellfish.
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Filed under: Disaster • Environment • Fishing • New Orleans • Ocean • Oil Spill


Flooding 'could be devastating' for Gulf oystermen
May 13th, 2011
12:45 PM ET
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As the massive flooding from the Mississippi heads towards the nation's richest oyster grounds, Mike Voisin feels that old familiar feeling.

He's seen the damage caused to the oyster business in Louisiana firsthand over the past six years. After Hurricane Rita and then Hurricane Katrina ravaged Louisiana, the oyster business realized they needed protection.  A part-government, part-private insurance program gave them breathing room to recuperate.

But then the blows kept coming. One, after another, after another. Hurricane Ike and Hurricane Gustav again battered the spirits and livelihoods of those who depend on their oyster crops.

Read "Oysterman: BP left us vulnerable, flooding could be 'knockout blow'"

Previously - Oysters stage a comeback after BP disaster

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Filed under: Disaster • Environment • Flood • News • Oil Spill


Gulf seafood: a year after the spill
April 20th, 2011
10:45 AM ET
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On April 20, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico killing 11 crew members and leaking more than 200 million gallons of oil into the water. Today marks the one year anniversary of this disaster.

From "Stories from the Gulf, one year on"

In the Louisiana marshes, members of the Pointe Aux Chenes Indian Tribe say the spill has affected everything.

"It changed our way of life for sure," says tribe member Theresa Dardar. "We're not eating like we usually eat."

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Filed under: Bite • Health News • New Orleans • New Orleans • Oil Spill • Tainted Food • Travel


April 19th, 2011
10:00 AM ET
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Watch the Green Solutions in Focus: Eatocracy Edition hour-long special hosted by Tom Foreman on Saturday, April 23rd at 3pm ET and see all Earth Day coverage at eatocracy.com/infocus

Previously - Oysters stage a comeback after BP disaster, Beyond Raw: How New Orleans serves up oysters and a Secret Supper in the Big Easy
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Filed under: Earth Day • Events • Feature • In Focus • New Orleans • New Orleans • Oil Spill • Video


February 17th, 2011
12:30 PM ET
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Laissez les bons temps rouler! Eatocracy is in New Orleans this week getting ready for the second edition of our Secret Supper. We'll be sharing the people, purveyors and places that make this such a significant food town, and hope you'll join in with your questions, memories, restaurant suggestions and general bonhomie.

Ten months after the BP oil disaster that spewed about 200 million gallons of crude into the ocean off the Louisiana coast, oysters are starting to make a comeback in New Orleans restaurants – a remarkable feat, considering that about half of the local oyster population was killed during the spill; and considering that a majority of Americans surveyed still express some squeamishness about eating seafood from the Gulf of Mexico.
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Filed under: Bite • Cuisines • New Orleans • News • Oil Spill • Secret Suppers • Think


February 17th, 2011
09:05 AM ET
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Laissez les bons temps rouler! Eatocracy is in New Orleans this week getting ready for the second edition of our Secret Supper. We'll be sharing the people, purveyors and places that make this such a significant food town, and hope you'll join in with your questions, memories, restaurant suggestions and general bonhomie.

New Orleans (CNN) - Without a blink of hesitation, Renee Fish grabbed a squirmy-raw oyster off an iced platter in New Orleans and sloshed it into her mouth.

“It’s definitely the texture,” she said, her eyes lighting up at the experience of just having eaten a live mollusk from the Gulf of Mexico’s once-oily waters. “And they’re clean. They have a real silkiness. I try not to think about what other nasties could be in there.”

On a neon-lit night at the Acme Oyster House, Fish and her husband went on to order two-dozen raw oysters, a half-dozen charbroiled oysters and two “oyster shooters,” which are essentially vodka shots with oysters staring up from the bottom.

As for the oil spill: “It really didn’t even enter my mind.”
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Filed under: Bite • Environment • New Orleans • Ocean • Oil Spill • Think


December 20th, 2010
07:45 PM ET
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Our pal Chef Bryan Caswell, evangelist for Houston, friend of Waffle House, and recent Next Iron Chef contestant is a die-hard son of the Gulf and he'll do what it takes to get it cleaned up - even at the expense of his dignity.

p.s. That's him in the role of "John," rockin' the Nancy Sinatra white galoshes official White Boot Brigade-style shrimping kicks.

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Filed under: Bryan Caswell • Celebrity Chefs • Oil Spill


A very crabby Gulf Coast Christmas at the White House
December 8th, 2010
04:15 PM ET
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The White House is putting its menu where its mouth is.

President Obama and administration officials have said numerous times since the BP oil spill that seafood from the Gulf of Mexico is safe and good to eat.

Now, White House chef Cris Comerford says on the executive mansion's blog that she's ordered 2,000 pounds of Gulf shrimp and crab to serve during the holiday season.

Read White House eating, serving, promoting Gulf seafood

See all Gulf Coast seafood coverage on Eatocracy and full coverage throughout CNN

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Filed under: News • Oil Spill • White House


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