▶ Drone Films Redfish Action

Amazing drone video catches Redfish fishing in action!

 

via ▶ Drone Films Redfish Action – YouTube.

 

If you liked this post, you can follow me on Twitter @ArlenBennyCenac
Arlen Benny Cenac, Jr.

 

▶ Drone Films Redfish Action | Benny Cenac – Louisiana Sportsman.

Posted in Fishing | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Are Egg Whites Or Whole Eggs Healthier?

 

You’ve tried so hard to be healthy. You watch your calories, exercise regularly and always toss out the yolks when you make your veggie omelet. Well, it may be time to reconsider! (At least when it comes to your eggs.) Whole eggs don’t raise your risk of heart disease — in fact, according to nutrition coach Liz Wolfe, NTP, author of Eat The Yolks, it may be worse for your health to not eat them.

The Scrambled Facts
Egg yolks, along with other sources of saturated fat and cholesterol, came under fire in the wake of research by Nikolai Anichkov at the turn of the 20th century. Anichkov fed rabbits pure cholesterol and noted that their arteries clogged up with plaque, leading to a hypothesis that cholesterol promotes heart disease. But since then, there have been questions raised about how closely the two are related. Wolfe counters: “Rabbits have nothing in common with human bodies … and cholesterol isn’t part of their diet anyway.”

Nevertheless, the findings gave rise to a witch hunt that demonized foods high in fat and cholesterol. Researcher Ancel Keys made headlines in the 1950s with his Seven Countries’ Study, which almost single-handedly set the line of thinking on saturated fat that prevails today. Keys claimed that after looking at the average diets of populations in seven different countries, he was able to determine that those who ate the most animal fat had the highest rates of heart disease. But his analysis was flawed. Although Keys’ data did show a connection between fat and heart disease, he couldn’t demonstrate that the relationship was causal. Furthermore, while mortality rates for heart disease were higher in the countries that consumed the most animal fat, deaths from nearly ever other cause were lower — and overall life expectancy was higher.

The Sunny Side Of Things
Thankfully, more concrete findings have come to light in the years since. In 2010, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a meta-analysis — the collected findings of 21 different studies — which stated that “saturated fat was not associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease, stroke or coronary vascular disease.”

Earlier this year, Time magazine reversed the argument it made in a 1984 cover story claiming eggs and other high-fat foods were dangerous, and even encouraged readers to eat butter over margarine.

So what is the real cause of heart disease? Wolfe suggests it lies in the inflammation caused by “chronic stress levels, and the overconsumption of vegetable oils and processed carbohydrates.” In other words: “Limit foods that come in boxes and bags.”

The Hard-Boiled Truth
Meanwhile, if you’ve been avoiding egg yolks, you’ve been missing out on a world of good nutrition. According to Wolfe, “They’re a great source of vitamin A, which is good for skin, B vitamins for energy and choline, which supports brain health, muscles and is necessary for a healthy pregnancy.” The saturated fat in yolks is also necessary for hormone production and the body’s absorption of vitamins and minerals.

As long as you control your overall calories, whole egg consumption won’t cause weight gain, despite its fat content. However, if you’re trying to hit certain macronutrient numbers for a diet, or just want to restrict calories, having a few white-only eggs can be appropriate. When in doubt, check in with a nutritionist to see how well your current food choices stack up against your health and fitness goals.

By Life by DailyBurn

 

If you liked this post, you can follow me on Twitter @ArlenBennyCenac
Arlen Benny Cenac, Jr.

 

via Are Egg Whites Or Whole Eggs Healthier?.

 

 

Are Egg Whites Or Whole Eggs Healthier? | Arlen Benny Cenac – In My Kitchen.

Posted in Food | Tagged , | Leave a comment

How to Send Your Child to an Elite Private College for Less Than the Cost of a State School 

 

 

If your college savings are low, but you still have a strong desire to send your child to an elite private college, this may be one of the most important articles you read all year.

But first, why do private colleges consistently rank higher than state run universities?

1. Private colleges typically offer much smaller class sizes and more individual attention. A smaller student to professor ratio means more focus on each individual student’s needs. A smaller classroom is a more intimate setting, which allows students to feel more comfortable speaking up or asking questions during discussions and lectures. Plus, professors are more likely to be readily available to their students… often maintaining an open-door policy at their offices.

2. The average four-year graduation rate is almost double what the average state school is.

3. Private colleges tend to have higher standards for acceptance, along with a higher standard of conduct than most public colleges.

4. Private colleges tend to focus on fewer areas. This allows specialization that produces a higher caliber of graduate in those fields.

5. Private colleges typically have bigger endowments which can be used to attract better professors and faculty.

Keep in mind, the focus of this report is not to downgrade public colleges. In many situations, a public college can give a child a great education for a good price. But for those parents who have always dreamed of a private college education for their children, keep reading.

Average Private College Costs Versus State-Run Universities

The College Board reports that a “moderate” college budget for an in-state public college for the 2010-2011 academic year averaged $20,339. A moderate budget at a private college averaged $40,476. (A college budget or ‘sticker price’ includes both tuition, fees, housing, meals, books, supplies, plus personal and transportation expenses.)

That’s nearly twice the cost to send your child to a public college.

KEY POINT: What the sticker price is for a college is not necessarily what a family pays for college.

Sticker price is the price a college quotes all students before factoring in any scholarships, grants or student loans.

If you take one thing from this article, it is this point…

There can be a huge difference between the sticker price and what a parent actually pays for college.

We talked earlier about several of the biggest advantages private colleges have over state school. But perhaps the biggest advantage is that private colleges typically give out a much higher amount of free gift-aid than state schools.

(Gift aid is typically what brings down the sticker price of a private college… So much so, that a higher sticker priced college can often times end up costing less than a state university.)

So, what determines if a family gets free gift-aid?

It is determined by something called the financial aid formula and here’s how the financial aid formula breaks down:

C.O.A (Cost of Attendance) – E.F.C. (Expected Family Contribution) =Need

Or, put another way…

Cost of Attendance (C.O.A. – also called the “sticker price” or “college budget”) minus the Expected Family Contribution (E.F.C. – this is the number based on the FAFSA that determines what your family can afford to pay for college each year. It’s mostly based on the parents’ and students’ income and family assets and is normally higher then you were hoping it was going to be) This calculation determines the Family Need (how much aid your family is eligible for)

Let’s look at an example from a couple years ago so that you can see this in action.

Example: “The Jones Family”

Widener University
$50,221 (Cost of Attendance)
– 14,921 (Expected Family Contribution)
= 35,300 (Family Need)

Based on this formula, Widener’s Financial Aid Department came back with the following total aid award package…

$17,000 Presidential Scholarship
$10,700 Widener Grant-in-aid
$3,500 Direct Federal Subsidized-loan
$2,000 Direct Federal Unsubsidized-loan
$1,100 Federal Work-Study
$1,000 Federal Perkins Loan
$35,300 Total Aid Awarded

This award package shows us that Widener met 100 percent of the Jones family’s financial need. And they did so with more than 78 percent in free gift-aid.

So instead of paying the sticker price of $50,221, the Joneses pay $14,921 per year out-of-pocket to send their child to Widener.

Now let’s compare this with what they were awarded at a state college…

University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
$24,167 (Cost of attendance for in-state students)
– $14,921 (Expected Family Contribution)
= $9,246 (Family Need)

$600 Michigan Competitive Scholarship
$1,000 Private Scholarship
$3,500 Direct Federal Subsidized-loan
= $5,100 Total Aid Awarded

This brings the cost of University of Michigan-Ann Arbor to $19,067 per year out-of-pocket.
This is a textbook example of how a high-priced, elite private college actually could cost less than an in-state public university.

We’ve seen thousands of examples just like this over the years.

Keep this idea in mind as you move forward with your family’s college planning.

Remember, don’t rule out an elite private school just based on the sticker price. There is a good chance you won’t pay anywhere near that price. And you may even end up paying far less than you would at an in-state public college.

via How to Send Your Child to an Elite Private College for Less Than the Cost of a State School | Scott Weingold.

 

If you liked this post, you can follow me on Twitter @ArlenBennyCenac
Arlen Benny Cenac, Jr.

 

 

How to Send Your Child to an Elite Private College for Less Than the Cost of a State School  | Arlen Benny Cenac – Education.

