Vendors join DOA to promote healthy eating with local producers

Eat Local Day was instituted by the Department of Agriculture (DOA) eight years ago to encourage persons to eat more locally produced foods, and by using caterers show that the foods can be tasty, attractive and nutritional.

Kadeem Adams is an officer in the Marketing Unit of the DOA who spoke with among the din of talk, laughter and music and talked about a key feature this year.

He explained, “What we have been promoting is ‘Tree Mutton’ (Monkey meat), because the farmers have been complaining about the monkeys being a menace. We have been encouraging them to catch them and utilize the meat.”

Adams said the response has been good. “People are buying and tasting the variety of local produce prepared with exceptional care by all of the caterers. Having the Eat Local Day during Music Festival also allows many visitors to sample the foods and have a great time,” he said.

Twelve caterers are serving a variety of well-prepared menus this year, an increase over the normal four or five caterers.

Corliss Catering Services is one of the participants in the event. On their menu was curried mutton, barbequed rabbit, pan-fried and steamed fish, green banana delight and creamy breadfruit among several other delicious looking items. “We are here encouraging people to eat local and buy local,” she said, adding, “It’s healthier for you than the imported foods. We must eat what we grow.”

Cassava-Flour-SurveyJerdell-S was another busy caterer who said to me, “We don’t have rice or macaroni. Everything here is made from local produce. I have dasheen, Tanya, soused-down breadfruit, cinnamon green plantain, butternut squash, star apple flavoured cabbage, and in meats we have rabbit, mutton, pork, duck and fish.”

As part of the Eat Local Day, the Department of Agriculture joined with the Barbados based sub-regional office of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to conduct a survey during the Eat Local Day on foods made from cassava flour. FAO is promoting the use of cassava flour in the region and has carried out experiments with bakers in Barbados with positive results. The survey registers consumer reactions to cassava based foods offered at the Eat Local Day.

According to Ian Chapman, the FAO focal point in St. Kitts, the survey captured data about appearance, taste, flavor, texture, aroma and overall acceptability of the gluten-free cassava flour. He revealed that later this year, the FAO will begin trials with bakers in St. Kitts and Nevis.

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