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Friday, August 27, 2010

Post-Katrina food culture

We are approaching the the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina this weekend.

Although I have no true personal ties to New Orleans, the event and its aftermath have always been intriguing to me. In 2005, I was just starting out as a news reporter, and one of my first stories was about the arrival of Katrina refugees. Hitting the five-year mark puts a number of things into perspective, both on an individual and large-scale level.

I can't help but feel that so many of the stories, photos and video clips being posted across the media are a little haunting, and the results of this year's oil spill certainly add to the sting. Add in a growing list of complex political implications, and the news coverage can become overwhelmingly disheartening.

This article by a writer from The Times-Picayune was an honest, if not bittersweet, profile of how the food culture has changed in New Orleans since Katrina. While there are indeed triumphs, such as the increase in urban farming and the opening of specialty food stores, there are also pitfalls, such as the "food deserts" across the city. I found this list thought-provoking and thought foodie readers would appreciate it.