Posted in Education | Tagged , ,

Whole Foods Market holds Local 101 for Louisiana Vendors

Calling all Louisiana food grower or suppliers:  Don’t miss your opportunity to learn how to have your product sold at Whole Foods Market.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/f/f3/Whole_Foods_Market_logo.svg/1280px-Whole_Foods_Market_logo.svg.png

If you are a grower or supplier in Louisiana there are some tips available that can help you learn how to get on grocer’s shelves.

Local Forager Kelly Landrieu will lead a Local 101 class from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. Friday, Aug. 22 at Lafayette Economic Development Authority on 211 E. Devalcourt St.

The free program will cover in-depth information on Whole Foods Market’s quality standards, food safety, retail-ready packaging, regulatory requirements and the process to becoming a supplier.

Landrieu notes, “Louisiana is known for its amazing food and culture, and Local 101 is a great way to understand necessary steps in becoming a supplier for Whole Foods Market. We’re excited about the opportunity to showcase local products and flavors.”

Local 101 is free and open to all Louisiana growers, food artisans and body care suppliers. For reservations, email louisianalocal@wholefoods.com.

Whole Foods Market will open its first-ever store in Shreveport sometime in 2015. A new store will also open Wednesday, Sept. 24 in Lafayette.

via Whole Foods Market® holds Local 101 for Louisiana Vendors – ArkLatexHomepage.com.

 

If you liked this post, you can follow me on Twitter @ArlenBennyCenac
Arlen Benny Cenac, Jr.

Posted in Food | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Food truck with a difference: Converted bus brings fresh produce to low-income neighborhoods

Benny Cenac:

This could be a solution to the problem of little fresh produce available in low income neighborhoods still struggling after Katrina.

Don’t be fooled by lush lawns, trees and access to fresh water; in a food desert, the mirage is the place selling inexpensive, fresh produce among the fast-food outlets and overpriced grocery chains. Trying to assemble ingredients for a good, healthy salad, or filling a pot with enough veggies to feed a big family without breaking the bank, is next to impossible here and, unfortunately, a city as big as Toronto has plenty of them.

The problem is, they’re invisible to those of us with healthy incomes. On Old Meadow Lane in Lawrence Heights, for example – while it’s only an eight-minute walk to traverse the noisy half-kilometre to Fortino’s at Lawrence Square Shopping Centre – a $20 budget won’t get a low-income person very far. And speaking of far, the 1.3 kilometres to the Metro at Lawrence and Bathurst isn’t worth the half-hour round-trip (which can be a lot longer if you use a walker or have a couple of fussy kids), as the only things one might buy there are items that have been reduced.

“By the time produce is on special there, the quality is so poor,” explains Afua Asantewaa of FoodShare Toronto. “If it’s not a discount grocery store like FreshCo or No Frills, they’re generally not accessible to the residents in the neighbourhoods we serve.”

If only there were a way to get fresh food directly to these dinner-tables-in-the-desert.… That was the conversation in 2012, says Ms. Asantewaa, 45, who co-ordinates FoodShare’s Mobile and Good Food Markets, when the dream was to convert a full-sized TTC bus into a mobile produce market, just like the “Fresh Moves” program in Chicago had done. While FoodShare was getting by using a cube van, staff craved something customized for the task; however, limited real estate and a limited budget soon squashed the full-sized bus plan, and discussion turned to a smaller Wheel-Trans bus.

And while the TTC stepped up and donated one, a major redesign to showcase the fresh wares still had to take place if the new Mobile Good Food Market was to become a reality. To that end, LGA Architectural Partners, headed by the dynamic duo of Janna Levitt and Dean Goodman, came to the rescue and offered their services pro bono.

“This is what we love and motivates us about architecture,” offers Mr. Goodman, who also worked on the converted shipping containers that now make up Market 707 at Scadding Court Community Centre. “It’s not what the particular design is, but more about the critical issue: Can we use our skill to make our city and community a better place to live in.” The bus, the architect continues, should function as a “food stand,” so, with the help of fabricator Crew Chief Conversions, an entire side was cut open and put on hinges to create an awning and create an instant gathering-space.

“The design also offered the opportunity to shop from the inside in inclement weather,” he adds, pointing out that as a former Wheel-Trans bus, ramps for ease of entry and exit were already in place. “Good food is beautiful when displayed well, so when we decided we wanted this to be a feature we worked out the mechanism so one person could fold out the shelves, restock as necessary and display the food so it was attractive.”

It’s true: When parked and fully merchandized, you hardly see the bus. Instead, it’s a visual feast of cascading bins of leafy lettuce, onions and berries, and more exotic fare such as okra or yuca (cassava) to reflect the wide range of ethnicities the bus serves. And, as luck would have it, says Ms. Asantewaa, some items cross international boundaries, which saves money when ordering from the Ontario Food Terminal: “I couldn’t order half a box [of okra]; whether it’s South Asian, West African, or Caribbean people, they all use okra, so it’s worked out really well.”

The 20-per-cent markup, which covers only the bus’s expenses, means $20 can go a very, very long way indeed(in fact, this writer saw quite a few folks fill a bag and get change back from a five). Plus, as with anything food-related, the Mobile Market’s weekly arrival is a great reason to socialize with neighbours and with the affable driver, Dave Perry. On Old Meadow Lane one June evening, a small, chatty crowd gathered around the bus and at the folding table a few metres away (where produce is weighed) well past the dinner-hour. Two men had even set up a chess game under the shade of a tree nearby in order to be part of the buzz.

“And the yam was very nice, bring back more yams,” said a muumuu-clad Jamaican lady to Mr. Perry.

“White yam, right?” he asks, punching a few notes into his iPad. “We can do that.”

“Tonight, I’m going to make vegetarian roti,” says another woman to her neighbour, holding up a colourful bag and matching it with a dazzling smile.

To create more happy scenes – and there are many produce-starved areas begging for service – will require more funding, says Ms. Asantewaa, as putting the bus on the road more than the current two-days-per-week has been difficult.

“Unless we get more funding,” she finishes, “it’s not likely to happen.”

via http://m.theglobeandmail.com/life/home-and-garden/architecture/food-truck-with-a-difference-converted-bus-brings-fresh-produce-to-low-income-neighbourhoods/article19547446/?service=mobile

If you liked this post, you can follow me on Twitter @ArlenBennyCenac
Arlen Benny Cenac, Jr.

Originally posted on Arlen Benny Cenac - In My Kitchen:

This could be a solution to the problem of little fresh produce available in low income neighborhoods still struggling after Katrina.

Don’t be fooled by lush lawns, trees and access to fresh water; in a food desert, the mirage is the place selling inexpensive, fresh produce among the fast-food outlets and overpriced grocery chains. Trying to assemble ingredients for a good, healthy salad, or filling a pot with enough veggies to feed a big family without breaking the bank, is next to impossible here and, unfortunately, a city as big as Toronto has plenty of them.

The problem is, they’re invisible to those of us with healthy incomes. On Old Meadow Lane in Lawrence Heights, for example – while it’s only an eight-minute walk to traverse the noisy half-kilometre to Fortino’s at Lawrence Square Shopping Centre – a $20 budget won’t get a low-income person very far. And speaking of…

View original 767 more words

Posted in Uncategorized

The 17 Craziest Ice Cream Flavors

Some of these flavors sound delicious.  Some of them, not so much.

 

Ice cream for lunch? Count us in. Here’s the scoop on the most unexpected flavors to try right now.
photography by Michael Wiltbank

 

2014-07-15-crazyflavor1.jpeg

1. Pizza at Max and Mina’s in Flushing, New York

2. Bone Marrow at Salt & Straw in Portland, Orgeon

3. Roasted Garlic Almond Chip at Sebastian Joe’s in Minneapolis, Minnesota

4. Boccalone and Prosciutto at Humphry Slocombe in San Francisco, California

5. Cicada at Sparky’s Homemade Ice Cream in Columbia, Missouri

6. Dill Pickle at Udder Delights in Gilbert, Arizona

7. Bay of Figs at Mount Desert Island Ice Cream in Bar Harbor, Maine

8. Callebaut Wasabi at Mount Desert Island Ice Cream in Bar Harbor, Maine

9. Baklava at Sweet Action Ice Cream in Denver, Colorado

2014-07-15-crazyflavor2.jpeg

10. Strawberry Ricotta at Udder Delights in Gilbert, Arizona

11. Guiness Gingerbread at Humphry Slocombe in San Francisco, California

12. Cream Cheese at Max and Mina’s in Flushing, New York

13. Lychee Mochi at Bubbies Ice Cream in Honolulu, Hawaii

14. Cereal Milk at Momofuko Milk Bar in New York, New York

15. Rosewater Saffron with Pistachios at Mashti Malone in Hollywood, California

16. Goat Cheese Cashew Caramel at Black Dog in Chicago, Illinois

17. Whiskey and Peanuts at Jeni’s in Columbus, Ohio

 

via The 17 Craziest Ice Cream Flavors (We Can’t Get Enough Of!) | Domino.

