Louisiana’s agriculture and forestry commissioner is challenging the residents of his state to eat local for one week.

“I’m issuing the Eat Local Louisiana Challenge to everyone,” Mike Strain said. “I’m asking everyone, including the governor and officials across the state, to only eat food that is grown within Louisiana for one week.”

The Eat Local Louisiana Challenge will coincide with the National Farmers Market Week of Aug. 3-9. Strain will be appearing on local morning television shows across the state to publicize the event and stress the importance of buying and eating locally.

“We’ve got more than a hundred local farmers markets and fruit stands across the state,” Strain said. “Think of the possibilities: peaches from Ruston, blueberries from the Felicianas, crawfish from the Atchafalaya, pork and beef from your local meat markets, and rice and gravy.”

Seasonings would be no problem because Louisiana hot sauces are among the best in the world and the state is a leader in salt production, he added.

Strain said families and individuals could make an event out of the Eat Local Louisiana Challenge by visiting local farms, farmers markets and other agritourism venues to get a better understanding of how food gets to their dining tables.

“Visiting a farm or a dairy is a great learning activity for children and adults as well,” Strain said.

A list of state farmers markets, roadside fruit stands and agritourism activities can be found on the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry’s Web site.

Strain said the Eat Local Louisiana Challenge will lead to changes in the way Louisiana eats.

“Your food will taste better because it’s fresher and you’ll be proud to support your Louisiana farmer and the local economy,” Strain said. “You’ll know your food is coming from your area and not trucked in from hundreds of miles away.”