 

If you liked this post, you can follow me on Twitter @ArlenBennyCenac
Arlen Benny Cenac, Jr.

 

 

Arlen Benny Cenac, Jr.: The 17 Craziest Ice Cream Flavors.

Posted in Food | Tagged ,

These Are The 10 Safest Places In Louisiana

Louisiana is a marvelous place. Unique terrain, plenty of excitement, and a thriving mix of cultures you can’t find anywhere else on earth make this place a great destination for those looking to relocate. However, people on the move might be wondering where the safest places are for them and their families.

Lucky for those people, the Movoto Real Estate Blog is here. We can do more than help you find a house there—we’ve gathered the data, analyzed it, and made a list of the 10 absolute safest spots in the state. Those places were:

1. City of Jennings
2. City of Scott
3. City of Baker
4. City of Plaquemine
5. City of Mandeville
6. City of Harahan
7. City of Zachary
8. Morgan City
9. City of Breaux Bridge
10. City of Westwego

These small places were all big on safety, and offer great living environments for people looking to stay secure and happy. But how did we judge these places as safe or not?

Wonder no more, because we decided to play it safe ourselves and go by the numbers. We’ll even talk about how we did everything in the very next section.

How We Created This Ranking

There’s safety in numbers, and we sure got some decisive ones here. First, we compiled a list of the biggest places in the state over 7,000 people. Then we collected crime data from the 2012 FBI Uniform Crime Report in the following areas:

  • Murder
  • Rape
  • Robbery
  • Assault
  • Burglary
  • Theft
  • Vehicle theft

We divided those crimes into the following categories:

  • Murders
  • Violent crimes
  • Property crimes
  • Total crimes

If a location did not have any reported crime data, we omitted it from the list, leaving us with 39 places. So, if you see your hometown is missing, and there were many places that did not have reported data, that could be the reason.

Once we had all that, we found crime rates per 100,000 people for each place, in order to fairly compare big and small locations. Then, we ranked each place in each category from one to 39, with scores closer to one being safer.

Lastly, we weighted each category so that murders, violent crimes, and property crimes accounted for 30 percent of the overall score, where total crimes made up 10. After all, some crimes are considered worse, and more dangerous, than others.

We averaged these adjusted rankings into one overall Big Deal Score, and the lowest score became our safest place.

If you want to see all 39 places and their rankings, you can check out the chart at the bottom of this article. For now, we’ll go over the top 10 safest places, and look more closely at why they ranked where they did.

1. Jennings

Safest Places in Louisiana

Source: Flickr user Peter Vidrine

If you’re looking for a place to settle down, raise a family, retire, or just enjoy your life, you can safely do so in Jennings.

For starters, Jennings had no murders and no assaults reported in 2012, as well as no automobile thefts. Of course, there were a few other crimes reported, but there were very few indeed.

With one rape, nine robberies, 55 burglaries, and 250 thefts per 100,000 people, this is an amazingly safe little city.

If you still need more evidence, the chance of being the victim of a crime here is 1 in 317, and there’s next to no chance it would be a violent one. You can bet that Jennings locals are sleeping peacefully tonight.

2. Scott

Safest Places in Louisiana

Source: City of Scott

Though not as big as first place Jennings, with only 8,776 residents, Scott still knows how to play it safe with that small-town vibe.

There were no murders reported in 2012, there was one rape and two robberies per 100,000 people, and there were also very few assaults. Is it any surprise that this place had the third lowest property crime and the seventh lowest violent crime on our list?

With the fourth lowest total crime, locals here have merely a 1 in 412 chance of being the victim of a crime, which is a great reason to call Scott home.

Scott was ranked the second cleanest city in the state by the Federation of Louisiana Garden Clubs recently, so this place has many selling points.

3. Baker

Safest Places in Louisiana

Source: Flickr user Hardie Midkiff

If you’re looking to get away from violence, Baker is definitely the place for you.

These fine folks wouldn’t hurt a fly, as evidenced by the third lowest violent crime ranking on our list. With one rape, six robberies, and four assaults per 100,000 people in 2012, the likelihood of you being the victim of a violent crime here is next to nothing.

And what about other sorts of crime? Baker ranked well there too, with the ninth lowest property crime and the ninth lowest total crime.

Wrap that all up with locals having only a 1 in 260 chance of being the victim of a crime, and you can breathe easy when you live in this little city.

4. Plaquemine

Safest Places in Louisiana

Source: Flickr user Brian Mooney

Like Baker, the city of Plaquemine is a no-violence zone. Besides some great museums and unique architecture, this very small city of 7,122 people had the lowest violent crime on our entire list.

With no murders or assaults, and two rapes and five robberies per 100,000 people in 2012, this place is perfect for families, retirees, and, really, everyone.

The thefts here were a little higher than others in our top 10, and this place ranked 13th for property crime.

Still, besides that small downfall, locals to Plaquemine had only a one in 212 chance of being the victim of a crime. Compared to most bigger cities in the state, that’s an amazing number.

5. Mandeville

Safest Places in Louisiana

Source: Flickr user Peter Clark

Mandeville, home to 11,777 very lucky residents, had the ninth lowest violent crime, the eighth lowest property crime, and eighth lowest total crime on our list.

This place also had no murders, and very few rapes, robberies, or vehicle thefts, to be more specific.

What does that mean for locals? Mandeville, many times named in Relocate America’s top 100 cities, offers a 1 in 272 chance of being the victim of a crime, and an even lower chance of being the victim of a violent crime.

Didn’t we tell you these locals are lucky folks?

6. Harahan

Safest Places in Louisiana

Source: Flickr user Dystopos

This city had some truly amazing stats. In 2012, this place had one rape, three robberies, and nine assaults per 100,000 people, making it the fifth least violent place on our list.

Where this place really shone was in property crime, where it had the lowest score. Given that it only had six vehicle thefts, 27 burglaries, and a mere 86 thefts per 100,000 people, that makes a lot of sense.

The reason that this place was not higher on the list was that it had one murder reported in 2012. Still, besides that blemish, this place was incredibly safe. So safe, that locals had only a 1 in 752 chance of being the victim of a crime, which was the lowest chance on our list.

7. Zachary

Safest Places in Louisiana

Source: Flickr user GJ Charlet III

Though it was the biggest city in our top 10, and at 15,092 people, this place still has a lot of small-town pride and love.

If you need more evidence than the no murders and no robberies per 100,000 people in 2012, you can just look to the four rapes and nine vehicle thefts per 100,000 people. Those stats add up to this place having the 11th lowest crime overall.

More than that, Zachary has a lot going for it. It’s been rated a top school district, a great town for families, and more.

Besides these accolades, the fact that locals have merely a 1 in 227 chance of being the victim of a crime is just icing on the cake.

8. Morgan City

Safest Places in Louisiana

Source: Flickr user bird flew

Morgan city definitely knows how to keep its locals happy and secure. Seven rapes, 11 robbies, and 28 assaults per 100,000 might seem a little high compared to others in our top 10, but this is still a pretty darn safe city.

With The 10th lowest overall crime and only a 1 in 231 chance of being the victim of a crime, locals should breathe easy and know that they’re just fine.

On top of that, the property crime here was very low. A total of 66 burglaries and 10 assaults per 100,000 people were all that were reported in 2012.

If you need any more convincing that Morgan City is a great place to call home, just sample the local food—it’s to die for.

9. Breaux Bridge

Safest Places in Louisiana

Source: Flickr user Carol H

Breaux Bridge, also called Le Pont-Breaux, had some pretty stunning safety numbers.

No rapes were reported here in 2012, and merely three vehicle thefts, one robbery, and 15 assaults per 100,000 people were reported. In fact, this place had the fourth lowest property crime and the sixth lowest violent crime that we looked at.

There was one murder here, which is why it didn’t rank higher on the list. Still, compared to bigger cities, where there were many that year, this place is a safe haven for all. In fact, if you lived there, you’d have only a 1 in 413 chance of being the victim of a crime.

10. Westwego

Safest Places in Louisiana

Source: Flickr user Jimmy Emerson, DVM

Besides having a great name, this place plays it cool in the safety department.

This New Orleans suburb may be 10th on our list, but it’s hardly last in safety categories. Westwego had the second lowest property crime and the second lowest total crime, as well as the 10th lowest violent crime.

With merely six vehicle thefts and 43 burglaries per 100,000 in 2012, it’s really no surprise this spot garnered that ranking.

It did have one murder in 2012, but it also had few robberies and very few rapes that year, thus the low violent crime ranking.

All that culminated in locals having only a one in 490 chance of being the victim of a crime, which is definitely worthy of a top 10 ranking.

You’ll Fall In Love With Louisiana, All Over Again

If you weren’t totally enamored with Louisiana before, a trip to any one of these safe havens just might push you over the edge. Lovely communities, low crime, and small-city pride all ring clear in these spots, whether you’re a local or just a visitor.

Every place has its flaws, sure, but if you’re looking for a place you can feel secure, whether you’re alone or with a family, you’ll feel right at home in any of these small cities.

Safest Places In Louisiana

These Are The 10 Safest Places In Louisiana – Movoto.

 

If you liked this post, you can follow me on Twitter @ArlenBennyCenac
Arlen Benny Cenac, Jr.

 

Posted in Community, Louisiana | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Louisiana Fisheries Forward Educational and Training Program Unveiled

 

Louisiana Fisheries Forward (LFF) is a voluntary educational program for members of the commercial seafood community.  A collaboration of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) and Louisiana Sea Grant College Program at LSU (Sea Grant), LFF was established with the goal of improving the economic success of Louisiana’s commercial fishing industry.

LFF provides a structured mechanism to develop and deliver, over a three-year period, relevant and timely information to the seafood industry.  Content is presented via the Internet, using training videos and fact sheets, and directly to communities with hands-on workshops, training days and demonstration projects that showcase new technology and best practice methods.

“Louisiana Fisheries Forward is about establishing a method to communicate important information to our commercial seafood community,” said Robert Barham, secretary, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.  “This communication will help our fishermen, dealers and processors stay abreast of global trends, new equipment, handling practices, technology and rapidly evolving regulations.  This program will help our seasoned veterans as well as newcomers to the industry improve their already high-quality Louisiana seafood, and help them take their product to the next level.”

Robert Twilley, Ph.D., executive director of Louisiana Sea Grant College Program, concurs, “Louisiana is the second largest seafood-producing state in the U.S., yet the commerce and culture of our industry is at risk.  We believe the time is here for a fisheries renaissance, as more and more consumers look for locally sourced and sustainably managed seafood.  Louisiana is already well positioned to meet that demand.  Working together, we can enhance product quality, promote innovative business practices, and reduce our environmental footprint to ensure the continued success of commercial fishing.”

Though officially unveiled today, Louisiana Fisheries Forward initiatives are already in motion.  LFF enhances the current outreach programs of Sea Grant, including the two-day Fisheries Summit in Houma and Dock Days along the coast.  Working with LDWF and seafood industry leaders, these training days present a wider range of diverse and challenging topics and reach a greater number of people.

Four, 30- to 45-minute training videos are in production, that address:

How to be a commercial fisherman

How to be a seafood dealer/processor

Seafood business finance and management

How to be a crab fisherman

Another six videos are planned over the next two-and-a-half years.  Fact sheets, available online, will complement the videos with more detailed, time-sensitive information.  Three demonstration projects, over the course of three years, will study gear efficiency and product quality; research findings will be presented at training and industry events.

Leaders at LDWF and Sea Grant are confident that the Louisiana Fisheries Forward program will help those in the seafood business thrive in a constantly changing marketplace.

“Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and Louisiana Sea Grant have a successful, 45-year history of developing targeted educational programs for the seafood industry,” said Twilley.  “This partnership marshals the strength of community-embedded marine extension agents with the subject matter expertise of university scientists and fisheries resource managers.  Together, these experts pinpoint timely and challenging issues facing our industry and more importantly, offer options and solutions that overcome those issues.”

Barham believes that offering our seafood community the knowledge to compete in the marketplace is the key.

“To be successful, our harvesters, docks and processors need the proper knowledge to compete in the marketplace, we have an opportunity to help provide this to our industry.  We have already begun a successful branding initiative of Louisiana Wild Certified Seafood; Louisiana Fisheries Forward is an extension of that effort—helping our seafood industry increase consumer confidence and receive a premium price for their catch.”

 

via Louisiana Fisheries Forward Educational and Training Program Unveiled – MyArkLaMiss.com – KTVE NBC 10 – KARD FOX 14 – Your homepage for the latest News, Weather and Sports in the ArkLaMiss!.

 

If you liked this post, you can follow me on Twitter @ArlenBennyCenac
Arlen Benny Cenac, Jr.

 

Louisiana Fisheries Forward Educational and Training Program Unveiled | Benny Cenac – Louisiana Sportsman.

Posted in Fishing, Louisiana | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

LDWF Announces Reopening of Certain Recreational and Commercial Fishing Waters Effective One-Half Hour Before Sunrise on Monday, August 4, 2014

Release Date: 07/31/2014

BATON ROUGE – Today, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced the reopening of certain state inshore and Gulf of Mexico waters that were previously closed due to oiling from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. Waters will be open ½ hour before sunrise on Monday, August 4, 2014.

LDWF is re-opening these areas to commercial fishing pursuant to agreements by state and federal officials for re-opening waters closed as a result of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. These areas will also be re-opened to all recreational fishing.

The waters to re-open are as follows:

  • A portion of the upper Barataria Basin centered near Bay Jimmy and Bay Batiste with the exception of a 100-yard shoreline buffer from any shoreline
  • All waters within the Birdsfoot Delta of the Mississippi River
  • Areas surrounding the Grand Terre Islands with the exception of an area one quarter mile seaward from the Gulf-facing shoreline
  • The area seaward between Elmer’s Island and Fourchon Beaches with the exception of a one-quarter mile area seaward from the Gulf-facing shoreline.

LDWF will continue monitoring conditions to determine whether additional waters can be re-opened or whether additional closures are warranted.   Reports of oil, tarballs or tar mats should be reported to the National Response Center at 1-800-424-8802 and the La. State Police at 1-877-925-6595.

State rules, regulations and seasons for individual saltwater species are still effective within these areas.  To view current regulations click here:  http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/regulations

To view maps detailing these modifications and the latest updates on the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill please visit:  www.wlf.louisiana.gov/oilspill

 

via LDWF Announces Reopening of Certain Recreational and Commercial Fishing Waters Effective One-Half Hour Before Sunrise on Monday, August 4, 2014 | Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

 

If you liked this post, you can follow me on Twitter @ArlenBennyCenac
Arlen Benny Cenac, Jr.

 

LDWF Announces Reopening of Certain Recreational and Commercial Fishing Waters Effective One-Half Hour Before Sunrise on Monday, August 4, 2014 | Benny Cenac – Louisiana Sportsman.

Posted in Fishing, Louisiana | Tagged , , ,

Watch How This Supermarket Got People To Buy Their Rubbish…

France’s ingenious answer to reducing fresh food waste.  Imagine the impact that this effort could make if it were implemented worldwide.

 

 

 

via Watch How This Supermarket Got People To Buy Their Rubbish….

 

If you liked this post, you can follow me on Twitter @ArlenBennyCenac
Arlen Benny Cenac, Jr.

 

 

Watch How This Supermarket Got People To Buy Their Rubbish… | Arlen Benny Cenac – In My Kitchen.

Posted in Food | Tagged , , ,

10 Louisiana Stereotypes That Are Completely Accurate

1. To Folks In Louisiana Everything And Anything Is Worth Celebrating

10 Louisiana Stereotypes That Are Completely Accurate

Source: Flickr user Derek Bridges

It’s no secret that Louisianans love to get down and party for just about every occasion.

Of course there’s your standard tailgating parties when the Saints or LSU Tigers are throwing down in the Dome or Tiger Stadium. Then there’s the hurricane parties because, let’s face it, it’s way more fun to ride out the storm in a house with no power, a suitcase of beer and your besties than it is to be stuck on I-10 in bumper to bumper traffic. And you may have heard of a little two-week-long parade called Mardi Gras?

But, let us not forget second lines for weddings, funerals, births, Carnival season, political rallies and just about any other excuse you can think of. Yeah, you get the picture.

 

 

2. Folks In Louisiana Take Great Pride In Being Good Samaritans

10 Louisiana Stereotypes That Are Completely Accurate

Source: Flickr user Jim Sorbie

 

Louisianans are some of the friendliest people on the planet. Strangers, meeting for the first time, often greet by hugging. If they don’t greet with a hug, then they are sure to part with one. It’s also not uncommon for us to meet a stranger in need and instantly help them out with whatever it is they are in need of. You need a ride? A bite to eat? A place to stay? Ask us for directions and we will sit down and draw you out a map that would shame Google.

 

 

3. But Make No Mistake, To Louisianians Blood Is Thicker Than Water

10 Louisiana Stereotypes That Are Completely Accurate

Source: Awkward Family Photos via Facebook

 

There are fierce familial bonds in Louisiana. You don’t mess with our kin. We sometimes have three or even four generations of family living on the same block or in the same neighborhood. Just be careful who you talk about here because it might be somebody’s brother, or mother, or cousin. We also like to hire our friends and family to work with us. Hey, you say nepotism—we say spreading the family love!

 

 

4. The Baton Rouge vs. New Orleans Rivalry Is The Real Deal…

10 Louisiana Stereotypes That Are Completely Accurate

Source: Flickr user Pascal

 

The rivalry between Baton Rouge and New Orleans is fierce. Baton Rougians claim superior status in their state capital, boasting of better schools, more business, and better infrastructure. Plus they do have the LSU Tigers. They see New Orleanians as too Bacchanalian and lazy.

But New Orleanians see Baton Rougians as dull and boring, sticks in the mud devoid of any culture. They will be quick to point out that they have the tourism industry, amazing culinary trends and the Tulane football team… Oh wait, no one really cares about Tulane except Tulane.

 

 

5. But Even So, Everyone Here Bleeds Black and Gold

10 Louisiana Stereotypes That Are Completely Accurate

Source: New Orleans Saints via Facebook

 

One thing is guaranteed in The Pelican State: We squash our beef when the Black and Gold play.

 

When it comes to the Saints in Louisiana, if you’re not with us, then you’re against us. Because there is just no other way you could not join your friends and family in rooting for the 2010 Super Bowl champs who put New Orleans back on the map following Hurricane Katrina and helped show the world that no, the city wasn’t still under water all these years later.

 

 

6. When Louisianans Are Getting Their Fais Do-Do On You Can Bet Crawfish Are In Hot Water

10 Louisiana Stereotypes That Are Completely Accurate

Source: Flickr user Laity Lodge Youth Camp

 

The only thing Louisianans might love more than a good party, is to eat.

We dedicate entire days just so we can talk about food, plan food,  prepare, and cook food. It’s one of our biggest passions. And come crawfish season, we have visions of little red crawdads dancing in our heads.  The season depends on many factors but make no mistake, big or small we will boil and eat our weight in crawfish. From about mid-March through the end of June, there is always a boil going on somewhere. It all boils down to one question: to suck the heads or not?

 

 

7. Louisianians Are Masters Of The Art Of Conversation

10 Louisiana Stereotypes That Are Completely Accurate

Source: Flickr user Seth Anderson

 

The South gets a bad rap for many things that aren’t true, but our  penchant for talking isn’t one of them. We will literally talk a stranger’s ear off (OK not literally but you get the idea). We take pride in our Southern charm.

 

 

8. Folks Here Get Plenty of Vitamin B—And By Vitamin B I Mean Booze

10 Louisiana Stereotypes That Are Completely Accurate

Source: Flickr user gregor_y

 

Drinking is a way of life here in Louisiana. Whether it’s a mimosa with brunch, a class of wine at a lunch with clients, a few happy hour drinks before heading home after a long day of work, or a nice cold one after Sunday church—every excuse to imbibe is a good one.

Don’t blame us. Blame the French. Or the Spanish. They started the trend and we are only honoring our old European roots. Mixed in with some Cajun and Creole…Oh and some Native American influences…Oh what the heck, let’s have some hooch and we can hash it out later.

 

 

9. Louisianans Are Ready, Rain Or Shine… On The Same Day

10 Louisiana Stereotypes That Are Completely Accurate

Source: memecrunch.com

 

It could be a perfectly sunny day and poof! All of a sudden it’s pouring huge chunks of hail. And for that matter, we don’t really trust weather forecasts, even though our local meteorologists have a celebrity like status.

But if the weather forecast says 20 percent chance of rain, assume it means 100 percent. And every good Louisianian knows to keep a few umbrellas and some rain boots in the trunk of their car. You know, for just in case.

 

 

10. But Rain Or Shine Folks In Louisiana Don’t Let Anything Keep Them Down

10 Louisiana Stereotypes That Are Completely Accurate

Source: Flickr user Tulane Public Relations

 

The horrors and hardships endured during Katrina, among other things, have lead to the good people of Louisiana developing some pretty thick skin. Louisianans have learned to thrive in the face of challenges and maintain their positive, can-do mentality.

Sure sometimes life can be pretty hard in the Pelican State, but a true Louisianian would never even dream of living anywhere else. Who Dat!

 

 

Via: 10 Louisiana Stereotypes That Are Completely Accurate – Movoto by Lindsay Hilton

 

 

 

If you liked this post, you can follow me on Twitter @ArlenBennyCenac
Arlen Benny Cenac, Jr.

 

Original post: via Arlen Benny Cenac, Jr.: 10 Louisiana Stereotypes That Are Completely Accurate.

 

10 Louisiana Stereotypes That Are Completely Accurate | Benny Cenac – My Louisiana.

Posted in Community | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Lucky Dog to launch first-ever line of retail hot dogs

Retail_Pack.JPG

 

Diners with a craving for a legendary Lucky Dog will no longer have to visit the French Quarter to get their fix.

Beginning next Friday, August 8, Lucky Dogs will be available in all Rouses across the city, marking the first time the hot dogs have been sold as a retail product.

The Lucky Dogs will come in a five-pack, and be the same version served from the iconic, hot dog-shaped cart.”We are very excited about the launch of Lucky Dogs into Rouses Supermarkets,” said Lucky Dog co-owner Mark Talbot in a statement.”Rouses has been very helpful in this endeavor, one local family business helping another local family business. When my brother and I approached our dad about going retail with Lucky Dogs, we all agreed that Rouses was where we wanted to be. They are local, like us. Now you don’t have to go to the Quarter to enjoy Lucky Dogs.”

via Arlen Benny Cenac, Jr.: Lucky Dog to launch first-ever line of retail hot dogs.

 

If you liked this post, you can follow me on Twitter @ArlenBennyCenac
Arlen Benny Cenac, Jr.

Original post:  Lucky Dog to launch first-ever line of retail hot dogs | Arlen Benny Cenac – In My Kitchen.

Posted in Food | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“The Crawfish Boil Song”

 

 If you liked this post, you can follow me on Twitter @ArlenBennyCenac
Arlen Benny Cenac, Jr.

 

Original post:  “The Crawfish Boil Song” | Arlen Benny Cenac – In My Kitchen.

Video | Posted on by | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Louisiana hot sauce demand on fire

Panola Pepper Corp. founders Grady 'Bubber' Brown and his wife Jennie Lou have been joined in the family business by daughter Katie Coullard and her husband Mike Coullard, president and chief executive of the Lake Providence company.

 

Louisiana, the U.S. capital of hot sauces, has exported its culinary obsession for the capsaicin-laden condiment to consumers throughout the country.

The U.S. hot sauce market has grown by 150 percent since 2000, according to a story by the Atlantic’s Quartz.

That’s more than mustard, mayonnaise, ketchup and barbecue sauce — combined.

“We’ve become a nation of chili heads,” said Mike Coullard, president and chief executive of Panola Pepper Corp. in Lake Providence. “And once you become a chili head, you never go back to bland.”

“Am I surprised?” said Grady “Bubber” Brown, who founded Panola in 1983 so his farmhands would have work throughout the winter when fields were fallow. “I’m surprised it took this long. I’m surprised people can eat without it.”

Coullard said business at Panola is up 25 percent this year.

Across the state

And other Louisiana companies like pepper sauce sales king McIlhenny Company, which produces Tabasco on Avery Island, Bruce Foods in New Iberia, which produces Original Louisiana Hot Sauce, and New Orleans icon Crystal are also benefiting from Americans’ growing appetite for heat.

“As a company we’ve seen growth from consumers’ desires for variety through flavoring,” said Virginia Brown Forestier, marketing manager for Bruce Foods, Original Louisiana Hot Sauce’s parent company. “Louisiana Hot Sauce provides good flavor without overpowering heat.”

Forestier and Coullard also agreed that a portion of the growth in hot sauce demand can be attributed to fast-food chains adding hot sauces for dipping items like chicken nuggets and the overall explosion of hot wings.

The market research firm IRI said US hot sauce sales have increased 6 percent annually for the past 10 years.

“We absolutely believe the trend will continue,” Forestier said.

A pantry staple

Louisiana celebrity chef Cory Bahr, a Food Network “Chopped” champion who operates two restaurants in Monroe, said hot sauces can enhance almost any dish as a condiment or as an ingredient.

“Hot sauce just gives you something extra,” said Bahr, who will be one of the chefs promoting Louisiana food in a 2015 state tourism campaign. “It’s an absolute essential for your kitchen pantry and table.”

Bahr said his favorite Louisiana pepper sauces are Panola, which he grew up eating while living near Lake Providence, and Crystal, both of which he makes available in Restaurant Cotton.

“I can’t think of anything better than putting a couple of drops of Crystal on a raw oyster in its half shell,” Bahr said.

For all to enjoy

And some of Louisiana’s most famous celebrities want a piece of the action.

“Duck Dynasty” star Willie Robertson said he is working on creating a hot sauce to be part of a Duck Commander company food line.

“(Original) Louisiana Hot Sauce is my favorite,” Robertson said. “I can’t eat red beans and rice without it, and I always put it on my eggs.”

The state’s signature condiment is so famous that Louisiana hot sauce has become a generic term. Louisiana’s most basic hot sauces include cayenne chile peppers, vinegar and salt, although the explosion in demand has driven development of more tricked-up versions.

Allison Gault of West Monroe has a collection of more than 100 different hot sauces displayed in her kitchen.

“I started collecting about 20 years ago,” Gault said. “They’re great conversation pieces.”

Gault said she splashes her favorite sauces on almost everything. “Ketchup is ketchup, but hot sauce adds flavor,” she said. “We even mix hot sauce in our ketchup.

“But each sauce has subtle differences. That’s what makes it fun to try.”

via Louisiana hot sauce demand on fire | Shreveporttimes | shreveporttimes.com.

If you liked this post, you can follow me on Twitter @ArlenBennyCenac
Arlen Benny Cenac, Jr.

Posted in Food | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Top 5 Happiest Cities in America Are All in One State

NBC News reporting that gumbo, zydeco, and a good Cajun accent make people happy.

 

Happiest_cities Watch the report:   Top 5 Happiest Cities in America Are All in One State – NBC News.com.

 

If you liked this post, you can follow me on Twitter @ArlenBennyCenac
Arlen Benny Cenac, Jr.

 

 

Top 5 Happiest Cities in America Are All in One State | Benny Cenac – My Louisiana.

Posted in Community | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries News

New state hunting and fishing law goes into effect on August 1, 2014.

New residents in Louisiana will qualify for purchasing resident recreational hunting and fishing licenses after six months in state once Act 429 becomes effective on Aug. 1, 2014.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will offer resident licenses to qualifying new residents as authorized by Act 429, signed by Gov. Bobby Jindal following the 2014 Legislative Session.

“We hope more new residents will purchase their resident recreational hunting and fishing licenses sooner as the result of this legislation,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham. “There will no longer be a need to wait a full year to enjoy the state’s fish and game opportunities as a resident license holder.”

Act 429 reduces the time required from one year to six months to qualify as a bona fide resident for hunting and fishing licensees.  “Bona fide resident” means any person who is a United States citizen or resident alien and has resided in the state continuously during the six months immediately prior to the date on which he applies for any such license.

The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.louisiana.gov, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb, or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For more information on Louisiana recreational hunting and fishing residency requirements, visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/licenses/fishing or contact Michelle Rayburn at 225-765-2881 or mrayburn@wlf.la.gov.

 

Via:  http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/news/37922

If you liked this post, you can follow me on Twitter @ArlenBennyCenac
Arlen Benny Cenac, Jr.

Posted in Fishing, Hunting | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Southern Louisiana is adventure for food and nature lovers  

In case you missed it, there was a great article about exploring Louisiana culture and cuisine by Alex Palmer in the New York Daily News  this past Sunday.

 

You can gain an appreciation for both when you visit, sampling gumbo and boudin, and cruising restored marshes on an eco-tour

Grosse Savanne Eco-Tours offers guided boat tours through its 500 acres of restored marsh.

To really appreciate Louisiana’s amazing food, take in the state’s striking landscapes — and vice versa.

Viewing the sugar-cane fields or Gulf of Mexico shores helps you fully enjoy the food produced in the area, while shelling a crawfish or eating boudin will deepen your appreciation of the terrain from which it came.

During a weeklong road trip across the state’s southern coast, I immersed myself in Louisiana’s vistas and food, and the work many in the state are doing to sustain them both.

A Southern Louisiana road trip can go west to east — flying into Houston and out of New Orleans — but I opted for the more scenic route, looping through the state from New Orleans to Lake Charles, and back. This meant a little extra driving, but if you’re a fan of open water, cypress trees and the spookily stunning backdrops of HBO’s “True Detective,” you’ll savor the extra hours on the road.

Flamingo-pink roseate spoonbills are among the birds visitors will spot at the Rip Van Winkle Gardens B&B.

In Louisiana, food is like fingerprints: No two gumbos, bread puddings, or étouffées (a thick stew usually served with shellfish over rice) are alike. It’s this diversity that led the city of Lake Charles to formalize its Southwest Louisiana Boudin Trail (visitlakecharles.org/boudintrail).

Boudin (pronounced “boo-dan”) is the Cajun cousin of sausage links, made by blending pork, liver, rice, onions and seasonings, then stuffing them into a casing.

I got my first taste of the finger food at B&O Kitchen and Grocery, a meat market owned by the third generation of the Benoit family, which sells at least 150 to 200 pounds of boudin daily. While B&O’s smoked links were my favorite, visitors can sample around at any of the 27 stops on the Boudin Trail, which include restaurants, markets, and even a gas station, scattered along Interstate 10 and Highway 90.

No Louisiana culinary tour is complete without a pile of crawfish

For a full Cajun dinner in Lake Charles, schedule a trip to the Seafood Palace. Blue crabs fished from the Gulf, and crawfish farmed nearby are prepared by the half dozen and the pound, respectively, then boiled and piled high on trays the size of manhole covers. But be warned: Your fingers will sting after all that shell cracking.

The area also boasts the Creole Nature Trail through the parishes of Calcasieu and Cameron, which share a border with Texas. The drive takes you through more than 180 miles of Louisiana’s Outback — bayous, prairies and walking paths such as the beautiful Pintail Wildlife Boardwalk — and along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. While the state’s beaches are not the white sandy variety, they’re great for shelling and birding.

Here, Grosse Savanne Eco-Tours (grossesavanne-ecotours.com) are worth a couple of hours. The outings were introduced last year by the Sweet Lake Land and Oil Company, as part of its efforts to restore and preserve some of its 50,000 acres of land. Visitors can join a guided boat tour through 500 acres of restored marsh, spotting alligators and vegetation on the way to an astounding bird rookery, where herons, ibises, and flamingo-pink roseate spoonbills have built their nests.

Whether you prefer your oysters raw or charbroiled, SHUCKS! The Louisiana Seafood House has you covered.

Grosse Savanne is just one of many eco-tourism outfits in the state. Speaking to Louisianans, one senses a renewed urgency around protecting and restoring the state’s natural resources. The trauma of the natural disasters of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Isaac, and the manmade 2010 BP oil spill has heightened awareness that while utilizing the land is vital to the agriculture and oil industries (and the many locals they employ), the land must be actively conserved if Louisiana’s food, lifestyle and culture are to continue thriving.

Efforts towards this goal can be seen an hour-and-a-half drive southeast from Lake Charles, in the White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area. Though much of this 70,000-acre preserve along the western border of Vermilion parish requires special access, a newly opened birding and nature trail gives visitors a leisurely walk with likely sightings of gators or migratory fowl. You may even see a whooping crane — an endangered bird that had vanished from Louisiana decades ago and was reintroduced beginning in 2011.

For a more all-access experience, head to the Palmetto Island State Park, which opened in 2010 and offers fishing, boating and camping (whether in a tent, RV or one of the park’s comfy vacation cabins) along the Vermilion River.

In Louisiana, food is like fingerprints: No two gumbos, bread puddings, or étouffées (a thick stew usually served with shellfish over rice) are alike.

While in the area, have lunch at Suire’s Grocery and Restaurant. The roadside stop, with an ice machine out front and hand-painted menu on the wall, doesn’t look like much from the outside, but inside you’ll find a family-run operation famous for its turtle sauce picante (a mix of Cajun spices, onion, garlic and turtle meat over rice), and delicious shrimp or crab pistolettes (sort of a doughnut stuffed with seafood). If you prefer something a bit more upscale, but still wallet-friendly, Shucks! The Louisiana Seafood House (shucksrestaurant.com) offers delicious seafood, and as the name implies, its local oysters — raw or charbroiled — are a highlight.

The importance of farming and fishing to this state is made clear beyond the menus of locally sourced food. East of Vermilion, in Iberia parish, sits Avery Island, home of the famous Tabasco factory since 1868. Every drop of the pepper sauce is distilled here in whisky barrels for three years, blended, bottled and shipped all over the world. The factory produces about 750,000 bottles a day, thanks to a consistent product rooted in the Louisiana soil. You can stop in for a factory tour for the bargain price of $1, or just pick up limited-edition sauces and souvenirs in the Tabasco Country Store.

Just outside of Avery Island sits another landmark to Louisiana’s food production: the Conrad Rice Mill, the oldest operating rice mill in the country, which celebrated its centennial two years ago. This factory provides a lesson in how this food staple has shaped local cuisine since the arrival of the Acadians (French speakers exiled from what’s now Nova Scotia, who became today’s Cajuns). While the mill continues to produce rice on the belt-drive power transmission system that’s rarely seen in modern factories, it’s also keeping with the times, as the only certified gluten-free and verified non-GMO operation in Louisiana.

Another place where the region embraces both its culinary past and future, is an hour-and-a-half drive east in St. Tammany parish. The wealthiest parish in the state, it’s home to a rich culinary scene, including the Covington Farmer’s Market, which offers great products and local characters. Shoppers can buy fresh eggs from “The Egg Ladies,” kombucha and bitters from “Kombucha Girl,” and Gulf shrimp from a career shrimper selling the day’s catch from an ice chest in back of his truck.

I toured the market with Keith and Nealy Frentz. Named King and Queen of Louisiana Seafood in 2012, the couple met and began their culinary careers in New Orleans and now run Lola (lolacovington.com), serving up contemporary Louisiana food and favorite family recipes — such as Nealy’s grandmother’s beloved hummingbird cake (banana pineapple spice cake). The restaurant is set in an old train depot, with a converted caboose housing the kitchen.

David and Torre Solazzo are another culinary power couple in St. Tammany. Nominated three times for the James Beard Award, they operate the hit contemporary Italian spot Del Porto Ristorante (delportoristorante.com), which offers an extensive wine list, in-house pasta and 10 varieties of house-cured salumi.

Del Porto Ristorante brings contemporary Italian (including house-cured salumi) to southern Louisiana.

Also in St. Tammany, La Provence offers a range of French cuisine, some sourced from a farm in back of the restaurant, as well as classic dishes that have been on the menu for decades — such as the addictive pate served with bread, and flavorful quail gumbo. It’s owned by celebrity chef John Besh, who also owns five restaurants in New Orleans, including the elegant Lüke (where the rum-tinged bread pudding was the best I had during my trip — and I had a lot of bread pudding).

To get a close-up experience of St. Tammany’s natural resources, and a true sense of the parish’s local flavor, stop by Bayou Adventure (bayouadventure.com). This unassuming bait shop rents kayaks, fishing gear and bicycles, and can design outings for all levels of interests. It’s run by Shannon Villemarette, who moonlights as the city’s justice of the peace, marrying local couples when she’s not loading up kayak gear or helping visiting groups cook up their catch.

Villemarette’s fearless attitude (she’s been known to swim in the gator-populated bayous while fishing) — combined with her vocal advocacy of protecting the parish’s natural resources — makes the justice a fitting spokesperson for today’s Louisiana.

It’s an exciting place with memorable scenery and great food, both of which are being preserved so they can be enjoyed for a long time.

 

Original article: http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/southern-louisiana-adventure-food-nature-lovers-article-1.1867917

If you liked this post, you can follow me on Twitter @ArlenBennyCenac
Arlen Benny Cenac, Jr.

 

Posted in Food, Louisiana | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

Rare gators got their start in a Terrebonne swamp

Rare gators got their start in a Terrebonne swamp
Did you know that a pair of unique reptiles on display at the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans were pulled from a Terrebonne swamp?
Spots and Antoine Blanc are two of more than a dozen white alligators discovered in 1987 on land outside of Houma owned by the Louisiana Land & Exploration Co.
“The Cajun fisherman who initially found the nest only recovered eight or nine white hatchlings, which he distributed to various friends including a friend in St. Louis and the zoo,” said Rick Atkinson, the longtime curator of the Louisiana Swamp Exhibit and witnessed the alligators’ arrival.
“LL&E employees later recovered the remaining hatchlings in the wild, totaling 19. The St. Louis animal died, and all the others were recovered,” he said.
Ten of those alligators, estimated to be worth between $50,000 and $70,000 each, remain alive today. Each is about 10 feet long and weighs several hundred pounds.
In addition to the Audubon Zoo gators, there’s Spots, also known as Japan, at the Audubon Aquarium in New Orleans; four at the Gatorland theme park and wildlife preserve in Orlando, Florida, and one each at zoos in Houston, Omaha, Nebraska, and Palm Beach, Florida.
Why are they white?
While some assume the white alligators suffer from albinism, Atkinson said, they are actually leucistic. The rare genetic condition reduces the color pigmentation of their skin.
“Leucistic alligators have been described as having one enormous white spot covering the body with blue-gray eyes,” he said. “It looks like they’re painted white. Most of them have a few random black blotches somewhere.”
Albino alligators, on the other hand, look translucent and have pink eyes. They lack pigmentation.
The critters are American alligators, which can be found throughout Florida and in parts of Alabama, Mississippi, Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Georgia. The population numbers about 5 million, but only 12 leucistic gators are known to exist.
The average American alligator lives for 70 or more years. But the lifespan of a leucistic one remains unknown. The Terrebonne gators will turn 27 in August.
As with all white animals, they are vulnerable to the sun and predators. Each is kept in a controlled environment.
He’s named what?
Atkinson said some of the alligators were named after archbishops from Louisiana — Blanc and Shulte were named for archbishops Antoine Blanc and Francis Shulte. There’s also Mr. Bingle, named after the Christmas-time mascot of the now defunct New Orleans-based Maison Blanche department store.
The gators have been known to travel, which is how Spots got his second nickname, Japan, following a stay in that country. Atkinson said many of the gators have been displayed at exhibits throughout the country and world.
In 1994, another leucistic alligator was found. That gator, named after Archbishop St. John Baptist LaSalle, was found about six miles south of Venice. He belonged to the state and died while touring the country in a promotional fur and hide show.
Two other white alligators were discovered about five years ago at the Mandalay National Wildlife Refuge, Atkinson said.
Chompitoulas and Canaligator — a nod to the New Orleans streets Tchoupitoulas and Canal — are, respectively, at a zoo outside Louisiana and the Freeport-McMoRan Audubon Species Survival Center outside of New Orleans.
Atkinson said this latest discovery proves wild alligators are continuing to produce offspring with the leucistic gene.
“It’s not common, but it’s obvious that there is more than one pair of alligators (carrying this gene),” he said.
Although the leucistic alligators have intrigued animal lovers from across the world, Atkinson said, their preservation is not considered a high priority.
“In actuality, there isn’t anything of great scientific interest about leucistic alligators; the genetics are pretty well known,” he said. “They’re not an endangered species; they are a genetic anomaly of the American alligator. They’re just impressive to see.”
However, Atkinson said the appearance of leucistic alligators appears to be a recent phenomenon, as no previous documentation has been uncovered.

“There are no old tales or history of white alligators,” he said. “Some wonder, ‘Is this a result of pollution or climate change or something else?’ And the answer is that we don’t have any idea.”

 

via Rare gators got their start in a Terrebonne swamp | wwltv.com New Orleans.

 

If you liked this post, you can follow me on Twitter @ArlenBennyCenac
Arlen Benny Cenac, Jr.

 

Rare gators got their start in a Terrebonne swamp | Benny Cenac – Louisiana Sportsman.

Posted in Alligators | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Video: Reading Rainbow’s LeVar Burton on How to Teach Kids to Love Reading

Originally posted on Arlen Benny Cenac - Education:

For nearly 30 years, Reading Rainbow host LeVar Burton has shared his personal passion for the written word with children everywhere.

The best way to inspire kids to become lifelong book lovers, Burton says, is to teach them by example—which is what he did with his kids, and now does with his granddaughter, Sierra, 12.

“The connection between Sierra and I is super-natural,” says Burton. “I know that I have provided a model for her that she has embraced.”

Naturally, Parade‘s cover star this week has a house full of books—”I’ve got a bookcase in the bedroom, stacks on the nightstand, and books on the floor next to the bed!” he says—and a long summer reading list.

This year he’s starting with Donna Tartt’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Goldfinch. “I like that it is excruciating,” he says with a laugh. “I’m three quarters of the way through.”

Surprise, surprise, the…

View original 139 more words

Posted in Uncategorized

Inside LeVar Burton’s Reading Revolution

7-6-14-LeVar-Burton-Parade Magazine Inside-ftr

 

This past spring, actor and activist LeVar Burton asked Reading Rainbow fans to help him relaunch the classic children’s show—and raised $1 million in less than 12 hours on Kickstarter. When the campaign ended on July 3, $5 million had been raised, and actor Seth MacFarlane donated an extra $1 million, which brought the total to more than $6 million. Visit helpreadingrainbow.com to find out more. And read our cover story below to learn how Burton is inspiring a new generation of book lovers.

As the host of PBS’s Reading Rainbow for 26 years, LeVar Burton introduced millions of American kids to the magic of a good story. So when a group of young people spotted him tugging a wagon full of books down a New York City sidewalk for Parade’s photo shoot—and began shrieking as though he were, say, Bieber, or a Beatle—the pied piper of reading was tickled, but not exactly surprised. Reading Rainbow fans are a passionate bunch. “The show helped kids learn to love reading,” says Burton. “That’s a powerful thing!”

Today, Reading Rainbow is as beloved and popular as ever. Since copurchasing the rights to the franchise after the show’s cancellation in 2009, Burton, 57, has been on a mission to make it bigger and better in the digital space. Two years ago, he and his business partner Mark Wolfe rebooted the program as a tablet app, which has since been downloaded more than a million times. Now they’re creating a Web version. In May, to raise capital to build it and to get children and their families excited about books again, the pair turned to the crowd-funding platform Kickstarter. Burton knew fans’ nostalgia for the show ran deep, but the response was explosive: In a mere 11 hours they met their $1 million goal, and at press time were only about a million short of their new $5 million target. “Every day of the first three days of the Kickstarter,” marvels Burton, “we raised a million dollars.”

The actor, who made his name as Kunta Kinte in the 1977 miniseries Roots and, later, as Geordi La Forge in the long-running TV series Star Trek: The Next Generation, credits his 19-year-old daughter, Michaela, with the crowd-funding idea. “Michaela is of this generation, a digital native. She said, ‘Why don’t you guys just do a Kickstarter?’ As a 30-year-old brand, if we were to very publicly ask for money, then fail, it would’ve probably been game over.” Now Burton and his supporters are “hugging ourselves silly.”

At a time when 66 percent of American fourth graders aren’t proficient in reading (source: 2013 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)), the need for literacy-building programs is undeniable. Burton’s Kickstarter funds will be used to develop two subscription-based versions of a Reading Rainbow website: a home edition for kids and families, and a classroom version for teachers with accompanying lesson plans. (Though Burton and Wolfe have yet to set a launch date or prices: “Until we build it, we won’t know.”) Using the money they’ve raised, they’ll also donate free subscriptions to at least 1,500 classrooms with students from disadvantaged backgrounds; if they hit the $5 million mark, they’ll give away 6,000 more. And that’s just the beginning. Says Burton: “We [eventually] want to have universal access.”

Photo: Ben Baker for Parade; Grooming: Elizabeth Yoon for MAC; Wardrobe: Monica Cotto; Props/Set Design: Bryan Hodge: Shirt: Tommy Bahama; Jeans: Levi's®

(Photo: Ben Baker for Parade; Grooming: Elizabeth Yoon for MAC; Wardrobe: Monica Cotto; Props/Set Design: Bryan Hodge: Shirt: Tommy Bahama; Jeans: Levi’s®)

Recently the actor and advocate sat down with Parade to talk about his Kickstarter’s smash success and his passion for the written word.

PARADE: You’ve devoted your life to promoting childhood literacy. What’s your first memory of reading as a kid?

LEVAR BURTON: I was 4 or 5, sitting next to my aunt, reading, and I got stuck on the word pretty. I wouldn’t say it; I didn’t want to be wrong. So I sat there. My aunt was very patient, but finally, she said, “The word is pretty.” I knew I was right in my mind and my heart. I just didn’t have the courage to say it.

What are your favorite children’s books?

One is Amazing Grace, by Mary Hoffman, which was featured on the original show. It’s the story of a girl who wants to play Peter Pan in her school play, but is told by her classmates that she can’t because she’s a girl and she’s black. It’s Grace’s story of believing in herself and learning that she can be anything she wants using the power of her imagination.

When teaching your own kids to read, was it easy to pass on your love of books?

Both Michaela and [her half-brother] Ward, 34, watched the show. To watch them crack the code was remarkable. There was a point in Michaela’s life where she called me “Daddy Rainbow.”

Do you think it’s harder, now, to get kids interested in books? There are so many distractions.

I would say yes. The evidence points to the fact that Americans read far less for pleasure than they did in 1983 [when the show began]. It’s a different world. Kids seem to be scheduled from sun up to bedtime.

Why did Reading Rainbow take off in the first place? 

It was a simple idea: use TV to introduce the wonders to be found in a book. The pace was slow by today’s standards. As the host, I tried to talk to my audience, not at them, and to share my enthusiasm for life and the written word. And we had a catchy theme song! “Take a look, it’s in a book”; “Go anywhere, be anything”—that’s a valuable message.

What do you make of the response to your Kickstarter?

It’s been phenomenal. Recently we went to their offices in Brooklyn. All the employees at Kickstarter seem like kids—they all grew up watching Reading Rainbow. I met one of them, the very first backer for our campaign, and just hugged him.

You’ve fielded criticism, though, for turning to crowd-funding when your company is for-profit. How do you -respond to that?

We pay to license books from authors and publishers. It’s not free. And we have to pay the people who make this possible. There’s a lot of coding, engineering, and product design involved in translating the app for the Web. The money will also allow us to donate free subscriptions to more classrooms. And, if we’re able to raise enough to create a permanent endowment to give the product away someday, I could live with that.

Kids are out of school. But studies show that if they don’t read during the break, they go back to class behind. What can parents do?

There’s a critical window where a child either becomes a reader or not—for life. Between the ages of 7 and 9 is when that decision is made. Parents ask me, “How can I get my kid to read?” I say, “How much time do you spend reading in front of your kid? How many books do you have in your house? How often do you have an evening where you don’t watch TV and it’s family reading night?” Insist by example so your child gets that reading is an important aspect of life.

You recently made a Funny or Die video in which you played a superhero who derived dark powers from books. Was the idea that reading gives you superpowers?

I was poking a little fun at myself, [but] yeah!

What’s your ultimate goal for Reading Rainbow? 

[Star Trek creator] Gene Roddenberry once said that the world of the future is a place where there’s no hunger or greed, and all the children will know how to read. That would be wonderful.

Want to see which books Burton recommends this summer for kids and their families? We partnered with Walmart to bring his picks to Parade readers. Visit walmart.com/parade to see the list and stock your shelves!

Inside LeVar Burton’s Reading Revolution.

via Inside LeVar Burton’s Reading Revolution.

 

If you liked this post, you can follow me on Twitter @ArlenBennyCenac
Arlen Benny Cenac, Jr.

 

Inside LeVar Burton’s Reading Revolution | Arlen Benny Cenac – Education.

Posted in Education | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment